Our first project for Watercolor II was what has been dubbed "The Chip Bag Project", but it, in no way, must include chip bags. It really only must include shiny, crinkly bags of any sort. "Why crinkly bags?", you ask? Well, the lesson this is supposed to teach is how to achieve the look of highlights and edges on something that isn't hard. When crinkly plastic is bent, it creates highlights and shadows and that look is actually quite hard to achieve in a painting. Anyway, the assignment was to go out to a store and take pictures of things that are in shiny, crinkly bags. Of course I didn't want to do chip bags. I mean, chips are wonderful, but it's been done. I'm sure candy isn't all that original either, but it was in my class...and I like candy. Candy is wonderful, sweet, magical, dreamy, whimsical...it's the essence of what I want my art to be. Candy it was!
But what candy? There are so many crinkly bagged options out there. I had my sights set on some foreign candy from the World Market (which-fun fact-is my favorite store), or some delightfully glossy gummies.
But it was our weekly grocery trip to Wal Mart that turned out to be gold. I photographed a few of the 41 oz bags of Skittles and decided, almost on the spot, that I wanted to paint them. I was a little disappointed that the candy I had chosen wasn't more original, but Skittles are also classic, and happen to be very delicious as well.
This is the photo I took and chose to work from:
My main reason for choosing it was because of the sense of depth you see in the middle where the bags are parting. My instructor said that the bags looked as if they were waiting in the wings to go out onstage. I really liked that concept. Sort of an homage to Degas' ballerinas...except not really.
It took me an entire week in class and then the weekend, but I did it and I truly enjoyed the process.
The finished product. I am so proud I was able to push the darks so far. Usually, that is one of my issues. I must be doing something right.