The Pumpkin – Painting Exercise #20

I finally finished Block 1 of Evolve Artist! 😀 Considering I started this course last summer, this has taken longer than I’d like, but it feels good to get to this point.

This pumpkin is painting #20. I got good feedback on this exercise, because it meets the technical criteria for this stage of the course. I know the point right now isn’t to make pretty paintings, but it still bugs me that it doesn’t look as nice as I’d like. There are some issues with the pumpkin body, thanks to a combination of bad decision making at the start, and having too much oil in one of my paints. There are things I’d change with the fabric too, although fabric is near the top of the list of things I don’t like to draw/paint, so I’m not really surprised about that.

The Pumpkin -  greyscale oil painting exercise on canvas. Evolve Artist Block 1 #20

Evolve Artist Block 1, #20 – The Pumpkin. Oil on canvas.

So I hoped to do a better job of it, but I was running up againt my biggest problem, which is that I paint too slowly to really refine the more complex objects in the window of time before the paint starts to dry. I think getting faster with experience is the only solution to that, since I can’t use additives to the paint (like the clove oil suggested by Evolve) to slow the drying time, due to the smell. Anyway, I’ve learned some things, so it’s more good experience. And I’m really happy to finish Block 1!

I might actually redo this painting when I finish Evolve. I really like painting organic forms like fruit and veg, and I know I could do better when I get my speed up. So I’d like to have another go at it, and it’ll be interesting to see how my skills have improved from completing the whole course.

Overall, I’m happy with my progress and experience of Block 1. The point of this block was to learn how to handle value and edges. We were limited to four values and two edge types (sharp edges and gradients), and this simplification is a good way to learn and practice the concepts without getting bogged down by too many options. The paintings were quite challenging even with those limits, and I feel like they progressed at a good pace, with each exercise being a bit harder than the last.

Next I’ll be starting Block 2, which focuses on proportional drawing. The drawings were provided in Block 1, but from Block 2 onwards we’ll be doing our own. I’m better at drawing than painting, so am looking forward to Block 2, although there’s also another ten greyscale paintings. There’s no colour until Block 3, which is a good thing because it would make the paintings too complex at this stage. I really like how Evolve focuses on one or two core skills at a time.

See all my Evolve Artist paintings here.

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