A trip to Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 N. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212) inspired my new still life painting project. The Studio in Art students completed the course with these epic 16″ x 20″ acrylic paintings.
I have paired them here with their inspiration photograph. Students selected the picture then began with the contour line drawing. These were transferred to canvas with the magical help of graphite paper, placed onto gessoed and burnt sienna-stained canvas panels.
My main educational tip – begin with white in your mixing tray. Add raw sienna and whatever main color to the mix (blue, yellow, etc). This will insure that you don’t make too much of a color by starting too dark and adding crap-loads of white, lol. The other thing to keep in mind is to not homogenize the mixture so that you can utilize dark and light variations of the color while painting with one brush.
I am an advocate for students developing and maintaining their own styles as artists. We looked at the work of Alice Neel and Janet Fish. Some students went with the black outlines à la Neel. And Fish’s representation of glass was helpful to their decision making.
They took the paintings home today, but their images are on display in the counseling offices and will remain there throughout the summer months. I made 8″ x 10″ color copies of the paintings, mounted them to black construction paper and placed them in frames. I love this new gallery space!
I feel incredibly blessed to have shared this artistic adventure with these very talented fourteen-year-olds. Studio in Art is an accelerated high school level class that I teach to 8th graders at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.