Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ala Prima Still Life - from class

This morning I took a vacation day from work and took a class with Marilyn Dale, the woman from whom I have learned so much. This was the first of three classes. This one was 'Working Ala Prima' - which means, essentially, the whole painting is done in one session. Detail isn't as important as seeing and reproducing the relative values of light and dark. The painting I did is below:

When one works 'Ala Prima', or at least if one works as we were taught today, the painting starts by toning the canvas. We used a Burnt Umber acrylic, thinned way down with water, so it would dry quickly. Once the canvas dried, we took a thin brush and a neutral oil color, thinned with Turpenoid and made an outline drawing of the piece. When working Ala Prima, it is very important to draw well. I need to do more of these to kind of figure a few things out, but I DO know that if I were working as I normally do (layered painting) this painting would look much different than it does. Better? I don't know. But absolutely different.


Sandy C. said...

All of that in 1 session? I can't imagine how much of a challenge that was. I'm so glad you took a day off to do this. I love the colors and the brick/tile surface. That alone looks like it would have taken quite some time to accomplish.

LceeL said...

Sandy: I had a great time with this. It's the frist time I've ever tried it - it won't be the last. All in all, it took about two hours. It is a 9x12 canvas, but it wouldn't have taken much longer if I had gone to an 11x14.

moneythoughts said...

Nice work Lou. The piece is nice, loose and spontaneous. You should like that. It is certainly a great start. I know you will do more. Completing a painting in one sitting is a nice feeling. There is a woman around the corner from where I live that does a 6x6 every day, and you should see how well she works.

Again, I like your style and colors too.


redchair said...

Hi Lou-
I think this is great fun. (and what a wonderful series of classes you’re taking!) The colors are bold and the entire canvas is full of energy. You’ve created depth on the counter’s edge and I like the rich blue shadows and the rose tones reflected into the crème pitcher.

The wonderful thing about painting, is that every painting is different, and should be. That’s what this class is about. You don’t need to push every thing you do to a fine detailed finish. The old ‘less is more’ adage can be the best answer and sometimes the key to the success for a specific paintings.

This is a wonderful light and airy little piece. And as stated- it’s fun- and it's done.

LceeL said...

moneythoughts: It was great fun - and I learned so much. I'm beginning to think that maybe this is what I should really be doing - ala prima - at least at the beginning of my 'career'. Next week will be a 'plein air' landscape, also ala prima.

redchair: Vikki, between you and Fred I've gotten the kind of feedback I really value. Both of you are accomplished artists and I really like your work. To have both of you say nice things about what I've done is very encouraging. Not that I don't value the other opinions expressed, because I DO, but you two are ARTISTS.

Lady Language said...

Wow! It's good to try new things and you did a great job. I am insanely jealous that I cannot take a day off to paint :-( It seems the preparation takes so much longer than grabbing a pencil and sketchbook these days :-)

redchair said...

Hey you! We want some more new art!
Get the lead out! Get those paint brushes wet!


Theresa said...

I love this. It makes me think of Van Gogh's chairs for some reason.

Jennifer said...

wow. one session and this is the beautiful peice you have created???

you are the man!! :)

this is great. i love the colors and the shading and light.. i know that was the whole point of this project...

you nailed it in my opinion!! wow. i'm envious. I wish i had some of your talent... can you share??? ;)

great job!!!


Catatonic Kid said...

Lovely work. I like the light in this one. It has touches of Cezanne - that impressionistic quality. Colour me impressed.