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In my art 1 class we do a project with a simple still life.
Have them draw banana's, oranges (peeled with a curl), apples, lemons.
Individual drawings big enough to go onto an 8x10" newsprint, that is one
banana, one orange etc. Draw a background line and one vertical line going
from the top of the subject to the top of the format. Tansfer the sketches
to a cheap chipboard or other hard painting surface.
Next have them look at the sections of their drawing, let's say the orange.
The outside is darker orange than the inside sections and the pulp around
that. Each one of the areas will be painted blue but different values of
blue. Add white to the blue to change values so that the base color resembles
the values of the areas to be painted.
With a small pointed brush, and a palette, mix some orange with white, pure
orange, orange with some blue mixed, and one with more blue, and one that's
Lastly using the small pointed brush use dots of color (orange with white) in
the high lighted area of the orange and in the lighter sections of the inside
of the orange. The dots should cover the base, but not completely so that
some of the blue shows through. The blue intensifies the orange and it
becomes alive and vibrant.
Continue to paint with full dots of colors that get duller and darker to show
how the light hits the forms. Overlap the dots so that there is a slow but
definite change in color and value. This will use basic form ideas, intensity
changes, pointillism, color mixing, and so on.
This seems difficult to read but its not hard and the kids love it because
the results are great. Many have made Mom's kitchen walls.
When you study Seurat you can see how he used the complimentary pairs to show
shadows and form. I think it's a great tie in to the Impressionists.
San Jose CA
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