Watercolor homework

Two pears 11-04-09 1

Two pears

I started working with an artist and teacher from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am trying to introduce some sense of direction to my drawing and painting explorations. My teacher works with numerous media, but her monumental pen and ink works as well as her watercolors are particularly noteworthy. I am not taking formal classes in the Art Institute, this is too structured for me. Instead I work with Kaye in her studio where the class is very small and takes more of an open studio format. There are about half a dozen of us, all working in different media as it happens. I am the only watercolor student.

This is my first homework. The subject is inspired by wonderfully talented Jacqueline Gnott of Contemporary Realism. Initially I wanted this little painting to have some kind of a background, some painterly washes in complementary colors and so spent significant time mixing colors and making swatches in class yesterday. In the end my teacher made a suggestion that the subject is perfect and complete in its current form and only needs shadows to settle, the minimalist “incomplete” look just works. I agree.

Oh, and we ate one of the model pears for breakfast today!

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17 thoughts on “Watercolor homework

  1. Great colorization and control of the media; the contract/depth control is very well done as well. The texturing is very nice, suggesting the roughness of the fruit skin. The only oddity is the stem in the foreground; at first look, it seemed the nipple faced full-front to the foreground while the stem stuck out from the side. This criticism is irrelevant; the true task is control of a very sensitive and unforgiving media and you succeeded admirably, in coloring, highlighting, texturing, and contrasting. Good for you.

  2. WOW, Alex this is great! Not perfect, but very good. As Mikey says, the colors are very true. The sideways pear is a bit misshaped, but not at all bad for a first try.

    I also looked at some previous ones: your Husbands book is being published! that is WONDERFUL, and with your Art on it, EVEN BETTER. I am so proud of you, Alex and so happy for both of you. Keep up the good work.

  3. Well Alex, you probably know by now that I am a huge fan of minimalist backgrounds. Your teacher is a wise woman – the pears stand well on their own.

    A fabulous, tasty little treat for the senses. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a pear in the grocery store that wasn’t a bit crooked. Art is what YOU see, not what necessarily is. I see beauty in your pears.

    ~ christy

    • Thanks for finding the time to stop by and comment, Christy. I’ve been thinking of you lately because I am considering putting an order for some tube watercolors – Daniel Smith. My instructor let me try hers, and even gave me some indigo to take home, and I am so convinced! The colors are amazing, I cannot get anything even close from my Cotman pans.

    • Jana, thank you so much! I know we are not working for approval, and yet approval still means something, and approval coming from an artist whose work I aspire to, like yourself, means so much more! Thank you for stopping by!

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