I have started a new self-improvement project. I am going through the exercises in a book recommended to me by Jill Soukup called “How to See Color and Paint it” by Arthur Stern.
I started by reading the whole book. Then I set about to get all the things I needed to go through the book and do the exercises. That involved buying paints and canvas paper, constructing a little set-up box, buying a few inexpensive supplies and making some shapes. I also had to dig around in my cabinets for things to go in the still life set-ups.
I look at it like attending a workshop, only the instructor is the book and there are not any other students. I am glad I can muster the discipline to follow through with projects like these. Of course I do like to take a break and get on a mule for an afternoon, too.
Each exercise involves painting a set up in the three-sided box. In each exercise you do either 1, 2 or 3 “statements” for each painting. Statement 1 is just flat planes of color in general. Statement 2 expands on that and adds a few more areas of color within Statement 1. Statement 3 involves finding many patches of color to paint. The paintings are exercises and not “masterpieces”. Use of a palette knife instead of brushes makes it a bit more challenging, especially since my palette knives have seen better days but I didn’t want to get new ones because I basically forgot to get them when I got the student grade oil paint. Palette knife use also is there to keep me from blending the colors. Which happens anyhow, some how I just am a bit messy with the edges of things.
The very first exercise I did in this book was to make a color chart. Its a lot like the color charts that Richard Schmid has in his book, Alla Prima. But no where as complex. So I was up for that!
Below is one page from Schmid’s book: