Members Minute 1/24/18



  • A critique of a pastel drawing.
  • A question on choosing background colors.

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Episode One Hundred Fifty-Two

Thanks to Maureen for sharing her work and asking her question!

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Lesson Discussion

  1. Maureen, that is a lovely picture. I love the colors. It does seem like two different pictures, though, to me. What does it to me is that it looks like two different styles: below is very bright and sharp and above is very soft in color and focus. It is very lovely, either way.

    It is funny that you ask about the background color. I have the same problem. I try to contrast, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. And harmonizing, oh what a mess!

    Thanks, Matt, for clarifying it. Well, at least trying to clarify it. My brain hasn’t totally wrapped around it, yet. LOL! I am moving from graphite to pastel pencils and the colors, although fun, are difficult for me to grasp. But, I am determined. LOL!

    Matt, do you ever look at the forum. It would be nifty if you could give short little critiques on the forum. You are probably so busy that you don’t have time, though. On almost every art work I do, I wish I could ask you a question or two. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ginny,

      I do look at the forum from time to time and I wish I had more time to answer every question and comment on every piece. The forum is designed to be a community in which users are helping each other and sharing their work. The critiques do take quite a bit of time to produce.

      • I understand. You must be horribly busy with making this site the wonderful place that it is. And I appreciate it. πŸ™‚

        Maybe you could mention the forum once in a while to let people know about it and what it is for. It would be nifty if there was more activity on it. And fearless, yet gentle, honesty in critiques. LOL! In other words, it would be nifty if we could all be like you when we critique each others works. πŸ˜‰

  2. Hi Maureen, I just wanted to say that your painting is great. I like the color selection and I also agree with Matt about the value.
    I do not paint a lot of still lifes, but monochrome painting seems to be a great exercise. I often convert photo into black and white and try to capture values. Then, if I want to paint it in color, I try to reproduce the same values. I like this method and it works in my case πŸ˜‰

    • Anna, I also convert my reference photos to black and white when I am working with them. But, for some reason it doesn’t help me. But, I think I will try what Matt did with the painting. I will scan it in to the computer and then make it black and white and maybe I can see where I need to push the values. That sounds nifty and I can’t wait to try it. πŸ™‚

  3. Hey, I do not know if it will help, but a good way form me is also to choose a color palette before I start painting. I choose pastels according to the values ​​I want to achieve in this particular painting. Then I arrange it from the darkest to the lightest one, It organizes everything πŸ˜€ When I choose my palette, I also take a photo and convert it to black and white. I am sure then that the values ​​are what I wanted them to be πŸ˜‰ I usually stick to my palette, but sometimes I also get a little crazy and I add some other colors while working, it also gives cool effects πŸ™‚

  4. Very interesting subject to critique! The pastel work on the bowl did stand out to me as good technique. And I struggled to identify what it was that did not work with the background. I have struggled to become more aware of value, and to be better able to identify it in color, and to see how warm and cool impact the effect of value (and form). This was helpful. The value information in above discussion was also interesting.

  5. Thank you so much for your spot on critique! I will work on this painting, hoping to improve it with your suggestions and concentrate on educating myself to improve value in all my work. Also appreciate the kind comments from other students.

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