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Monday, May 25, 2015

Oil Painting lesson with Gregory Smith - Day 4

I started a new painting today. I brought in a porcelain vase, twig and a takraw ball.
As usual, I put these on a table and thought about what kind of other stuff I should get from a cupboard.

Greg came up with this idea of incorporating the subjects with a piano in a studio as a setup. So, he put these on a table and asked my opinion. It's really amazing to see how much livelier the composition becomes. He has this great sense of telling an interesting story through a painting.

I started first by coving a canvas with Raw Umber, Ivory Black and Burnt Sienna. Greg told me to use a touch of Sienna because that's a predominant colour of the piano.

I had no idea where I should start, because I've never had this kind of composition. I'm looking at the subjects and the piano as a background from a diagonal angle. It's very complicated and I was lost.

Greg gave me a precious suggestion. Using the distance between the bottom of the vase and the highest leaf as a guide, put it in somewhere vertically in the middle of a panel, and turn it around and decide where it finishes from the leaf on the left.
Then using the height of a vase as a guide and using angles, decide where some major parts of the piano should be. 

It was a very fascinating exercise, plotting this point and that point here and there, then putting these all together to create an overall composition.

There're some obvious mistakes in the painting, for example, the lid should be resting on the edge of the piano...

I'm reasonably happy with this one so far, and I'm looking forward to the next session.

Work in progress. 16 x 20 in.

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