Week 4 – 100 Days of Art

This week we hit the quarter-of-the-way marker! And next week it will be the one-third marker! I feel confident, now, that the 100 days will come and go and my artwork will be all the better for the experience. However, one step at a time.

Day 22

The prompt was to consider a Group of 7 artist coming to town, and thinking what scene that artist would wish to paint, and then to paint it in that style. I have always loved Lawren Harris’s landscapes, mostly of the Great Lakes area. I looked outside my own window and across Algerine Passage to Ahgykson (Harwood) Island and Vancouver Island. That would be what he would paint.

I looked at many of Harris’s paintings to see what colour palette to use. I took note of how he depicted islands and water, clouds and mountains and began.

This was a really enjoyable painting to create. Yes, it doesn’t look much like Harris’s work, however, with the plein air painting season coming up, and a lot of our locations being on ocean shores, I will try to use this technique and colour palette more often.

Day 23

Today I had chance to revisit a previous painting and paint it again from a different perspective. I chose the painting of the night sky, city skyline, with the flying spider.

Most of this painting is imaginary, however, the hand is mine on the sill of the open window.

And, to fit the theme of the previous painting being a nightmare, this one is of the person being unaware of what was about to land in the room.

Day 24

This day required another bit of research into old Masters. The prompt asked for a collaboration with an old Master – what part of the painting would you do?

A few months ago I picked up some second-hand frames and in one was a print of a painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir. It is a lovely piece depicting a young woman and a young child and I have kept it because of the beautiful work on the portraits. I researched Renoir and saw that mostly his backgrounds are very loose. They may be of meadows, fields, gardens, interior walls, all created with less care than the main focus, which invariably would be people.

So, I chose to paint a garden area just waiting for the people to arrive, and Renoir, himself!

Day 25

This day we learned about contour line drawing. Unlike contours on a map, this single line goes from item to item merging background with foreground and never leaving the page. This technique is sometimes used in life drawing.

We have a lot of items under the microwave on our kitchen counter, some of which having been there since Christmas. They made a good subject for this prompt.

Keeping the pen on the page and joining all of the items and the back wall together was difficult although fun. You can see I got in a little trouble after drawing the plug socket and needing to get to the far left side to complete the drawing.

Day 26

I worked at Artique Gallery on this day, and the four scenes below show the view from the window down toward the ocean.

The prompt was to create a Notan. A Notan is used to show light and dark, and is usually just black and white, although sometimes there maybe grey.

I grabbed a Sharpie and divided the page into four. Starting in the top left I drew what I was seeing, making simple shapes. When drawing the top right, I realized I had missed off electrical and phone wires as well as a few traffic lights, and this time there were vehicles. The Sharpie also started to run out.

Armed with a pen with plenty of ink, I moved to the lower left. By then the clouds were lifting off the ocean and Ahgykson (Harwood) Island had come into view. The final one included vehicles, which I was a little better at quickly drawing than in attempt number two.

It surprised me that by looking at the same scene and depicting it four times, I started to see more.

Day 27

A Friday again, which meant indoor painting group. Happily, the prompt this day was “anything” so armed with some bananas for a still life I headed out the door.

One of the other artists in the group offered to sit in the middle of the room so that he could be part of our work. Bringing the bananas close in the foreground and Richard in the background, I think, worked quite well. It is an odd combination, admittedly, but fun.

I used watercolour, which is not something I am skilled in, and toiled for a long time on fabric folds. I may darken the pants later, but for now, this is what was created.

Day 28

What would you teach first to a brand new artist? That was the prompt for Day 28 and I thought back to when I was first venturing down this path. Seeing shapes was a big one; even now I get bogged down into details before realizing that a tree is often an upended triangle, a house is a rectangle with a triangle on top, an avocado is a circle.

We have avocados. So, I got out my charcoal, because charcoal is such a fun material to use. It is simple, quick and messy! My light source was the overhead lamp at our dining room table, which cast a small shadow and a little glare.

The circle came first. From there I used a kneadable eraser to cut back to the actual shape of the avocado. A careful look at the shadow showed it had a double edge, with the lighter part to the extreme and the darker toward the subject. The stem showed on the shadow, yet didn’t protrude beyond the edge of the avocado. I used my finger to smooth the texture somewhat, especially for the shadow, and kept some of the paper’s texture especially on the brightest point of the avocado, because the subject had a very rough, bumpy skin. Although the darkest area is at the base of the avocado where it touches the plate, there is also a lighter area just above where the light on the plate bounces back onto the skin of the subject.

All of these prompts have made me think hard this week. I am learning, I will always be learning, and thankfully, there is always something new to learn! How would you answer some of these prompts? Let me know. Thanks for reading and be creative!