The Tension of Scissors

Today in art class we were practicing composition and tension. By tension, it was less the walking-on-eggshells-when-someone’-pissed and more working with line intersection; breaking the subject off the side of the painting, and being bold with colour juxtapositionz. We looked at Richard Diebenkorn for inspiration, and painted scissors, pliars, glasses – whatever was available/that we’d brought.

Richard Dibenkorn’s “Scissors and Lemon”

I hadn’t brought anything so I borrowed some shears from the studio, and at the suggestion of our class leader added some origami papers in complimentary colours for extra backgroud interest and – as our goal of the class was – tension.

It’s been a while since drawing from life – and even longer since painting from life. Therefore I took special care arranging my still life and came up with this.

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Drew it on my board first.

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Did a wash in complimentary colours (aka painted green what I’d paint red, painted red what I’d paint green or white for a zingy underpainting that would make the overpainting pop out).

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Then came the overpainting layer and blocking in of the scissors.

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After worked on adding texture, giving zing to the edges, and working in reflections and colour pick-ups in the scissors.

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Then came painting the background white (messily so the red breaks through), putting more details on the scissors, and voila!

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I’m actually really proud of this painting. I feel like for the first time I’m getting the hang of composition, realistic drawing, and paint handling all at once. These classes have really been helping.


4 thoughts on “The Tension of Scissors

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