In depth has started and we are already two weeks in. This means that I have been to two painting classes with my mentor. I really enjoyed the class and I feel like I’m learning a lot. I was nervous for the first class because I didn’t know what to expect but I ended up having a good time. Since painting is so new to me I have been learning so much, even beyond what my teacher is telling us.
My first lesson was on January 16th on Monday night. The first thing we did during that class was talk about colors. Color mixing is a huge part of painting that I had never thought about before. I know that red and blue make purple, what else could there be? The thing is there isn’t just one type of red or one type of blue, and there’s a bunch of tones of purple. I hadn’t thought about how hard it is to make the exact shade and color you want. So in class we started making color wheels that show the primary colors. It included the warm and a cool tone of each color. The placement of the color on the wheel is a guide to which tones to mix. If you mix the color with a color right beside it the result will be the best, it will make a bright color. If you mix a color with one on the other side of the wheel the result is a darker, more muddy color. Then we started to explore with mixing the colors to make secondary colors. We mixed different combinations of the warm and cool colors to see what they looked like. My teacher also told me she prefers not to use a lot of black because it makes paintings too dark. For the rest of the class we tried to replicate famous painting. We got to pick an image to copy from. My teacher told us that imitating the brush strokes and the colors used by another artist can be beneficial. Since there is no criteria for painting, studying from the masters is one of the best ways to learn.
I went to my second lesson on January 23rd. This time we started off by exploring blending. We experimented with different ways of blending by making gradients from black to white. I tried all kinds of brush strokes in different directions. I even tried one gradient without using white paint. The teacher suggested this because while painting it is possible to use the white background of your painting to lighten colors. The next thing we did in class was start painting butterflies. We are going to be creating paintings of butterflies on big canvases. We started off this project by drawing compositions on paper, the idea was to figure out what you wanted your painting to look like. Painting butterflies gives you a lot of freedom because it can be as realistic or as abstract as you want. We looked at painting of butterflies our teacher had done and looked at a bunch of kinds of butterflies, then we got started. I found some of the paintings my mentor had done fascinating, she sometimes added abstract elements to her butterflies. I created a composition and then drew it onto my canvas and started painting. I didn’t get very far with the painting but we will be picking the project up again later.
The first three habits of how to have beautiful mind
I have been able to agree with my mentor a couple of time over the past few weeks. We agreed on the way we could meet that would work best for both of us. After talking over email I agreed with my mentor that there would be enough time for me to ask questions and discuss my project in class. At first I talked about meeting outside of class if we needed to, but my mentor told me there would be lots of time in class. I knew that she understood better than me what the class would be like and so I agreed with her. On the other hand disagreeing has been more difficult. It’s been kind of hard to disagree with my mentor since she knows exactly what see is doing since she runs the class. I am not afraid to disagree but she is a professional and up to this point I have not seen any reasons to disagree. I have not run in to any differences while talking to my mentor yet. I can see a possible difference arising in the future because my mentor’s style of painting is quite different from the types of paintings I would like to create. This is because we have different personal experiences in life and with painting. I don’t think this will be a problem in the future because I know me and my mentor will both be able to compromise. So far in class I have been happy to explore different styles of paintings.
At this point in the project I have gotten more familiar with what the project will be like and what the classes are like. I am now able to set some more short term objectives. One is to ask more question in class. I am going to prepare a few question ahead of time, so it is easier to ask them in class. I would also like to get supplies and start painting at home. This will help me create more paintings and give me freedom to paint what I want. I am excited to apply the skills I learn in class to my creativity at home.