Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Francisco de Zurbaran Study

My value study is at stage 2 now, I have softened the values placed side by side on the first photo. Ron thought I could finish this in a class, but I am here to tell you, I don't think that happened. Oh my gosh, when I left his studio 6 hours after having walked in, my brain was literally buzzing. I could not bear to listen to the radio, it was hard to enter back into the left brain that i guess we all live in. Ron told us that if we kept talking to ourselves that we should listen to audiobooks to quiten our inner voice, that may lead to better painting experiences. I am not sure I was doing that but maybe I'll take my iPhone ear buds next time and listen to a spoken word book to see what happens. There was a lot of people in different throes of pain, including me, that were talking. I have found, when I start getting frustrated with painting, when I probably am beginning to learn a technique, I want to go home! Man, I wanted to go home a bunch yesterday. It was PAIN! Why is it so hard to paint? Why is it sometimes so hard to learn? I know it requires discipline, that is something I am in short supply, so I'm at it again trying to learn. So, this is a study originally painted by Francisco de Zurbaran titled St. Francis, of course, this is the St. Francis of Assissi fame. He painted this in 1660. Now, he painted in color but I am doing a study of values so Ron has me painting in value tones. To see the original, go here:

My picture is the second one and the first one was painted by de Zurbaran. Hopefully I will get the pictures in order this time...ha ha, i didn't. Perhaps after posting for a while, I will figure it out! Mine has a bit of a shine from the camera phone flash, gotta figure out how to stop that from happening or edit it out? Notice his nose...there is a pretty big difference in the 2 pics there and there are several other differences that I will have to struggle with over the next class to fix, but I'm on my way. I just need to figure out what to do to practice every day now. I asked Ron but if he told me, I swear I forgot. I thought of downloading another image of St Francis and painting it in black and white painted by de Zurbaran. He is one of my favorite saints, in fact I have a statue of him in my garden outside and my doggie wears a St Francis medal.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

oh my gosh

its been so long since i posted that i could not figure out how to edit the previous here are the pics, first the value strip and the 3 pics of value paintings i have done. the last one is going to get three treatments before it is finished, more to come on tuesday as i delve deeper in my class with Ron...Oh, I am taking these classes at Ronald Bayens Art School in Auburn Al. I think he does not call it an Art School, those are my words, I am unsure of the name, let you know next week. I will be working with him for 5 hrs each week as of this coming tuesday. okay, i uploaded them out of order. promise i will be better next time...the first should be 4th, the second should be 3rd, the 3rd should be 2nd and the 4th should be 1st...confusing? ha ha, me too. oh and if you are wondering about the monks white eye! i could not finish and i can not take images home with me, so since i could not think to take a pic on my cell phone, im gonna finish it up on tues...hairbrain!


Painting is all about value...dark against light and light against dark. We study value to learn how to show the volume of an object, to show the space that is occupied by this object. We need to show where on a two dimensional plane a three dimensional object lies. I'm starting my studies again by studying the value scale. Like learning to play the piano, artists use a numerical value system to describe value. My first day I made a value strip of nine mixtures between black to white. What was most difficult was trying to match the greys. Mix black whic equals 9 and white which equals 1 together to get a value of 5. Mix the 5 with white to get a 3, mix the 5 with black to get a 7. Then take the 3 and mix with white to get a 2 and mix the 3 with 5 to get a 4. Then you mix the 7 with black to get an 8 and mix the 7 with the 5 to get a 6. Sound easy? Oh no, first you discover you did not mix enough 5 for all the mixes needed to get the other mixtures AND have enough for a decent size puddle to paint with. Then what you think looks right in your puddles don't really have enough contrast with their neighbors when painted side by side to make a strip of values from 1-9.

After that painful experience, paint three pictures using only 5 values of paint, the first study was very simple images. But you need to show differences in value to just make forms recognizable for what they are. Hard again to see differences in value. We have a trick, cut a hole In White paper and squint down and compare to your value strip. Assign values and paint.

I will have to send my image to email, save to computer and upload cause I did not try to see how to upload from phone!