Lost Time...

2:50 PM

So my painting class continues...Two Fridays have passed since I've updated this blog (oops) and that means I've had two more art classes, both of which involved the same live model as the first class but officially using paint and canvas now. Interestingly, I found it much easier to draw with my paintbrush, rather than sketch on a pad. Having previously used acrylics, I was really nervous about using oils - it's a whole different game. I had to get a new palette, new paints, palette cups, new brushes, odorless mineral spirits, stand oil, a certain brand of paper towels (Viva)...

I found all of it online (dickblick.com) and it all showed up just in time for my second class. Which was timely because when you only have 10 weeks to soak up as much information and experience as you can, you need to hit the ground running. 

There are many different schools of painting, I'm figuring out. Those who favor colorful palettes, those who prefer a very limited palette, those who underpaint with grisaille, those who don't....new terminology, new ways to think about painting. And in my particular class, we are learning to paint using a limited palette in a grisaille.What the heck is grisaille? It's method of painting in grey monochrome, although you can do it in a different shade, like burnt umber or burnt sienna. The point is, you're building a frame using one color and focusing on the changes in values or shadows. The Old Masters painted this way.

We start out with a canvas we painted grey for a neutral base, then we begin to block in the painting. No curved lines. Once the basic shapes and proportions are correct, it's time to get more accurate.  Start shaping the lines...then really focus on nailing the shadow lines. The shadow basically gives shape to your painting. Then, you work on half-tones, those areas that are not brightly lit, nor dark shadows. Then you move up on the light spectrum, as though you're sculpting a figure out of terra cotta on your canvas. I'd like to say it's easy, but it's not. 

Sometimes you think you've got it and the teacher walks over and says, "unh-uh. the head is way to the right." That's when the Viva paper towels come in handy because they serve as an eraser with oil paint! That was a glorious discovery for me. You can undo things as you go along!!!! Since oils dry so slowly, you have several days, even! Amazing.

So last Friday was our final session with this particular pose.  This was good news to our model who gets arm and back cramps from sitting this way for 4 hours. Yes, she gets breaks every 25 minutes, but still. It can be rough on her. I was not real thrilled with my progress Friday night as we left class. I didn't feel I had a good capture of the shadows and lights and truthfully, didn't feel like I was SEEING the movement of light like I should have been. Grr. I was not happy. 

Fortunately, Brooklyn had her Saturday morning art class at the Arts Center where my painting classes take place Friday nights, so I hauled my stuff up and worked in the empty studio by myself for an hour and a half while Brooklyn did her own art!  Made some slight modifications, but was definitely happier with her. 

Here is what Brooklyn was doing in her class - watercolors! 

And when we got home, it turned into an extended art time for all of us!
As I've said before, creativity is something that is very important for us as a family. It's something that I've begun to realize is critical for me and Kyle, individually, and has become something very special for our children.  I could not be happier about this.

The table exploding with artists and their supplies. 

Brooklyn continued with her theme of watercolors.

And this little guy...what can I say? He gets cuter and more precious every day. Exploding with personality, beginning to really talk, hilarious, goofy...the light of my life. My life is very brightly lit.

He loved this watermelon. And every other one we have eaten in the last few weeks. And that has been QUITE a few...

They make very nice, Dorien-sized seats.

Oh yes, he now opens the fridge on his own and just starts pawing through things, poking holes in saran wrap, trying to pry lids off, check the eggs, nibble the fruit...the fridge is a place of non-stop excitement for Dorien.

He's also graduated to eating his OWN corn on the cob. No longer do I just buy 4 ears and let him nibble off mine. Ha! The boy is a corn-hog! He now gets his own and insists on eating it all himself. What's amusing is he's not good at rotating the cob and will practically chew through to the other side of the cob if you don't trick him into looking away from the cob and then quickly rotating it for him.

Another form of creative time for the kids - good ole' stacking blocks. All shapes sizes and varieties and hours of entertainment.

August may have a little of his Dad's architectural proclivities...he gets really intense and then comes up with some impressive buildings. Or guns. Or ships. Or airplanes.

Our itty-bitty July 4th celebration. Illegal sparklers on our back deck with DD and Ran-Dad. 

Brooklyn and August marveled at them with equal parts fear and pure joy. 

Sweet Baby D!

See his little dimple? 

Momma, I need you to hold me now...

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  1. Awwww, such cute photos! I can tell it must be hot with those shirtless kiddos. So fun that you can share an indoor creative hobby during these hot months. Miss you!