Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pamela Allen exercises--part 2

Pamela gave us an alternative exercise for those who didn't want to venture into the complimentary color one. I needed more practice (and still do!) with composition, so I gave this one a quick try.

The assignment was to pick two colors and do a whole composition using only those, focusing on different values and intensities. The color didn't hang me up, but the composition did.

My thoughts here were that I wanted a big, bold contrast between the citrus and the blue bowl. I wanted it strong and graphic, yet anchored in a setting. I came up with this:

Pamela said the composition and scale made it visually confusing--the bowl is so much bigger than the chair, and the strong diagonal gives a strange perspective. Also the bowl is too big and cramped in the space, and there needs to be more variety in shapes to keep it interesting. Here is her revised version:

I do like the additional space she added. The bowl still really pops but is anchored much better in the space. And I really like how she kept the right half quiet, keeping all the emphasis on the bowl. She mixes up patterns, like putting the stripes of the floor in different directions to keep things interesting.

So now I'm struggling with how to do scenes that are not realistic, yet don't throw the viewer by being visually confusing. Not sure if pictorial pieces are ever going to be my thing, but it's a great learning experience!

For those of you who are interested in Pamela's classes. She only takes 20 in her class and has been teaching only one online class a year. Her classes fill immediately with return students, so there are seldom openings. But the good news is--she is considering repeating some of the classes more often during the year to allow in new students. If you are interested, email her at

On another note, Stephanie is giving away one of her carved hearts over on the Portland Art Collective blog. Go here and leave a comment to enter. I have several of her carved pieces and love them!


Jacky said...

Wow....Pamela really does have a great eye for thes fabric pictures. I love how she simplified your piece and really made it more defined.
You are doing so well Robin, the colour all work so well and it is just practice, practice, practice I suppose. Love this latest piece of yours...especially that blue bowl.

Thanks for the links too.

Jacky xox

elljay said...

Robin, both versions of this piece really appeal to me - the colors and shapes are enviable.

Suzanne Reynolds said...

This class looks like a challenge; a great way to stretch artistically. I like all the directions you are going with it!

Tory Brokenshire said...

I can see where you were coming from with the angles it is a bit edgier than her version. I bet there is a happy middle in there.
This makes me want for a class.

Herm said...

you are doing great, composition is a very difficult area for me, having to do some of that in Jude's class and I'm sure failing, but that is the only way to learn.


How interesting. I loved to see these exercises in just the two colours. Composition is so important and the space works really well in the second one. I love your work!

Thank you for your lovely comment. I love hearing from you :o)

Happy weekend x