The Animate Inanimate: Happy Trees and Identity-Laced Still Lives

Painting Homework Due 02/01/17

For next Wednesday, February 2, thy tasks are three. Go forth and conquer!


happy_treeComplete the painting exercise we began in class by adding two additional layers of paint to each of the three trees on your paper. The goal is to build up form and value one layer at a time. Use the tree photo you were given to guide the placement of your brushstrokes.

Also, check that each layer is dry before adding another. You don’t have to make thick strokes, but use enough paint to cover the color below.  The mix we created was mars black and transparent yellow.

The order of operations for each tree is as follows:

  • light to dark tree goes light–>medium–>dark
  • middle out tree goes medium–>light OR dark–>dark OR light
  • dark to light tree goes dark–>medium–>light.



writingDefine the terms listed below in your creativity journal. If you can’t remember one of them, feel free to do that thing I always say to do. You know that thing….

Make sure that even if you look up definitions, you write in your own words. Don’t forget to bring your journal to class next week so you can get credit for the assignment. That should be easy, since you bring your journal to every class, right? 😀

  1. alla prima
  2. acrylic paint
  3. pigment
  4. binder
  5. dye (noun)
  6. ferrule
  7. belly (of a brush)
  8. still life



who_am_iGather materials for Project 1. We will be talking about Project 1 in detail next week. Spoiler alert: it’s a still life project… with a twist! You will set up and paint a still life that also acts as a self-portrait. Whhhhhaaaaattt?

Yup! And the first step is to gather items that say something about you. There are a two ways you can approach this.

  1. Select items that are important to you. For example, you might choose collectables with sentimental value or that remind you of people or events.
  2. Pick objects that may or may not be important in and of themselves but that together can create a statement about you and/or your state of mind. This is the more challenging route to take, but it is also potentially more exciting. An example: I once painted a still life from assortment of random, non-precious items: a rusted tin can, a wine-colored glass marble, a frayed length of leather cord, etc. Arranged together, the somber colors and odd juxtapositions created mood that perfectly aligned with the sense of uncertainty I was feeling at the time.

You should come to class next week with a minimum of 6–10 potential still life items that meet one or both of the above criteria. You also need a cardboard box that is at least 16″ x 12″ x 10″ in which you are willing to cut a hole. If you don’t have a box at home, you can often get one for free at a grocery store or other retailer.

See You Next Week!



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