Monday, April 12, 2010

Rose-colored Birdies

acrylic on canvas 6x6 inches

A little while ago I went to a painting demonstration given by beloved local artist, Rose Bryant. It was so much fun to see how she works! I love peeking into people’s brains, don’t you?

I came home and tried a painting Rose style. The first one I did, I painted right over because it was hideous. It was much harder to “copy” Rose’s style than I had anticipated; because of course she made it look easy!

I'm pretty sure that this is the painting that Rose was working on that night:
rose bryant's birds
click here to see it larger
I’ll share some of the things that I tried to incorporate while I was painting Rose-ish…

Rose starts with a bold color underneath. I usually do my under-painting with the complimentary color of what will be on top. In one of my painting classes in college we did a whole section on pointillism and I loved it. The idea that I took from it and tried to incorporate was the idea that a little of the complimentary color will make it pop and be more interesting and bold. Anyway, Rose didn’t use the complimentary color. (I missed the beginning so I didn’t hear if there is a specific system she uses.) She had a canvas covered in red—the whole entire canvas!

So I painted my entire canvas one bold color. (a salmon-y orange-ish)

Rose doesn’t like straight lines. I was surprised how hard it was to take straight lines out of my painting! I must like straight lines.

She was painting with a black and white image for reference so the colors wouldn’t influence her. Boy, I wish I would have done that because especially the first time around, I tried to switch up the colors differently from what my image had and I got totally messed up. I decided that while I was trying to paint in someone else’s style I better just keep it simple and use the colors that were in the photograph. So that’s what you see here.

Rose doesn’t paint the background, then the foreground and so on in layers; she likes her painting to feel cohesive and be a part of each other and she said that if she painted in layers or went back later to add something in or take something out it looked flat and felt wrong to her. I can’t remember the exact way she explained it, but while she was saying it, I believed she was right about that and I thought that I must not paint in layers anymore. Then I tried to not paint in layers. Wow. That was hard!

One of the many things I love about Rose’s paintings is how the edges of the subjects are colorful and the brushstrokes show. Oh the color! So seeing her demonstrate how she does this was really cool. And watching her loose brushstrokes was inspiring. I was excited to try this out. By the time I had “finished” my Rose-ish painting it looked horrible. It wasn’t beautiful like Rose’s paintings! It took me back to the torture of a couple of my art classes in school when we would be graded on how well we copied some of the most famous styles of popular artists.

Anyway, I went back to my little birdie a while later and fixed the things that bugged me the most. I also layered in some color and since my canvas was only 6 x 6 my brushstrokes ended up more dot-ish than I had originally intended, but I rather enjoyed it since I haven’t been very pointillism-ish lately. I also straightened some lines a bit. I guess you could say I Brittany-ized it. Who knew? I thought I didn’t have a Brittany style but I guess I must because veering away from it caused my brain to hurt. But it was fun, Rose! Thanks for the great demo!

Go check out Rose's blog and oogle over all of her beautiful and inspiring artwork.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Brittany I love that blue birdie! I love Rose's style (thank you for introducing me to her work) and I love how you Brittany-ized it. :)

Thank you for sharing your process.