Moving on from our second unit on pastels, our third unit explored the world of painting. To begin with, our class was provided a planning sheet, in which we were supposed to record all of our findings as we researched possible inspirations. However, we were constrained to only two themes; still life, or landscape paintings. Out of these two, I chose to base my final composition as a still life painting. Once I chose my theme, I then began to investigate different still life paintings, until I came across a Russian painter named “Kazmir Malevich”, whom in my opinion, stood out the most. I was especially intrigued by how he used strong, bold outlines to define the shapes of his fruits in his painting.
This was because the outlines drew attention to the fruits and made the colours stand out more. Then I started to look into the possible candidates for my composition. Coincidently, I came across a photo-realistic painting of an egg, which later on inspired me to make that as my final composition. Vic Vicini’s works mostly revolve around realistic foods, which in my case is a little far-fetched, because my style of painting is more expressive and colourful. However, I researched more about how Vicini uses shines, and wet-on-wet blending to paint the yolk, since I believed it would help me create a more interesting piece if I incorporate a bit of expressionism, and a bit of realism. Through my practice works, I discovered several things. For instance, I found out that orange yolks compliment the outline better, since blue and orange are complimentary colours. Also, the highlights on the yolk should be done after it dries, instead of wet and wet (creates a more shinier effect).
While I progressed through my painting, I encountered several problems that slowed done my process. These include the egg white, the outlining, and blending. In my opinion, the egg white was a challenging part to paint since there were many shines/highlights that reflected of the white in the photograph I based my composition on. So at first I separated the white into two parts; the whiter-white with the yolk spilling a little into it, and the shinier, crunched white. This established the different textures I would apply on each part. For the first white, I used a mix of blue, green, and white on the ratio of 1:1:4, however, the white turned into a dirty gray. For the other white, I tried applying a bunch of spots to create a crunchy effect, however, this too created a filthy look which I disliked, so then I repainted the whites entirely to start over. Then this time I decided to use the complimentary colour scheme and used yellowish colour for the first white, and a light purple for the second half to make a contrast. I then added the spots again, but this time, I made sure to smudge/blur some to make an impression that the highlights trail long the entire length of the white. Also the blending came as a minor problem. Unlike other medias, paints are harder to blend with one another after it dries. Therefore, when I need to add a extra colour, it creates a huge contrast.
Although I had a simple composition, I believe there are many places I could really improve on. For instance, toasted bread was challenging to paint. At first I attempted to expressed the crunchiness of the toast by added some spots on to them, however, I’m afraid that by adding too many spots I’ve denatured the balance it had with the spotted egg white. I also believe that my egg white could have been better because it doesn’t really express the highlights and crunchiness of the white. However, I’m genuinely proud of my yolk, which turned out to be better than I expected. That is probably because I had enough paint on my brush and I used contoured lines to form the shape. The blue outlines are also part of my pride. Taking inspiration from Malevich, I used them effectively to bring a twist to my painting. Strangely, I feel that because of the blue outlines, the piece is actually more balanced than if I had painted without it. Also I use different shades of blue for the outlines to bring different impression and attention to certain parts. Ironically, I learned that for some parts, its better to use orange straight out of the bottle for a brighter effect. This applies to the yolk, and to bits of the crunchy sidelines of the egg white. If I compare this to the piece I did for a painting unit in seventh grade, I can really see the improvement I’ve made on the gradation, wet-on-wet blending, textures, colours, and etc.
For further artistic improvement I believe more research is necessary. This is due to the fact that I spent more time focusing on perfecting the yolk and outlines (things which I’ve already practiced), instead of researching more on minor things such as the highlights, toast, and many more. Next time, I should also keep in mind of the thickness, and how it can create different impressions (i.e. The outline). Daily practice is also necessary to improve. However, as painting takes much preparation, materials, and space, it is difficult to carry on practicing painting techniques. Therefore, to resolve this problem I suggest that I watch tutorials to refresh my mind, go after school to the art room to paint sometimes, and even try painting online. That way, the next time I have a painting unit, I can come more prepared and skillful than I was before.