Mile 4: a “perfect” coffee mugPosted: January 27, 2010
Mile 4: Paint a coffee mug! This project was intended to make us think about shapes- that all objects, even the most complex ones, are composed of simple lines and shapes. I talked about “learning to see things” in my mile 2 post (seems like it may have been more applicable here though!). A coffee mug is made up of a few simple ovals and curved lines. When you learn to look at objects for their basic qualities, then drawing or painting them becomes much easier.
This was the first painting in the marathon that made me want to paint something that LOOKS real. The thought process here, then, was much different than it was when I was painting the Angel Bird- that was more of a “i’m going to keep adding random colors until i’m happy” process. I wanted to make the mug a bit cartoonish, but with a real-life quality (like PIXAR! I always wanted to be a PIXAR artist!!), so I had to look at a real coffee mug and understand its shapes and shadows. This little coffee cup made me realize how hard painting realistically can be. Despite that drawing is a struggle for me, I feel that it’s a bit easier to shade in the intended effect with a pencil than to figure out to create the effect I want with different paint colors. I sat mind-boggled in front of the coffee mug before I figured out how to lift it from the canvas a bit.
This painting project was a great learning experience, although there are still things I’d like to edit to make it “perfect.” Speaking of “perfection” and shading with pencils, my first drawing teacher in college called the little pot to the right a “perfect pot.” I was so excited because I had never drawn before in my life and I’d somehow, at least briefly, learned how to see that pot’s true qualities and bring it to life. Hopefully with practice I can do the same with a paintbrush!