Now we’re taking gradients to the next level by doing them on a curve. Confession: I didn’t really use the checklists for these assignments. Right now it’s pretty simple, easy to keep in my head though.
Total time spent:
- From around 9:30/10am til 1:30+pm ish, then used the leftover paint to do a few more gradients (and cleanup) until 2:30ish.
- Total time was 5 hours, with about 4 of those hours
If I were to start this painting over right now, what would I do differently?
- Maybe wait until a day when my stomach isn’t hurting/when I’m feeling physically healthier?
- WATCH OUT FOR SMUDGES!
- Spend more time on the gradients, especially the background gradients: paint a thicker buffer that overlaps on the top more (on the right side), since there isn’t a whole lot of space on the bottom without danger of bumping into the cast shadow of the ball
- Another thing I learned about gradients that I didn’t quite pick up the first time: When laying down the buffer, it’s not necessarily about wiping off the brush, but adding more paint
- Sharpen edges from both sides
- Question to ask next time: Which brush size should we use as default? I’ve been using #6 but it looks like Kevin may be using a #10?
- I haven’t been doing this since the last assignment, but as a reminder: DO NOT flip the brush when doing gradients!
- Was planning to start around 7am on Saturday, but that didn’t happen, because I ended up crashing last night around maybe 10ish?
- After sort of trying to watch the videos, I ended up re-awakening around 2-3am then again at 5:30 because I’d forgotten to turn out the light, I’d just collapsed asleep. And when I woke up finally around 7, I ended up laying there for another hour and a half or so because I was feeling crampy and not wonderful.
- But I still wanted to get some painting done, so I started around 9:30+am. At least I didn’t have to transfer the images because I’d done it before when working on the cubes.
- So prep-wise, just had to get out my material and mix some paints.
- I did make a pretty big boo-boo right out of the gate, putting mod shadow where mod light was supposed to go, because I wasn’t paying attention what with the dull stomach cramps and trying to focus on the filming aspect of it, and I ended up accidentally smudging the bottom right of my painting, plus I think my background gradients didn’t turn out as well as they could’ve if I’d spent another hour on them…
- But at the same time, I’m pleased at the roundness of the cube and at what I was able to accomplish in spite of everything. I feel like the whole painting process (setup, painting, cleanup) is getting more familiar and smooth and even though I still ended up taking 5ish hours, it felt faster. After all I recall taking 7 hours that one time (although granted that was largely because I didn’t know how to wash my palette and ended up making a bigger mess because I didn’t scrape the paint off first).
This is the final painting I submitted for grading:
I submitted the assignment at around 4:30pm Saturday (Had issues uploading), and got a response at 4:49pm on the same day!
My Questions & Instructor Feedback
- I asked about which size brush to use, my background looking streaky, and my gradient looking a bit bare (paint rubbed off).
- They said: We use larger brushes because smaller brushes can accidentally create texture. And to avoid lifting paint by adding more paint or using a lighter touch.
Lesson Video Notes
Feb 26, 2022
Watched this on the same day I did the assignment, although usually I watch the videos the day before setting paintbrush to canvas. We’re bringing gradients back in again, and they really are a bit of a bugger.
Notes on Sphere Assignment
Painting the Shadows
- Make mistakes early so you can learn from them
- 1st step is always the same!!! = count your shadows
- Ignore the background, count the table
- Count shadows, NOT darks. Here we have 3
- Next step = find the darkest shadow.
- Then find the lightest shadow.
- Then all the other shadows fall between these two.
- Cover the line, take your time, no dots of canvas peeking through
- Everybody’s hand is different, so you need to practice and figure out your own way, your comfort zone
- Try to hold your brush staying off the metal in general, but you can bump up against it while doing detailed work
Painting the Lights
- Ignore the highlight. Make the comparison of lights not considering the highlight.
- When you are working with lights, you ONLY use the light shades, and you MUST have one of each. Don’t paint what you see. Break it down into categories!
