We started the day by creating a color wheel using our specific brand of paints. Since I’d seen her do this color wheel before when I took my acrylic painting course, I decided to skip out on trying to keep up with her and just listened to her lecture. I caught a lot of information this time around that I’d missed before. The color wheel helps to explain the relationship between colors: primary, secondary, dark and light, complimentary, etc… Dark acrylic paints tend to “eat” the lighter colors, meaning you only have to use a dab of a dark color (like violet) to darker a lighter color (like titanium white). White ups the chroma of a color, making it more opaque and bright. Without the added white, some darker colors are transparent and less intense. I keep meaning to sit down with the paints I have in my studio and do a proper color wheel to post up on my wall.
Claude Monet’s work relies a lot on color theory. Using pointilism, he gives the illusion of seeing one color while far away that’s actually made up of more primary colors when viewed up close. With this knowledge I continued work on the music-inspired abstract that I’d started the day before, trying to bring certain colors to the front while pushing others back.
In the afternoon (after eating a slice of pizza downtown the size of my face, yum yum) we began rifling through magazines to find colors, patterns or images that caught our eye to make a collage out of. The last time I did something like this was in high school art. It’s immensely fun. One of the most daunting things for me is looking at a blank canvas or page and wondering where to start. With this exercise we asked to choose a limited color palette, put together a collage and build an abstract from that. Being able to move around the magazine clippings really helped me think through the composition of the piece, letting me try a lot of different things before finding something I was happy with.
I worked on this painting on and off for the next few days, and I’m still not sure it really feels finished. Usually when I’m working on something, there will come a point where I simply know it’s done. It’s like a feeling in my core and my mind recognizes this and validates it. For this reason, I strongly dislike going back and working on projects that I’d finished a long time ago. I know I could improve them, but I’d rather move on to something newer and better.
I’ve employed lots of different mediums and styles in this painting including glazes with a gloss, pointilism in the shoes, texturing in the fluff at the top (though it’s hard to tell by digital photo) and tons more. Deanne said it was almost surreal, like a night out that someone was trying to piece together the next day. I’m very happy with the subject matter but may go into it once or twice more before I call it done.