Monday, November 14, 2011

Calesthenics for Painters

Painting Calesthenics!

Even after my 'you can do it, don't hold back!' painting pep talks I watched folks freeze up when they approached the canvas and I didn't know what to do to help.  Nothing worse for an instructor than not to know how to get something across.  Then, one morning at 4 AM (because that seems to be when my head feels we should be thinking rather than sleeping) I had an idea.  Why not give out something that's not considered precious and see what they do? 

Magic is what they do.  Needing little encouragement they let it fly all over the newspaper and, when they had filled a sheet, tore it off without a thought and did some more.  First we doodled, then we doodled some more.  Finally we did silhouettes and moved to rendering.  They begin like this:

This is just burnt sienna and solvent.  When that is blocked in we add white to create form as fast and easy as possible.  Here are a few examples of work to give you an idea.  (Why didn't I think of this before...)

The darker portions and around this last one are Indigo mixed with the Sienna just to make darks.  Give it a try.  Great warmup exercise to free up your arm and your head.

You say you don't paint?  Isn't it about time you did?


  1. What a great idea! I can tell the class had fun. Thanks for posting these. I am passing this on to friends.

  2. Great idea. I'll give it a try!


  3. Great idea Darrell! Nothing worse than a big white square staring you in the face for performance anxiety!

  4. Great idea Darrell. Thanks for posting it.


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