This week I am very excited to focus on cubism. Pablo Picasso was one of the founders of this movement, which placed art within the confines of geometric shapes, two dimensional space and multiple viewpoints. Here is a lovely essay on this style, if you care to learn more!
This week, the work which is our launching point is Sylvette by Picasso. A lovely portrait painted with lots of shapes, colors and limited detail, so that we are forced to focus on the things that are important to consider. Keeping that in mind, this week’s challenge is to:
Complete a modern portrait of something inspirational to you while paying homage to cubism.
I chose to do a painting of a female with lots of colors and shapes. The shapes in my artwork were placed to enhance facial features and give more interest to the picture as a whole. Also, as I was completing the work, I started thinking about how symmetry is often related to beauty. Hence, I offset some of the facial features to see if my perception would change. What do you think? Is the woman in the painting beautiful still, or does the misalignment of things take away from her appeal?
I look forward to seeing what you come up with! If you are new to this challenge, you can visit this page for more details. Also, don’t forget to tag your work with #whatsnextwed, so that everyone can see what you’ve done.
Special thanks to talented artist Holly Sharpe for giving me some inspiration in modernizing this piece. You can visit her lovely work here.
Welcome to our newest installment of What’s Next Wednesday! This week’s challenge is:
Recreate your own version of The Scream by Edvard Munch, but add a modern element!
Don’t forget to post your work at #whatsnextwed for all to see! I had a blast with this piece, although I came to realize that I am much better at recreating three dimensional subjects than two dimensional ones! It was also a new experience for me to recreate, with watercolors, some of the painterly details that were originally rendered in paints/pastels. So here is my version:
As you can see, I added headphones, which gave the expression a whole new context. I will let you interpret the context as you wish. I also took to heart that the clouds were originally linked to blood in Munch’s painting. This inspired me to really “go for it” when adding the red in the sky and to let the colors flow as they wanted to, much like blood might flow across the sky if it could. Hope you have fun playing with this piece this week!
Have you even wondered about your favorite artists and what they might have forgotten, left out, or failed to create because they lived in their particular era? In other words, they created what they did and now….what’s next? This is the inspiration behind our new weekly art blogging event “What’s Next Wednesday.” Each week on, you guessed it, Wednesday, we will post a new prompt which asks you to expand on something a well known artist has already done. The goal is for you to channel the spirit of the original artist and then add your own spin! You can find all the details here along with a few simple rules to keep you from going all willy nilly on us. No worries, your creativity will still be able to flow freely.
To get the thought process flowing, here is a reinterpretation of Van Gogh’s famous piece Starry Night.
Perhaps this is how Van Gogh would have completed the work, had he enjoyed the use of digital equipment? Maybe this is Starry Night over a desert instead and there was a cactus in the foreground. In any case, the spirit of Van Gogh remains, but a new identity has been achieved. So, dream about stars, computers and cacti tonight, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the very first installment of “What’s Next Wednesday!”
I recently discovered a true literary treasure while waiting for my order to be filled at a local print shop. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a great little book about artistic development and the right to “steal art.” Now don’t go getting excited about walking out of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa! The book talks about copying inspiring works and, through that process, understanding the perspective of the artists that you are emulating (the latter being the most important piece of the process). As a result of that, and that again, and that again, a personal perspective can flourish. There are also many other thoughtful gems in this book … but I will leave that for your to discover. Check it out (and visit www.austinkleon.com for even more fun stuff).
I visited a really cool art store (PLA-ZA) while I was recently in Nashville, and one of the things they had was watercolor markers. I have become somewhat familiar with watercolor pencils, but had not seen or tried markers. I was totally giddy! I decided to buy one to play around with (a Winsor & Newton in sepia), and here is a butterfly I just quickly scribbled out with it. The pen was very smooth, and I was able to draw almost brushlike strokes and fine lines using both sides of the marker. It also goes on a bit darker with the brushtip, so you can achieve some color variation! I will have to get more colors and see where they take me!