A few weeks ago in Painting II class my professor assigned us our first homework project. We were to find a painting by Giorgio Morandi and make a copy of it to bring to class the following week. Morandi was an Italian painter who specialized in still life.
In class we were transitioning from indoor still life paintings to outdoor landscapes. We were to replicate one of his landscapes, while keeping in mind all that we learned in our previous classes of color-blocking with still life. Morandi did not get caught up in detail when working on landscapes. Many of his landscapes include planes of flat color in order to depict trees, shadows, etc.
Morandi had a dull color palette and that was difficult for me to work with at first. Of course when you are doing a painting study you do not have to copy the piece exactly, so I mixed my colors the way I normally would. My replica looks like a Morandi piece that was edited to boost its saturation just a bit! I believe color palettes are unique to each artist: some like neon, some like bright, some like dull, some do a mix of everything. Morandi definitely used a grayed out palette, which worked for him. However, I wanted my replica to still symbolize me as an individual artist, and I think using my color palette the way I normally do enabled me to accomplish that.
When we had class to critique our paintings I noticed that no one’s paintings were as dull as Morandi’s. During critique quite a few of my classmates commented on how much brighter everyone’s paintings were than his originals. That was my favorite part of critique to be honest – seeing how everyone sees and chooses color differently. Many students painted the same piece of Morandi’s, and every single one varied greatly from the next.
No two people can paint the exact same way and that is one of my favorite things about art – realizing everyone has their own eyes to see the world (and paintings!) through.