still life

Sgraffito Technique – Series part 2

Sgraffito Technique – Series part 2

This is the second part of a series of Sgraffito paintings that I did for the art academy. The term Sgraffito is usually associated with wall decor and ceramic surfaces and comes from the Italian word graffiare (“to scratch”) and is related to the Greek term γράφειν (gráphein) “to write”.

How this painting technique works, is described in my last blog post. This time I painted as a last step a layer of translucent oil paint, which give the painting an additional effect.

Fall Still Life
Fall Still Life
Farewell still life 1
Farewell still life 1
Farewell still life 2
Farewell still life 2

Since I find still lives generally fairly uninteresting, I tried to tell a story in each picture. Did I succeed? I leave that decision up to you.

Sgraffito Technique – Series Part 1

Sgraffito Technique – Series Part 1

This is the first part of a series of Sgraffito paintings that I did for the art academy. The term Sgraffito is usually associated with wall decor and ceramic surfaces and comes from the Italian word graffiare (“to scratch”) and is related to the Greek term γράφειν (gráphein) “to write”.

The Sgraffito painting technique as taught by Prof. Hannes Baier uses the same principles, but on paper. First you apply a generous amount of oil pastels in various colors on paper. Then you increase the wax content by scrubbing the whole surface with a white candle (tea light) and then with old-style colorless shoe polish. This shoe polish needs to be without any additives. I use Erdal Classic. Before you apply the shoe polish, you prepare a mixture of a dark acrylic paint with a little water. That’s the trickiest part to get the right consistence. Immediately after applying the shoe polish (before it dries), you pour the liquid on the whole surface and distribute it evenly with very few brush strokes. Then you let it dry. Once it is dry, you can scratch off parts of the acrylic layer to produce the painting, making visible the lower layer of colors.

Vegetable still life
Vegetable still life
Spices still life
Spices still life

Both are based on sketches that I made during a previous course. One main difference is, that the second one has random colors in the background, while for the first one I have planned the background colors according to the final painting. Both approaches are possible and have their pro and cons as you can see.

 

LKS Advanced Course 1 Homework

LKS Advanced Course 1 Homework

As before, so also this time – after the Advanced Course 1 we received a list of assignments as homework to be painted at home until the next compulsory course. On the first day of the next course, we will take time for these paintings to be examined and evaluated.

List of Homework Assignments:

Aufgabenstellungen

  • 3 Paintings with Tempera / Gouache / Oil / Acrylic, motive freely chosen
  • 8 Landscapes with Tempera / Gouache / Oil / Acrylic
  • 4 Still lives in Sgrafitto technique
  • 2 Paintings in Sgrafitto technique, motive freely chosen

LKS Advanced Course 1

LKS Advanced Course 1

After two basic classes,  came the first advanced class, which introduced us to acrylic, gouache, tempera and oil paint. And of course, there was more theoretical teaching about material theory and art history.

LKS Basic Course 2 Homework

LKS Basic Course 2 Homework

Again we got a long list of instructions for the homework to be done until the next course. These included some reproductions of famous painters. Several of these paintings have already sold.

Vegetable Still Life – Fineliner Drawing

After taking some time off for redesigning my webpage (check it out!), I am back to posting some drawings. The following still life with organic vegetables shows one red cabbage, one kohlrabi with leaves and several yellow turnips. I did this drawing as an additional exercise for shading with a fineliner, something I still struggle with. Now I am curious what my teacher will have to say about it.

Vegetable Still Life
Vegetable Still Life

Memories of Vacation

Now that the 30in30 Challenge is over, I lost the routine a little bit. Of course, I will continue to draw and post my drawings, just not quite as often.
This latest drawing is again part of my home work for art academy – a still life with a cloth drapery. I used some shells that I collected in Italy last year and a delicate glass bowl. There was even some sand left in the snail shell. All in all it brings up memories of vacation. Just imagine some ice cream in the glass bowl.
Shells Still Life
Shells Still Life

Pencil Mikado

This still life consisting of pencils, also called Pencil Mikado, named after the well-known pick-up sticks game, is on my list of homework for the art academy. So, I decided to work on it today.

Again I had some unexpected challenges: Different and changing light sources provided an additional challenge – my desk is in front of a window and at first the daylight was stronger. Slowly it got less and the light from a lamp to the left side resulted in a stronger shadow than when I began. The pencils lay on a cloth that was not perfectly straight but I realized too late that because of it the shadows were crooked.

Pencil Mikado
Pencil Mikado

 

Fruit Bowl III

Here is the same arrangement again –  a still life with apples and a banana in a bowl, artistically arranged on a drapery. After doing it yesterday in graphite and today in coal, I did it a third time – this time with Copic Multiliner. Doing the shading with a multi- or fineline I found even more challenging than coal. But it was good practice!

Fruit Bowl III
Fruit Bowl III

Fruit Bowl II

You might recognize this still life – a still life with apples and a banana in a bowl, artistically arranged on a drapery. Yesterday I did it in graphite and today in coal which requires a very different approach for the shading. Good practice!

Fruit Bowl II
Fruit Bowl II

Kitchen Still Life

My latest drawing was quite a bit of work but now I am happy how it turned out. It is part of my homework for the Leonardo Art Academy. The assignment was a still life with two bottles, one can and two match boxes. I took my oil and vinegar bottles, an empty peanut can, and two match boxes with a Spar logo. I did learn from past experience, to use artificial light, because this does not change during the day. I was not quite prepared that I had so many reflections, both on the bottle and the tin. In the end, that was the fun part. You can even see the reflection of my drawing pad in one bottle.

Kitchen Still Life
Kitchen Still Life

This drawing is also part of the 30in30 Challenge with Leslie Saeta. Due to the homework, I decided to do mostly pencil and ink drawings during this challenge.