Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nothing tried - Nothing Gained - Nothing Learned

Mary Cassatt
(1844 - 1926)

Beginning Painting/Assignment #3 - Paint in the Style of a Master Artist

This is the next assignment for my beginning painting class altered a bit for me since I have copied many other paintings before. The teacher suggested that I take my own images, and compose a painting that is inspired by a Master Artist.

Well I've always liked Mary Cassatt and her themes. I'm interested in how she painted loosely, impressionistic, and the relationships of mother and child set in their daily lives. I found this photo of the boys and I and thought it fit well with that theme. Okay Nick is a little funny looking here, but I'll work on that. Now my decisions are going to be color, setting, and composition. I've started it already and will post it soon. It is going to be a lot of work to get it to a place I want it to be, but I've realized in art, nothing tried - nothing gained...

As I was looking at old photos, I found this one too! Oh I forgot about this one. It was at Disney World when we took Anthony, who was 3 years old. I would like to do a companion to the other photo above. My teacher mentioned that maybe I would like to work on the same subject at home using Pastels as well. We also discussed working on a series of these paintings. Whew...I can't wait to get started, but I'm also hesitant working on people...but as I said before - nothing tried - nothing gained - nothing learned!

Day one: I am not sure if the size of the people are what I really want in the end. I've enlarged them once on this first day and thought it was enough. But I'm not sure still. I decided to go forth and see how this size does in the end.

On day one I am trying to get the placement of the drawing correct. I had already sketched it out ahead of time and even thought through a couple of other options for the background. I want the central focus of the painting to be the heart shape that is made between myself and the two boys. I like the heart necklace I have on in the picture and feel that "heart" is going to play a part in this painting.

Day Two: I've blocked in the basic colors I'm thinking of so far. I've had to paint out my right arm since it had looked like I was too big. As I've painted it I realized my couch (which is made up and not in the original picture) was growing and looking odd. So I decided to get some reference of what I wanted. I asked my professional photographer to capture the essence of the moment for me (Thanks Nick!). Below is what we came up with. I'll now try to keep going with this photo, plus deciding on what to do in the background that doesn't take away from the "heart of the painting.

...and the learning continues!