Painting 101

I took an art class in July and August of this year at the Joslyn Art Museum(taught by my favorite artist/dad Peter Yesis)। The class focused on the daily painting movement and how to accomplish these small works in approximately 3 hours of painting. Having never really painted before, I was anxious to see how I'd do.

The first step was a value study to get us used to using a paintbrush. The object was to make the shadows or darks as tranparent and thin as possible (but still be dark) so the to create the illusion of recession and the highlights as opaque as possible to bring these objects out off the canvas. While I loved painting in the transparent darks, the opaque highlights are already scaring me.

In the second class we applied a little color to the composition and learned how the most ordinary of objects can be subjects in a daily painting. I liked the result I got in this one - or maybe it's just the thought of a good cup of tea wiht honey that has me liking this one.
After painting with a touch of color, the next class was to paint a painting in full color. I chose what I thought would be an easy composition - an orange and a crock, and learned that contrasting colors in a composition is much more interesting than all warm colors.
The fourth class shook things up a bit and was designed to make us step out of our comfort zones। Can it be we're in a comfortable rut already? The painting was to enlarge the objects so they got cut off by the edge of the canvas and the color was to be as bold as we could make it. I liked the result of the lemons, but the teapot lost its round shape and began looking a little bit like it was sitting down by the time I was done.
The last two classes showed what I felt were my worst and best paintings. The 5th class was supposed to be a type of self-portrait with a pair of our shoes as the subject. I chose my old faithful comfy clogs as the subject. The result wasn't what I had wanted as I had trouble capturing the character of the shoes and lost my values when I applied the color, but I gave myself an A for effort.
The strawberries I painted in the last class made me feel I had made significant progress. For the first time I felt I sort of knew what I was doing - sort of. I can honestly say I was proud of the result.