LESSON PLANS SUMMER 2022 (1st half) Lesson 2: Continuing the still-life.
The challenges of this lesson are in asking my students to feel happy about working loosely to begin with, in understanding that as they work through the painting it will gradually come into focus - negotiating a way through the painting until it becomes what they'd like it to be.
Summer term, 1st half 2022. Lesson 2 – Still-life continued.
Using various media to work loosely - gradually bringing the still life into focus.
· Set your objects (your subject) in front of you in a pleasing arrangement.
· Remember that your composition depends not just on how the objects sit next to each other but also where they sit within the boundaries of your page.
· Decide on the medium you’d like to use first – one which covers your paper efficiently, and loosely mark your main shapes (these can include in-between spaces too – thinking back to last lesson’s exercise).
· Your work today will be very loose and abstract to start with but with each new layer and medium will gradually bring your work into focus. Don’t panic in the early stages – just try things out!
· For my examples I worked on very ordinary cartridge paper which will buckle with watercolour, but I didn’t mind.
· My next layer I negotiated a few simple lines with charcoal and for layer three I use some white emulsion paint to find my highlights.
· For layer four I took two soft pastels, a blue and a cream colour, and used them on their sides in order to create blocks of shape which I then smudged in places with a dry brush.
· I’m always taking my visual information directly from my subject…remembering the motto ‘tone is more important than colour’.
· Layer five was done with a thin blue ink, reaffirming the earlier blue pastel, and for layer six I used a much stronger ink for darker areas and some line on the surface of the table.
· What you can see is that my subject became increasingly focused as I worked my way through, and that I could continue with yet more layers to further focus the painting. If I need to lighten any areas I can use either white paint or white pastel to override previous statements – renegotiation!
Next lesson: One more session with still life and this time we’re looking at the very (seemingly) simple watercolour still-lifes of Giorgio Morandi. We’ll be using watercolour. You’ll need watercolour paper and brushes. If you need any advice about equipment, feel free to ask. I have some watercolours which can be used in class. If you don’t want to work in watercolour you’re welcome to choose another medium but make sure you bring what you’ll need