Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Landscape, a discussion with Escher

So our third assignment in painting class was a landscape. Like each of our previous assignments, it began with researching landscape artists and finding the images that we really liked. Although he wasn't on the list, and his work isn't painting, I chose my all time favorite artist, M. C. Escher, to share with the landscapes that I like.

As I was looking at his Three Worlds, and his Puddle, and trying to figure out how I was going to do an interesting interpretation of my boys in the fig tree in the backyard, I had a complete and total "OH!!" moment! I would do the image of my boys in the tree in the style of Escher (or as close as I could manage to get.)

The other part of the assignment was to use either a complementary color scheme, or a split complementary color scheme. I chose to go with greens and oranges.

Like ever other assignment in painting, I started it with a little trepidation because I didn't know if I was going to be able to pull off the -idea- in reality.

Blocking in the tree, the boys and the background. As my teacher said, for a still life to have a chance at being successful, it has to have a noticeable foreground, middle ground, and background.

Starting to add detail to the leaves in the foreground.

Starting the second stage of blocking in my boys. The interesting thing about this project, which is different from most still life images with people in them is that my boys are NOT the focus. They're actually in the middle ground (:

Close up on my youngest on the lower branch.

Close up on my oldest in the upper branches.

Almost done. It actually took a LONG time for it to advance from the image below. I knew it wasn't finished. I knew, logically, that the ground shadow would, in reality, go towards the back, but I also knew that it wouldn't work with making it an Escher interpretation.

What it needed was the eyes of another artist. My teacher saw the same thing I did-- but could look at it and see the solution I needed-- the ground shadow need to come -forward- to complete a full circle of the Escheresque interpretation I was going for.

And this is the finished product.

Every person I've had look at it says the same thing. That this is a still life about a tree. That happens to have my boys in it (; And they're right! If you're not looking for my boys, they aren't the first thing you notice. You notice the leaves. Which is where you're -suppose- to be looking first (;

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