Friday, July 30, 2010

Artistic Polar Bear Challenge: 100 Ways In 100 Days. #75 - Single Value

When lolling in the artistic doldrums, an excursion to the Art Institute of Chicago is a sure cure for what ails ya.

Whilst browsing through the Impressionist gallery, an inspiration snuck up on me.  The Impressionists painted light, and used color temperature more heavily than value to describe form.  Why not try that with our bear?

The inspiration coalesced into the idea to create the bear using one single value, and mold the form by using a limited number of colors, and changing the temperature rather than the value of the colors.

Single Value Bear

I used three different blues: a cold Ultramarine for the background, a warmer Cobalt for the eyes, nose, ear, and halftone shadow, and an even warmer Cerulean for the body.   The temperature differences show up much better in person.  Looking at this now, I see that using a single blue, and maybe a green and a violet would have been a more effective demonstration.

For the warmer part of the body, I used a Yellow-Orange Azo, and cooled it with a Pyrrole Crimson.  Chroma also played a part, as I greyed the legs a bit by adding a dash of Cerulean.

Now...if I judged my values correctly, when I convert the above bear painting photo to black and white, the bear should disappear, and it should be a simple flat grey at the value I picked for the colors.

Close.  The bear is still a little visible, the Cobalt areas were a little dark, but not bad for a first try.

Okay, time to put on your artistic thinking caps.  We're in the home stretch of this challenge.  I have inklings on how to do the last 25, but I'd love to get your method ideas.  What would you do with this bear?  The only caveat I would put on the proposals is that it has to be something that can be done fairly quickly, since a bear needs to appear here on a daily basis.  An unusual color scheme or substrate suggestion would work.  Creating a bear out of 1,000 pounds of various flavors of cheese probably won't.  You get the idea.  Send in those creative challenges!

And more on the Art Institute visit tomorrow.


RHCarpenter said...

I am jealous!! You got to visit the Museum and see all their gorgeous paintings - I could live there! This is a very interesting concept, you've done here with this bear. I like it a lot and like your thinking on it. Boy, you are making my head hurt with all this talk of colors and values but what an education you're sharing with us as you create each bear a bit differently. I'll have to think up some ideas for the last 25 to come. A part of me would love to see you paint a bear like a famous painter - a la Van Gogh or Matisse get the idea. Not the color as much as the style (of course, color would play a role in there).

Cynthia said...

ohhh darn here I was hoping for the cheese bear!!! I have ideas spinning through my head with collage and transfers, etc...but all takes waaaay toooo long for a daily bear. I would love to see him in wild ,,,interesting,,,unthought of color combos...that would be one wild bear....I could bearly stand looking at him then:)

Lisa Walsh said...

Hi Rhonda. You'll just have to come back to visit the museum again. Believe me, this bear made my head hurt, too. :-) I found myself automatically wanting to darken or lighten a color, this exercise really made me sit back and think.

Hi Cynthia! Sorry about the cheese bear, maybe when I have more time.:) I like the collage idea, maybe with some interesting available materials? (remember the mud bear?) You're so creative, I know you can think of something.