Sunday, September 20, 2009

settling in (paint nerd-out post)

We're just getting into the flow at NYAA.

If you're currently learning how to paint, what follows might be interesting but otherwise probably not.

My prof Jean Pierre Roy knows his business. We did a 5 hour black and white still life this week in class and, as a reward for finishing last weeks homework, we were permitted to use either a second white or a second black. It's the little things.


The most important thing I learned this week was the difference between warms and cools in black and white. Of course I know there's warm white, warm blacks, but mixing out say flake white + ivory black vs titanium white + chromatic black the resulting greys look more like a brown and a blue than the same color. There are all these little bits of knowledge about paint that you just have to glean from a variety of sources so finally getting some new teachers is helping me out quickly. When you look at a painting and it just hits pops, it's mastery of all these things that makes it do that. Also, those subtleties in temperature are something that photography doesn't capture well, neither in life nor in photos of paintings and I'm always feeling these days that we need to figure out what paint can do that no other media can do. There has to be a reason we paint rather than take photos or dance or make taxidermy sculptures.

We're painting a self-portrait as homework every week as well. He said one week we'll have to paint something like 8 small self portraits, so this is looking like it'll be a bloodbath toward the end.

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