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Monday, October 06, 2014

Oil Painting lesson with Gregory Smith - Day 1

I changed from afternoon class to evening class. That will give me a whole day Monday off.

This time I decided to do some floral painting. I've never done it before, and I knew it's going to be very tough.

I wanted something that last more than two weeks, and I had this plant from Monet's Garden in Northcote Plaza.
It's called Vriesea. I don't know how to pronounce it.
I put a pine cone next to it to make the composition a bit more interesting. Greg liked this idea.

After initial Raw Umber wash, as I had expected I struggled a lot to get a basic shape right today.
There are so many leaves and a very complicated shape of a pine cone. Where should I start?

And this is where Greg's way of painting comes to rescue, and I really recognised its strength today.
What I mean by that is, because we don't draw, we don't have to worry about details at an early stage.

Just put darks and lights based on our instinct. That will give us something to start and then measure their relationship with each other.

He gave us a demo on one of our students' painting that is far much more complex than mine.
It's very quick and completely free from our inhibition or fear. I really love this.
If I were to do initial drawing, I would be at a loss.

He also showed me how to approach a pine cone. Put a big dark shape first, and then wipe off to create lights. No drawing is necessary. Amazing.

Finally, I tried to get a background shape right by tracing a contour of the objects, including cast shadows. That was really hard.

I'm looking forward to next week.

Work in progress. 16 x 20 in.

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