Surrealism Influence

Assignment:  Execute a painting using surrealism ideology.

Surrealism Definition:  “20th C literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the working of the subconscious by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition [the act of placing 2 or more things side by side] of subject matter.” (from webmuseumparis).  Images have a realistic though irrational style.

 Brief History of Surrealism:  Surrealism grew out of the DADA movement, specifically during the years 1924-1950.  DADA used mostly negative imagery in an attempt to rebel against traditional art, the bourgeois, and war (WWI).  Surrealism used the same type of subconscious imagery but as a positive expression of dream and fantasy with no attempt at logic.  Founded by Andre Breton (wrote “Manifesto of Surrealism”).  Only art produced between 1924-1950 is considered Surrealism by museums.

 Some Artists of the Movement:  Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Arp, Man Ray, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali, Miro, Duchamp, Delvaux, Giacometti.

Ideas for the Assignment:

  1. Paint images from your own dreams.
  2. Paint images from your day dreams.
  3. Copy the work of an existing surrealistic painter.
  4. Copy the composition of a existing painting, interjecting your own images.
  5. Paint images from experiences happening in the news/world.
  6. Paint objects as symbols of emotions/experience.
  7. Paint still life (fruit, china, etc) in a nonsensical way.
  8. Paint images from your childhood/past with fantasy elements.
Surrealism Painting of 'Maternity" by Ginger Dean

“Maternity” by Ginger Dea

4 Hues of Blue

The assignment:  Use at least 4 different hues (colors) of blue in a composition that includes architecture.  Architecture is defined as anything manmade.

Purpose assignment:  To learn more about blue hues including value (light and dark)  and chroma (intensity or strength of color).

Consider:  Making a color Chart of each hue (color) before making your painting.  Begin with the strongest chroma of blue, then add white, black and gray to vary the value and chroma.

Roman Ruins by Ginger Dean

Study of Roman Ruins using 4 different blue hues by Ginger Dean

Hand Study

Assignment:  Draw the human hand

Some ideas for your anatomical study:

  • Use your own hand for a model
  • Read and draw from an anatomy book about the bones, muscles, and structure of the hand
  • Try simplifying the hand into blocks of mass in a drawing before painting
  • Look at Bouguereau, Sargent, Rubens, etc for examples of color studies of hands
Left hand study.  Oil painting on linen 8 x 10

A hand study by Ginger Dean, oil on linen 8 x 10 in

Further References:

  • Contructive Anatomy by George Bridgeman, Dover Press

Drapery Study

The Assignment:  Drapery Study

The drapery should hang from at least 2 points creating 2 “hubs”.  Kimon Nicolaides in his book “The Natural Way to Draw”  describes drapery hubs as follows:

. . . Wherever the drapery is held, either against the wall with a thumbtack or on the figure as it is at the knee and the elbow, that point becomes a hub from which the f olds radiate.  As a simple demonstration of this, pick up a piece of cloth from the floor with your right hand and hold it at arm’s length.  The folds all radiate from the particular place where the cloth is held.  Now pick up another point with your left hand and hold it somewhat away from the right hand.  You will immediately see that you have two hubs and that some of the folds move from one hand to the other.  The other folds also radiate from those hubs, attempting to drop to the floor.

Some ideas for your painting include:  a simple drape, drape with still life, clothing or draping on a figure.Art Club Drawing of the different sides of draping

Consider that every fold has at least 3 surfaces (a combination of the following):

  1. Top (lightest)
  2. Right Side (grey)
  3. Left Side (grey)
  4. Base (dark grey) can also be viewed as an undercut
Blue Drapery Study by Ginger Dean
Drapery Study by Ginger Dean