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Shai
05-21-2003, 10:13 PM
Hi. I don't post in this forum regularly, but I'm hoping to change that. :)

Although I've been experimenting with abstract work since I started painting, I've never really studied it until about a year ago. Even then, I never took lessons or classes... mostly just reading and looking at abstract art.

A couple of months ago, I signed up for an abstract class with a local painting group I joined when I first arrived here in Australia. I thought I'll share the pieces and some short class notes for your input, if you like.

There has been about 6 classes so far and 5 projects.

Lesson One: Painting from Shapes

For the first class, we were asked to bring magazines/newspapers and any art materials we like to use. Then, we were asked to draw shapes (positive or negative) from the images we can find in the magazines/newspapers.

After drawing the shapes, we were told to paint the shapes with as many or as few colours as we like. We can block out other shapes. And, the suggestion was to paint from dark colours to light colours.

My first project turned out to be this one:

http://www.shaicoggins.com/paintings/homebuilding_med_acr.jpg

Title: Home Building
Medium: Acrylics on Canvas Panel
Size: 12x16 inches
Status: SOLD

The first class was quite funny in some ways because I was seated next to two ladies who just HATED what we were doing. They kept saying things like, "We just want to paint normally, you know?", "It's like we're back in kindergarten!", and so on. It was quite distracting because I was actually interested with what was going on. :)

Anyway, I managed to do part of the project in class (2 hours) and finished the rest at home in my small studio.

Shai
05-21-2003, 10:15 PM
Ooops... I actually wanted to see if I could attach that image to the post. I'll try again...

Shai
05-21-2003, 10:24 PM
Lesson Two: Draw Your Hands In One Colour

In this lesson, we were asked to use our hands in however way we choose as a subject to paint in abstract form. We can add vertical or horizontal lines in order to make the hands NOT look like hands. One rule we must follow, though, was to paint in only ONE colour using different tones to vary the shapes, etc.

Oh, and this time, I ended up seating next to someone who is at least interested with the project and did not complain... :D

Anyway, my project is:

Title: Green Fingers
Medium: Acrylics on Gallery Wrap Stretched Canvas
Size: 8 x 10 inches
Status: Still with me, considering painting over it. :o

Shai
05-21-2003, 10:36 PM
Lesson 3: Painting Fallen Leaves

It's fall right now in this part of the world (almost winter), so we have lots of nice, colourful leaves around. For this lesson, our tutor gave each of us a dead leaf. He said likes the curly ones the most.

As soon as each of us had our own leaf, he asked us to draw the different shapes of the leaf in various viewpoints. Once we were done, he told us to draw two lines across our drawing (horizontally), in whatever position we felt was good for the composition. Then, we were asked to draw six lines vertically. Again, at any point we felt was best.

We were allowed to paint in as many or as few colours as we wished, but he emphasised on the importance of using tones. We were also allowed to block out shapes while we painted.

My project is -

Title: Autumn Spirit
Medium: Acrylics on Canvas Panel
Size: 8 x 10 inches
Status: SOLD

I quite liked the end result of this one. I even tried a second partner painting called Winter Spirit, but I didn't like it as much. I was considering doing the four seasons, but I decided to put the idea on hold for now.

Shai
05-21-2003, 10:51 PM
Lesson Four: Cut-Out Shapes and Telephone Numbers

I believe this lesson took two 2-hour sessions to complete. I was there during the first session but was not able to make it in class for the next session.

For this one, we were asked to bring different items from home (due to some confusion, I did not, so I had to draw from anything I found in the classroom - including bags, shoes, baskets, toolbox handles, etc.). Then, we were asked to draw five different shapes from the items. The shapes must have no name (i.e. a circle, oblong, square, etc.).

After we finished drawing our shapes, we were asked to cut them out. On one side of each of the shape, we were to write the numbers 1 to 5 in whatever order we choose. Then, we turned the other side of the shapes to write the numbers 6 to 0.

Our teacher then gave each of us half a telphone book page. He said, starting from the first telephone number we see on the page, we must work our way down by drawing the corresponding shape with the corresponding numbers (e.g. with Tel. No. 7764532, we must get the shapes with the numbers and draw each one on our paper/canvas) until we fill up our ground. We can overlap or just let the shapes touch each other.

After we filled up our space, we can start painting accordingly.

I brought a relatively big canvas (I'm used to working small) so it took me some time to finish this project. I spent a few more hours on it when I got home and it became my first biggest abstract work. And, I think it's one of my favourite abstract pieces to date for some reason.

Anyway, the project is -

Title: Verve
Medium: Acrylics on Gallery-wrap Stretched Canvas
Size: 16 x 20 inches
Status: Currently on sale on eBay

Shai
05-21-2003, 10:57 PM
OK, I think this is it from me for now. I was planning on posting Lesson 5 as well but I ran out of time. I've got to go for now. Hopefully, I'll be able to post Lesson 5 next time, as well as the other lessons.

I do look forward to your feedback. And, do let me know if you tried the lessons yourself. I'd love to see them too!

canvasishome
05-22-2003, 10:14 AM
Hi Shai,

Thanks for this thread! I really like what you're doing here. Each work in your progression is very nice - I really like the last one!

This is good timing for me, as I am going to be taking an experimental painting class (eight 2.5 hour sessions) beginning in June. I'm wondering if our teacher will take a similar approach??

Be sure to let us in on your final projects. :)

-dk-

Mybubblewall
05-22-2003, 07:00 PM
Just loving these lessons! Makes me wanna do them! :D
Keep posting

Shai
05-22-2003, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by canvasishome
Hi Shai,

Thanks for this thread! I really like what you're doing here. Each work in your progression is very nice - I really like the last one!

This is good timing for me, as I am going to be taking an experimental painting class (eight 2.5 hour sessions) beginning in June. I'm wondering if our teacher will take a similar approach??

Be sure to let us in on your final projects. :)

-dk-

Thanks so much, dk! :)

Are you going to share your class projects here at WC too? I hope so! It'll be interesting how your teacher would handle it. There are so many ways and approaches to abstract art, so I'm sure most classes would be different.

My teacher is a "thin painter" who loves shapes. It's great for me because I've never tried a class before and the class has given me some insights to some of the process that goes in to abstract art making. It's given me new ways of looking at things as well. But, I would one day like to learn with someone how to do some textural painting as I realise that while I love shapes/forms, I'm positively enamoured with colours, line, and textures.

Anyway, thanks again and I look forward to getting more of your feedback when I post the other projects. :)

Shai
05-22-2003, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by Mybubblewall
Just loving these lessons! Makes me wanna do them! :D
Keep posting

Please do! I'd love to see them as well... :)