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Life and art lessons - Part 1



As promised in last week's blogpost, I am going to share in more depth what I have learned about art (and my way of approaching life!) in the Evolve course.


The first 20 exercises were all about discerning light and dark. We worked with 4 shades of pre-mixed grey paint, with 2 greys representing values in the light and 2 representing values in the dark.


I have always enjoyed black and white photography, as it helps to bring out the character of a subject or landscape and adds a bit of mystery and interest. The images below were taken many years ago, but are still some of my favourites.


I discovered the spider's web on an early morning stroll at West Dean college. The conker was photographed on the wall outside our house.



Yet it was at first surprisingly difficult to discern which elements of the black and white photos that were provided by Evolve were in the shadows and which were in the light.


As someone who always notices details, it was a challenge to stay focussed on the big picture, but over time I learned to ask 3 basic questions: Where was the light coming from? Where were the lightest light and the darkest dark?


To be honest, if we did not have to show each finished exercise to an instructor before the next video and exercise were released, there would have been a few exercises that I would have skipped as the objects and/or compositions did not appeal to me. It took a while to figure out that the best way to overcome boredom and lack of motivation was to focus on skills development. With each exercise, I asked myself what skills I could improve on or practice.


I had always heard that paintings work when the overall value structure is correct, and I had a chance to check this out in this section - I still like the last painting done in the first block. Compared with the pumpkins I painted towards the end of the course, the result is softer and very simplified, but it is still possible to clearly distinguish between the pumpkin and the tablecloth.




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