Torpedo Factory #5: It’s only a paper moon

When painting there’s usually a moment when it clicks.  When it comes together.  For a while it can be scary.  It doesn’t look right and it doesn’t feel right.  And then at some point you take a step back and click!  You see what to do and how.

During class #5 it never clicked for me.  I never got it.

The still lifes were beautiful.  There were four of them the instructor had set up in the room.  A crumpled piece of paper on top of a brightly or deeply colored cloth directly under a light.  You should have seen it.  All of the colors, shadows, reflections, backlighting, glows.

I could see all of the nuance.  I could see all of the things I wanted to do.  I just couldn’t get there.  So you’ll notice that the lower of my paper “iceberg” is kind of a jumble  You can’t see the structure of the paper as it was.  There was a lot of depth there and I couldn’t quite get my colors where they needed to be to darken the values enough.

As I told the instructor, for some reason my brain wouldn’t interpret glowing areas as shadows.  Couldn’t get over that mental block.

But I’m not complaining.  Just stating the facts.  It was a good lesson.  At the very end, out of the need of something to do I added the shadow at the bottom.  That really helped ground things for me.  I wish I had done that near the beginning.


Another set of eyes

Two more quick things.

I just had a revelation.

During the class I showed the instructor, David Carter, the Pantone app on the iPhone.

But I didn’t use it.  Intentionally so.  With the Pantone app you can take a photo with the iPhone and it automatically extracts colors from it.  And you can select areas from the photo of colors you want to see.  So automatically it captured the colors except for intense crappiness of the iPhone 3G camera, of course.

Anyway, now that I’m looking at the photos (a few days later) I can see what I missed.  So the next time I’m having trouble I’m going to take a photo and look at it for a reality check.  It’s like having another set of eyes.  It momentarily allows you to see things for what they are.

That’s a tip for you.


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