Painting Skills Lab
Painting Skills Lab
Explore composition while painting a flower. For this exercise, find a photo of a flower and paint a close-up view. Look at the negative space around the flower. Negative space is the areas around and between the main subject. When drawing the outline of the flower, leave as little negative space as you can. When you paint a close-up view, you need to pay attention to all fine details. Examine the shape of each petal. How does the light fall on each petal? Is the petal really all one color or is it made up of shades of the same color?
Bright, colorful and highly appealing, the six-volume hands-on “Art Skills Lab” series encourages readers to unleash their creativity and try a variety of visual art media. Each title explains the elements of design (line, shape, texture, pattern and composition) as they pertain to the featured art form and profiles famous artists and their works as examples. Topics also include a brief history of the specific art form, the color wheel (warm versus cool colors, complementary colors, and tints and shades), materials and techniques. There are step-by-step instructions for 11 hands-on activities in each title as well as text boxes with additional information, tips, and ideas for extending the creative process. The authors encourage readers to examine works of art and to bring that awareness to their own creations. For the home artist, the projects require an initial outlay of money for supplies, especially for items such as watercolor paint, brushes, cheesecloth, brayers, etc., but many of the supplies can be purchased for little cost at dollar stores. Teachers would find this series useful as teaching tools for art lessons in the classroom. Abundant color photographs, not only accompany each of the steps in a project, but also showcase real life works of art. A table of contents, a glossary, an index and a list of books and web sites for more ideas and copyright-free images are included.
The color wheel and elements of composition are employed in the various projects featured in Painting Skills Lab. Many of the projects are based on the works of famous artists. For example, painting a close-up view of a sunflower is reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s tightly framed flower subjects while applying thick paint mixed with modeling paste to create texture in a still life painting evokes the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Monochromatic painting with shades and tints, pointillism, painting with utensils and sponges rather than brushes, graffiti and plein air painting are some of the other ideas in this title.
Interesting, educational and fun, the “Art Skills Lab” series is well worthy of purchase.
Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.