Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Use your Imagination

I started this yesterday as an example for a lesson in one of my advanced classes. I rarely have students draw from imagination, focusing mostly on more traditional drawing and painting from life while effectively utilizing the elements and principles. Anyway, this is a fun break that they seem to enjoy. They start with a few small pieces of watercolor paper each. The surface of the paper is misted with water, and then a few drops of concentrated watercolor are dropped on the surface. More water is misted, and then a piece of plastic(dry cleaning bag, grocery store bag, etc.) is mashed on the paper and placed on the drying rack. After the piece is totally dry(next day), the plastic is removed and a totally random mixture of shapes and color are left. Students immediately start to "see" things...much like seeing things appear in big puffy clouds. They then work into the piece with prismacolors, sticking to basically an analogous color scheme to allow the watercolor base to still be seen and create an overall sense of color harmony.
This piece will more than likely never go beyond what you see, just thought I would post something a little different.
What do you see?


Chris said...

I see a muscle structure -- a shoulder, neck and back of a head.

First I saw a flower petal with rich, saturated colours, not decaying, but a petal that has fallen and was pressed while still fresh.

My wife has done something similar with my kids (3 & 5 years old). Only it's more of a finger painting mash-up. Once you have some paint all swirled about on paper they see things and draw them out. Usually candy or pets. Two things they crave and desire.

Ambera said...

Todd, this is amazing! I'm terrible with watercolours, this piece inspires me to go out and try it again. It's beautiful, I also see a muscle structure, and plenty of organs. I'm seeing a large intestine, kidney, and possibly a liver. I'd love to see more of these, they're incredible!

TFord said...

Chris and Ambera...yes, I did develop an area to resemble muscle structure of a partial body(not in strict proportion, since the dryed watercolor shapes somewhat dictate what and where you can go), and also there is a profile of an old distorted man just to the left of the muscle structure...tilt your head to the right and you should see it. I see lots of other figures, faces, and creatures in the undeveloped areas, but this piece has served it's purpose as an example for my students.
Oh, Ambera..I'm terrible with watercolors too! The colored pencils used in this offer me a much needed sense of control.

Joanne said...

This painting is delicate in color yet shows strength in the structure of the muscles one sees upon closer examination. Thanks so much for describing the procedure you used with your students! So often it is through experimentation that new doors of possibility open... :-)