Evolve Artist Block 1 Assignment 4: Cubes

Overall Thoughts

Good idea for them to take away gradients while teaching a new concept: assigning values. Very simple concept. Simply decide which shapes are shadows, which are lights, and then which are the darker and lighter of the shadows/lights.

Total time spent:

  • ~5pm to 10pm, then another hour for painting a couple more rows of gradients in my sketchbook
  • Total time: 5 hours for the assignment +1 for using up paint

If I were to start this painting over right now, what would I do differently?

  • Take the transitions more slowly. That is, really use the checklist and go over the edges and check for white spots for every single shade before moving on to the next shade, and doing one last go-over before putting paints away. My background, on second glance, has a few white-ish dots, because it was thinned out more with oil.
  • Kevin did recommend doing this, but I need to be more aware that adding oil means it’s easier for white dots to appear.
  • Another interesting note, when you hold up the canvas to the light so it shines through from the back, you can see places where the paint was applied thickly and places where it was applied thinly. I bet ideally, the paint should be equal thickness throughout, with basically very little light able to shine through from the back.

Day 1

  • I put out only 2 inches of paint per color, and it was more than enough for the painting itself as well as doing a couple rows more of mini-gradients in my sketchbook (8 total – I wonder how effective this “practice” is, since the sketchbook paper absorbs and dries the paint MUCH faster than canvas does, and I’m not exactly using the proper technique…ah well, we shall see, I suppose)
  • Watched all the videos last night (Tuesday 2/22/22 – palindrome day!) Then did the whole assignment in one shot while hanging out virtually with other Evolvers in the regularly scheduled Wednesday night study group.
  • (I was more focused on the work though so only was half listening to the chatter, but it’s nice to have friendly voices beside you as you paint ;D)
  • I do a lot of standing, sitting, squatting, moving the “easel” (appropriated music stand) up and down, so after a painting session, I actually feel rather sore. Good exercise, though?
  • Also, filming-wise, today I experimented with using the ipad instead of the iphone to record a few videos. Hope those are easier to transfer/download. The Assignment 2 videos STILL haven’t been fully uploaded. Will take some time to make that video. sigh…
  • Even though I can still see some imperfections, I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out. My first real painting of objects, and not just exercises! Even though I enjoyed the exercises and definitely improved, it’s cool to start painting things ๐Ÿ™‚

Final Submission

This is the final painting I submitted for grading:

I submitted the assignment at around midnight, and got a response at 6:30ish am, letting me know the image didn’t go through. So I resubmitted around 7am and got a response around 7:30–they’re fast!

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My Questions & Instructor Feedback

  • I asked about the thickness of the paint, how much oil to add, and how long it takes paintings to dry (is it okay to make it dry faster, like use sunlight or a hair dryer?)
  • They replied: 2 drops for the background admixture, and no, you can’t speed up the drying process. It will dry naturally in 2-3 days. In cold weather, it can take longer, in hot weather, shorter. Don’t use a hair dryer because it can cause cracking.

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Lesson Video Notes

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Initial Thoughts

Feb 22, 2022

In this new assignment, we’re learning a new lesson about planning lights and shadows in our first real painting of objects! (In this case, two cubes). I can see how thoughtfully and cleverly Kevin’s broken down the various subskills of painting into bite-sized, doable pieces. He really has a teacher’s mind and soul.

For example, this time we’re not worrying about gradients while trying to pick up a new skill, that of making mental decisions about where different shades go. And using cubes is the perfect way to help us use those clean edges and corners skills we were working on earlier. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!

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