Thursday, 13 March 2014

Study of Glass and Light

It was with great trepidation that I approached the portion of my acrylics class that required us to practice painting still life. Partly because I never cared for representational art nor understood the point of most still life paintings. The other reason was, I thought I would make a horrible mess of it.
At school my drawings and paintings never looked much like the object I was trying to depict, it seems to be me that to the layman, a picture  is 'good' because they can recognize within the work the object that is being represented. While I have never subscribed to this idea myself, there is still the awareness that, if you are trying to master painting, painting from life is an important exercise, even if you don't intend to continue in that vein and branch off into a more abstract or conceptual direction.
Therefore I approached the exercise with an open mind as best I could. It was very difficult, and I was not impressed with the result. But I did learn a huge amount about composition, light and color.  At some point I realized that you have just stop looking at what you are trying to paint and work with the canvas/surface making decisions that will convince the viewer of the object/s although it may not be directly, visually accurate.

That painting I created showed me where I had gone wrong and where to focus in the next class. So I chose in the next class to paint a group of glass jars - in the previous still life there was a glass jar that didn't work and looked more like a tin can.
Here is the result. Not perfect but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. It was much tougher than I thought it would be.

Again, perfect it is not. For example the jar on the far right was poorly done, the size is too squat and the mouth is not well defined, the bottle in the middle is asymmetrical and the base on the far left one is a mess, lacking depth and with too much heavy colour. BUT I do love the lettering on the far right jar and I like the base of the central bottle. Also think the shadowing works ok and the mouth of the jar on the far right isn't bad.  Now I can understand why Giorgio Morandi spent so much time painting vessels...