Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My first still life

So this was my 2nd real painting assignment in college-- less than my 10th painting ever-- and by far, the -largest- canvas I'd ever used up to that point.

24" x 30" .... I was a little nervous. It turned out to be a running theme with spring semester's assignments...

So the assignment began with us writing in our journal about items in our house that represent aspects of our selves or our lives. And we had to choose one of the items that matter to us to bring in.

It's a doumbek on it's side, between a wine glass and a bottle, with a little snow globe in front of it and a scarf draped over it-- the entire class was required to bring in a 'personal item' that we added together on a pedestal in the center of the room to create a still life-- then had to choose a view/way to emphasize the item we contributed. (: As the images progress, I anticipate it'll be -really- obvious which item is mine (; The other requirement of the assignment was to stay within a mostly monochromatic color scheme.

Before we began, we were to research still life images that other artists have done through out time. And the ones that really struck a chord with me were very much about medieval chiaroscuro. The dramatic lighting and intimate detail.

Once we drew out our items, the first painting assignment was to work from darkest to lightest-- with the first layer being 3 shades lighter than the final shade, and applied thinly. This is putting in the -darkest- layer (3 shades lighter than it will be when it's finished).

Then I started working my color scheme-- definitely going for the oranges (:

Even in the early stages, I was really pleased with the detail that was starting to show.

The background was much more in with the color scheme-- but it wasn't the dark background from the historical images that I liked so much, so I sacrificed a bit of my color scheme for what I wanted.

Can you tell which piece was my contribution?

If you said the drum, not only are you spot on, but I did my job of emphasizing it (; I chose it for a couple of reasons-- first, belly dancing and drumming are two of my favorite aspects of playing in the SCA. Second, they're both something I love to do. And Third, playing the doumbek is something that I taught myself to do 2 years ago. I'm no expert, by any means, but I'm also no longer a complete beginner either (:

And this is the finished piece. I decided to donate it to our shire event, Baba Marta, as a prize, because it had the feeling of the SCA to me-- the merging of the modern and the historic. On first glance, with no real detail, it could almost pass for a medieval piece-- but as you look at it, particularly the glass on the left, it becomes obvious that it's done in a very modern way.

And this is the painting being awarded to the A&S winner at Baba Marta, in March 2010. He's an excellent metal smith, musician and bard from Trimaris (the SCA kingdom that covers most of Florida).

Prints available here.

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