BFA Art School Portfolios TRACK: Lesson 6


Create a painting with a specific color scheme that conveys an emotional mood.

Pick a subject
  • Paint yourself as you imagine you will be at 114 years old.
  • Self-Portrait as a fruit or vegetable.
  • Transform a celebrity into a monster, the celebrity has to be unrecognizable in your drawing.
brainstorming & THUMBNAILs

Do brainstorming exercises to work out your ideas. Draw at least 6 thumbnail sketches to plan out the composition. Once you have chosen a composition, develop that thumbnail further to determine the color scheme.

use Reference Photos

Use any paint medium where colors can be mixed: watercolorgouacheacryl gouacheoilswater mixable oilsacrylics.

Artists for inspiration

List of figurative artists, Oskar Kokoschka, Emil Nolde, Dana Schutz

Creating Color Palettes

Planning a color scheme for an artwork is an effective way to achieve visual cohesion and intent in your artwork. Color schemes are an effective way of establishing a mood in a painting, as well as creating visual contrast and textures. There are many ways to collect ideas for color schemes and apply them to your creative process. Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Lauryn Welch lead this discussion.

Complementary Color Chart

This video shows a color chart mixing exercise based on complementary color pairs, using purple and yellow. This color chart is very effective in terms of training your eye to see subtle shifts of color, to develop a more sensitive color mixing technique, and mixing different levels of saturation with the opposite color instead of relying on straight white and black out of the tube. Painting demo in gouache by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

We highly recommend you do this color chart exercise for this part of the track!

Self-Portrait Palette Knife Painting

Art Prof Clara Lieu demonstrates how to mix flesh tones using water mixable oil paints and a palette knife. Using exclusively a palette knife is an effective way to focus entirely on the color mixing process by removing the distraction of needing to address brush technique at the same time. Painting a self-portrait from life, Prof Lieu explains how to observe colors in the skin and balance out hue, saturation, value, and warm/cool colors. Watch Part 2

Share Your Progress

Post your ongoing progress in the #bfa-track channel in our Discord, you’ll get support and feedback from out staff and the community!

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