Saturday, December 16, 2017

December 16, 2017

It's our last session of the year and what can be more appropriate than Susan's holiday wreath? It's not yet finished (she wants the reds to really stand out), but it definitely conveys the feeling she intended.

As for the rest of us, our thoughts turn to family this holiday season. Sara paints this lovely two color study of two of her favorite people—her husband and her granddaughter. We knew she couldn't resist painting this little sweetie for too long!

Another painting that makes you go "Awwww!" is Ellen's painting of her granddaughters. It's as soft and sweet as the subjects. The hair is just perfect, isn't it? She's captured the baby fine texture of little girl hair. Come back and see how it turns out.

No babies here but expect to see a lot of this New Orleans jazz scene. Alan sketched this intricate scene, then transferred it to sturdier paper. From here, he's tracing off smaller scenes to do studies. Once he's intimately familiar with all of the parts, he'll do a full painting on Yupo. Sit back and enjoy the journey!

Greeta is also enjoying painting people. Here we get a peek into her sketchbook at some people from the bus and a catalog.

And then, Greeta moves out of her neighborhood for this moody Chicago bridge scene. It's minimal in color, but each of the neutrals is rich and varied. The shadows and light patterns really create a mood and even the masking taped edges contribute to the feeling.

Madeleine follows the same people/architecture split as Greeta. She begins with a still life of intricately carved stone and a Yemeni doll. Okay, it's not technically a person, but the doll has a distinct personality. And we love the softly flowing fabric.

Madeleine did some thoughtful pondering before finishing her abstract building from last week. The addition of the patterned lines at the top is the perfect finishing touch!

Elaine is also combining people and architecture—sort of. This pediment of New York's Grand Central Station features Mercury and some other figures, but they obviously aren't real people. Still, it fits our recent themes. 

Isa is right on point with this house painting. The house is in Colorado and we love the elegant composition and judicious use of color. This is another one we are eager to see progress.

Bill's painting is of an outdoor shed, some trees and a faithful dog. But we're still counting it as architecture! Notice how he uses warm colors and distinct values to describe the scene. 

Bill is still on his botanic series. He's layered watercolor washes and added his houseplant in water soluble oil pastels. The colors on this are richer and warmer than in the photo.... just so you know.

Ken's picked his next series, too. And he's going botanical as well, returning to tomato plants and morning glories. But this time, he's doing them in mosaic style. We love the stylized morning glories behind the lone tomato blossom. Keep watching as he adds sky and fine tunes the elements.

Crazie is still doing extra credit work. No wonder these new students are so good. They claim to be true beginners, but each of them is incredibly good. Here, Crazie is experimenting with a solid wash for the sky. Of course, she's chosen the hardest color to get a smooth wash; blue is notorious for granulating. Also, see how she's used the right side of the page as a sacrifice sheet to test colors and brush strokes?

This is last week's class assignment for Crazie. She's added a squash and tomato to the eggplant. The composition is beautiful, as are the rich colors and expressive brushwork.

This is today's assignment. We love the richly colored and modeled fruits nestled into a stylized, almost 2D fabric. This is so very interesting!

Yi has chosen delicate fabric, neatly folded, to accent her fruits, which are almost identically colored. This high key painting has a lovely graphic quality and we applaud Yi's choice to feature the folds of the fabric at the bottom.

Yanna didn't get the message to bring fruits and fabric, so she had to make do with leftovers. Despite that, she's done an amazing job with a very difficult subject. The fabric is velvet and we can feel the plush softness as it cradles two fruits that are nearly identical in value to each other and to the fabric. This low key painting exudes warmth, softness and coziness.

We had a great class today! We saw the year out with fun paintings, happy chatter and good food. Ken brought cupcakes, Greeta make faux Turtles and her fabled kolacky—and Sara not only made peanut butter cookies, she brought watercolor books as gifts. It can't get much better than that!

We wish you and your families the happiest of holidays and a happy, healthy new year. And we look forward to seeing you in January.

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