- Eventually you won’t have to think about it, you’ll just be able to see it.
- Do what is comfortable, when it comes to the brush.
- Don’t invent your own techniques. Learn Kevin’s way
- Kevin tells story of high school painter student who did things her own way, started out top of class and ended up bottom of class (of 28 students) in a few weeks.
Creating Ad Mixtures
- Mix WELL, don’t leave blotches of unblended color
- These basic skills should become easy, the hard part is being patient and taking the time to make the bigger paintings
Gradient and Sharp Edges
- By putting a gradient on the ball, you “fill the balloon with air”
- When you block in the buffer, make it a bit messy, not straight.
- Make sure the buffer is a solid barrier, DON’T let the shades on either side touch each other
- Use blade edge of brush to nudge colors together
- Look for distinct edges to soften
- Barely touch the canvas, just skim the surface, change directions
- Don’t be lazy about going back to get paint. Get into the habit of getting back to the palette every few strokes
- You should spend more time “in transit” than in painting
- You don’t shovel all the food in your mouth at one time. Same with painting, you’re feeding the painting.
- Get comfortable with the process.
- To be a successful artist, you have to enjoy the process, NOT JUST what you get at the end of the process.
- If you hate the process, this is not the career for you. And it will only get worse as time goes by.
- Resolve the issues with the components of the painting before it starts looking like a whole thing (like a ball)
- Remember there’s a stage after this to check sharp edges and all
- Remember to change directions as you go, don’t go too far before you go back down for more paint
- Barely touching the surface of the paint
- Your paint has to be the same density or else the thicker paint will overtake the thinner paint. Buffer, light, dark, all should be same density.
- Now go back through dark to light shades and check for wonky edges. Check your checklist.
- To sharpen an edge, sharpen from both sides, with both shades on either side of the edge. This gives a crisper edge.
- Background fill should always be the ad mixture between extreme shadow and mod shadow
Filling the Background and Horizon Gradient
- Start closest to the ball, then paint away from it, gives your hand space to rest on the canvas.
- If you’re sloppy and you don’t do a round ball now, you’ll mess up your ball shape forever.
- Try to avoid paint beading up and creating ugly ridges. Paintings are prettier when everything is flat, for now.
- In this program we will cover everything “knowledge” — everything that isn’t style or experience, everything KEvin thinks is important.
- Gradients create the impression of volume (form) and distance.
- By putting a background gradient, it makes things look farther away.
- For the background buffer, since there are only 2 shades in between, pick one and blend using the original two shades on either side. You can use both in-between shades if you want, though.
- Buffer should be the thickness of the brush.
- Do NOT flip your brush!!
- When doing the bottom of that buffer, be CAREFUL not to let the light creep up too high and contrast with the dark color on top.
- Now go back and fix the ball as needed.
- Kevin always works shadow first: good policy to have one way of doing things.
- Going forward, you will use gradients for form, and every background will have a gradient /graded horizon line
- Eventually we will use this effect to create depth in a real shallow space.
Understanding Cast and Form Shadows
- When light is above a can, the top and front will be light, the back will be shadow
- If light hits a can directly, it’s 100% light. As you go up/down the curve, it goes to 70% light, 60%, 50%, then it will glance off and go away.
- From the 50% point on, there is a cast shadow behind the sphere.
- The shadow is darkest point directly opposite of the 100% light side of the sphere. Next to that maybe 70%, then 60%, and so on.
- This is basically a gradient, being wrapped around the circle.
- FORM SHADOWS:
- criteria 1) the shadow must be on a rounded object (something with curves, not necessarily a round object)
- criteria 2) it must be on the bottom or right of the object.
- On a sphere, the shadow would be on the bottom and right.
- Tell you about form, tells you how big and round objects are
- CAST SHADOWS:
- An object blocking the light directly. Like you and your shadow on the ground.
- They produce sharp edges