June 17, 2022 at 3:14 pm #2475638June 27, 2022 at 2:25 am #2498246
Day 96 26/06/2022
After a week off from being on holiday, I gave over a bit of time to reworking last week’s outdoor sketch. Not a massive change; invented a shadow on the left-side foreground to create a shadow shape that made a big S. I also emphasised direction and movement with the foreground brushwork. Compositionally, this is the only thing I really like about the sketch – it’s a got a sense of whoosh about it that makes the tree seem more calm and serene.
I still failed the capture the glow of the tree, or it’s monumentality. It doesn’t look as it did in person, perched on top of a high bank. The scene lacks this sense of height. Perhaps more form in the tree, with foreshortening, would have helped. Something to chew over for next time.
Practice Time: 1.5hJune 28, 2022 at 12:14 am #2501592
Day 97 27/06/2022
Not exactly in keeping with the 100 day challenge of practising from life, but I started on the head cadaver lesson from Russian Drawing. Hopefully will finishing watching the lessons and the drawing assignment tomorrow – then finish the last couple days of the challenge properly 🙂
I’m still spending some time reading some art history, having finished Constable by Jonathon Clarkson. Thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s something about Constable’s stubborn grumpiness and uneasy relationship with the art establishment that appeals to me. I have moved onto a book about the Barbizon school. I’ve also started reading ‘John Constable’s Skies’, which is half science, half art; and looks to be full of useful information about the science behind sky painting. Some notes have already gotten me thinking:
- Deepest blue in sky is at an angle of about ninety degrees from the sun to our eyes to the sky. Thus there is a bright region around the sun and opposite it, with deeper blue between.
- Shades of blue correspond to dust and water in the air. Deepest blue occurs after rain when the atmosphere has been cleansed of dust particles.
- Palest, whitest blues occur when cirrus clouds develop or when hot dry climates throw up a lot of dust.
- Sky is at its bluest at sunrise and sunset, when the dome of the sky is at 90 degrees to the sun.
- The sky appears a deeper blue at lower latitudes because the sun climbs higher in the sky as the day progresses – therefore further away from the deeper blue at the horizons.
- Water vapour tends to whiten the sky; hence high humidity in Britain leads to paler skies.
- Skies also reflect off the ocean, so bluer skies are made more so when reflected off the Mediterranean – and paler, in Britain.
- Questions to ask yourself regarding the blueness of the sky:
- What time of day is it? Noon or sunset?
- What time of year, winter or summer?
- What is the location, is it Italy or England?
- What are the weather conditions, recent rain or dry/dusty?
- Which part of the sky are you seeing related to the sun?
Practice Time: 2h – must do more!June 29, 2022 at 12:59 pm #2506632
Day 98 28/06/2022
I spent 2.5 hours working on the previous day’s cadaver head. Feels totally like cheating to finish the 100 day challenge not practising from life – but I’m hoping to get out for the big 100 to finish on better form.
It doesn’t help that the weather has been too bad to paint outdoors.
Practice Time: 2.5h
Day 99 29/06/2022
As always, I could tinker away at these assignments for hours more – but I think most of the learning has been absorbed. Hard to tell if this is an improvement on previous skulls/busts. Iliya says to do 3… so I guess I’ve got another 2 to do!
I also read more of Constable’s Skies, it continues to be fascinating. Here are some notes:
- Atmosphere controls aerial perspective – although the chemical composition of the atmosphere is consistent place-to-place, the amount of dust and water vapour is different.
- Mist Is caused by water droplets; haze by smoke or dust
- Visibility is best in Britain during sunny anticyclonic (high pressure) weather, when the airstreams is from the north (polar air) and therefore contains less dust and water vapour. Wind direction is therefore very important at a particular location in determining visibility.
- Aerial Perspective
- As one looks further and further towards the horizon there is a change of hue towards the blue end of the spectrum, a decrease in saturation, lighter tone, and decrease in contrast.Air molecules and small particles scatter light of short wavelengths, hence blueness of distance (it being the colour of shortest wavelength alongside indigo).
