Evolve Artist Block 3 Assignment 6: Butterfly cup orange

Overall Thoughts

I thought about doing this assignment the day after assignment 5, just to use the holiday week slower-pace to catch up after delaying working on assignments for a month.

But I had other things to do, and questions about A5 feedback, so I wanted to wait and hear back about that before continuing.

So I ended up working on this painting over new year’s and it took a LOT longer than the last assignment. Which I was expecting, because it’s an original painting, so I had to set up and sketch my own still life, and the one I chose had a more colors than the photo from A4, but it still took even longer than that. Whew! My arm was starting to hurt a bit as I was filling in the table near the end. I probably bit off a bit more than I could chew, again ๐Ÿ™‚

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Total time spent:

  • Sketching on Day 1 went from 12:10pm to 2:14pm, so about 2 hours total
  • Painting on Day 2 went from 11:58 am to about 7pm. So that’s about 7 hours.
  • Total ~ 9 hours.

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

  • Clean brushes more often in between painting strokes. I accidentally created a slight orange halo around the orange by using a dirty brush
  • Probably skip the sketching a thumbnail stage and directly go to drawing what I plan to measure proportionally. Save some time in the sketching stage.
  • Pick a simpler subject maybe? Make the margins bigger? Reduce time to paint to avoid any shoulder strain.
  • Getting those thin white lines for the leaves was really tricky. I ended up painting each leaf green, then waiting for it to dry, then painting a white line on top, then fixing the edges in green. Next time I think I might try to leave the white part white instead of painting the whole thing green. White is kind of translucent and it takes many coats to get the right opacity, and that means more opportunity to contaminate the brush and mess up the thinness of the line.
  • Be careful with mixing colors. I thought I found a red I liked, but after painting it (and perhaps because of some pollution from the nearby extreme shadow), the red seemed too dark, so I tried to lighten it with an overcoat of more white. Not the bestest idea, perhaps… ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Pay more attention to the values of the colors. I think my dark green leaf may be darker in value than the mod shadow next to it…not sure if that’s okay. Actually, let me add that to my comments for the submission…
  • Other things about the painting I’m noticing now (a day after painting)
    • Orange is a little weirdly shaped on the right side, looks flattened
    • Too much blue between butterfly’s left wing and the cup handle
    • Shadow on bottom left wing not quite right
    • leaf on the right side is too much. I think this is a case of where I was sitting not being consistent with the photo I ended up taking.
    • And that dark green looks bluer in the photo than in my painting…however I did compare my green paint to the actual cup, so the problem is probably with the photo that I took.
  • Maybe I should take more than one photo of the setup before, during, and after the painting session, especially if it’s over the course of a few days.

Day 1: Drawing 12/31/22

  • I already knew what I wanted to draw–a month ago, I’d taped a small red origami butterfly to a Christmas cup and thought that looked quite nice, and decided then and there that I would paint that for my next original painting.
  • But it felt a bit incomplete, so I thought I should add a round colorful fruit. At first I found an unripe passion fruit, which was a nice light green color, but as I delayed getting to my painting, the fruit shriveled a bit and didn’t look so perfectly round anymore. So I replaced that with an orange, which I thought would be a nice contrasting color (since the cup is white with two shades of red and two shades of green and no orange).
  • And it did look very nice, but it was rather tricky to draw, especially that orange (which was not a perfect circle), and the butterfly as well.

Here’s the initial setup (with the little golden ball on the left just there for measurement purposes):

Here’s the initial sketch in my sketchbook (thumbnail plus proportionally measured portion)

And here’s the transfer to canvas (wasn’t sure about how to do that butterfly wing)



Day 2: Painting 1/1/23

  • Ooh, boy. The painting process for this one took a LONG time. I mean, I did take a couple breaks in between to eat lunch (grilled cheese & scrambled eggs) and spray my old paintings (I got my Kamar varnish spray a week ago or so, and I spent some time on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day spraying my paintings to keep them from yellowing further), but altogether I still ended up painting from before noon until after sundown.
  • By the end, as I said, my right arm (shoulder really) was starting to hurt, so I have to be careful.
  • Also created a really weird portrait with the leftover paint…I realized that most colors on our palette are pretty dark in value, and I used a lot of lighter colors in my actual painting for Evolve, which made it a bit tricky to create an “impressionistic” painting as I was hoping to do with the leftover colors. Oops ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Color mixes:
    • White cup = white + naples yellow
    • Red butterfly = schev red + yellow green + white
    • Orange = schev red + crimson + schev yellow
    • Dark green leaf = ultramarine + black + schev yellow
    • Light green leaf = yellow green + white + crimson
    • Dark red berry = schev red + ultramarine blue + white
    • Lighter red berry = schev red + ultramarine blue + white + schev yellow
    • Sky blue bg = ultramarine blue + schev blue + white
    • Black table = crimson + ultramarine + black + naples yellow

This is what I did with the leftover paint. It looks…weird, but ah well, it’s only the first practice with this impressionistic style of using up painting (using up leftover paint). More to come:

Final Submission

This is the final painting I submitted for grading:

I submitted the assignment at around 12:10 on 1/2/23, and got a response at TK.

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My Questions & Instructor Feedback

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Lesson Video Notes

No new lesson video for this assignment

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Notes on TK Assignment Name

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