- The larger the particles, the wider the wavelength of light it scatters – contributing to ‘white’ light in the atmosphere.
- When looking at the horizon, one is looking through the most dense part of the atmosphere.
- For all these reasons, no two hours are the same for how the atmosphere looks.
Not totally related to art practice, but I watched a good lecture on how Dutch artists invented atmosphere (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZyr4cLgS5E) and I’m also in the midst of watching a lecture on Ruisdael (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvmmQQzerN4). I’ve got a book on Ruisdael that I haven’t read yet…
Practice Time: 1.5hJuly 1, 2022 at 1:25 pm #2509741
Day 100 +101 30/07/2022
I’m going to drag out this challenge for a couple days as I have a few pieces in progress. Today I got outside, but only long enough to get caught in a downpour.
It was a fantastic challenge trying to paint a very changeable sky. The time outdoors was thrilling, the same can’t be said for the few hours I’ve given the piece since I got home. I think the gist of what I’m trying to do is there, but it’s turned into a bit of a soup. I might leave it dry and come back to it.
I have been continuing to read Constable’s Skies too, only a few points to mention:
- Clouds are illuminated by direct sunlight, by light reflected from other clouds, and from the sky.
- During midday, clouds will appear whiter toward the horizon as you see less of their shadowed bottom plane and more of the side. They will also appear bluer as there is more atmosphere between viewer and horizon
- Air brought from the north will be colder; from the south, warmer and drier. If brought from the sea, more humid.
Practice Time: 5h (over two days)July 2, 2022 at 10:32 am #2510828
Day 102 02/07/2022
I was going to wait to finish the above piece before calling an end to this 100 day challenge… but I don’t think I’ll get to it before starting a 4 day landscape course next week. I also managed to get out this morning and spend a few hours on an outdoor sketch that I’m pleased with. So let’s call this challenge done.
This piece felt like a real ‘step up’. It’s rare I come home pleased with an outdoor sketch. The notable difference seems to be starting with a deep reddish brown tone on the canvas – it just gave the picture warmth from the start. It also made all the shadows seem more vibrant – so I actually started from light to shadows, the reverse of my normal process. Interesting results.
I’ll do a little challenge round up later.
Practice Time: 3hJuly 2, 2022 at 11:30 am #2510957
So over all, I’m pleased to have completed another 100 day challenge. I’m usually pretty flaky with hobbies, but this art stuff seems to be sticking. I think my drawing continues to improve thanks to Russian Drawing. My landscapes are getting better as well. I think the biggest improvement has come from master studies – chiefly, Constable and the Barbizon artists. I just think their palette, value structure, and subjects better depict the countryside where I pay compared to say… the French and Californian impressionists, who I was emulating previously. It’s also meant I’ve had to adapt the lessons in NMA’s landscape courses.
On the improvement side of things, this challenge I missed more days and put pencil to paper fewer hours on days I did practice (2.6h per day, down to 2.4h). One of my goals this challenge was to average 3h a day, which I failed to do. I also read fewer books and watched fewer NMA courses – which would be fine if it meant I was practising more, but I wasn’t. So this is something I want to improve – upping my time commitment and dedication. This is for the next challenge!
103 days of practice
246 hours of practice in total, about 2.4hrs of practice day
28 days when I didn’t practice at all (including 9 days of holiday)
- Elements of Traditional Composition (in progress)
- Mirochnik’s Complete Russian Academic Drawing (in progress)
- Finding your voice as an artist (in progress)
July 2, 2022 at 12:20 pm #2510995wolf_cub_oneParticipantNo badges. No points.
- Caddell’s Keys to Landscape Painting
- John Constable’s Skies (in progress)
- The Science and Practice of drawing (in progress)
Congrats on finishing another 100 day challenge! Very inspiring to watch your progress. Keep it up!July 2, 2022 at 1:15 pm #2511056
Cheers, thanks Wolf!
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