Solo Paint How You Feel

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Paint How You Feel

Postby Zach Grasswind on September 2nd, 2018, 9:40 pm

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9, Fall, 518 A.V


Zach had awoken as Syna's light first appeared in the skies, squinting at the window he had forgotten to cover the night before. Golden light streamed into his small room at the Solar Wind Apartments, and with a sigh he rolled out of his bed and readied himself for the day ahead, his stomach already rumbling for breakfast. The city still felt foreign to the Drykas, and although he was slowly starting to remember his way to a few places, Zach had a ways to go until this place could feel like a home to him.

After stopping by the Sunrise Nook to purchase a honey scone, Zach decided to wander over to the Alheas Park to finally see what it looked like when it wasn't completely smothered with fog. As he passed through the nondescript entrance he paused for a moment at the sight before him. The warm golden rays of light seemed to catch on the various plants and trees, the whole area appearing to glow in various shades of orange and red. He could see now why people talked about this place so much.

As he slowly moved through into the park proper, something off to the right caught his eye. A young woman had set up an easel and she appeared to be translating the dawn scene before her onto it. Zach had seen art before of course, but he had never seen it in the process of being made. He stuffed the last of the scone into his mouth and chewed quickly as he wandered over, trying and failing to appear nonchalant in his approach. The woman paused very briefly, her head turning just a fraction in his direction before she returned to her work.

As the woman's picture came into clearer focus, Zach could see that it was not quite what he had thought. The colours were correct for it to be the park, but it didn't really look much like the area before them in many other ways. Standing a little off to one side now, he tilted his head and squinted at the picture to try and figure out exactly what the artist was attempting to do. Without turning round the woman spoke. "What do you think?"
A little taken aback, Zach proceeded to stumble over his words. "It's uh... nice." He cleared his throat. "I mean, the colours are great..." Art critic the Drykas was not.

The woman continued to dab various colours onto the canvas before her. "I portray emotions in my pictures, not scenes. By painting like this I can change the way I think or feel about a place. I can put an emotion into the picture now, and then when I look back at it, I can remember that feeling at a later date." "You use painting to... change your view?" The woman paused, brush partway to the canvas. "I often find that painting can change my perceptions about a place or thought, yes." Zach stuffed his hands in his pockets, a thought forming at the back of his mind. "...do you know if there's somewhere I can try?"


A bell or so later Zach found himself approaching Tain's Studio. He loitered outside for a good few chimes, talking himself in, and then out of actually entering. Eventually a young woman with blonde hair cropped short peered round the open door at him with a smile. "Are you coming in or are you going to stand there all day?" Reluctantly, Zach shuffled forwards with a shrug and ducked inside. "Name's Nat," The woman was still smiling at him. "Can I help you with anything today?"

After a short conversation where Zach had no clue what he wanted aside from paint, Nat had managed to set him up with an easel, a small canvas, and a selection of paints and brushes. Hesitantly he picked one up and stuck it into a small pot of brown coloured paint before hovering the brush in front of the canvas. Why am I even here... Zach sighed. The words of the painter in the park had hit a snag in his brain. As she had spoken, Zach's thoughts had immediately turned to the forest he so hated.

Paint slowly dripped off the brush back into the pot he was holding. Painting is not going to make me hate that stupid place any less... He frowned and mentally chided himself. Zach, get over yourself. This is your home now whether you like it or not. YOU chose it.
With another sigh, he reached out and dabbed the brush onto the blank canvas before him, painting in a wobbly line that was meant to be the start of a tree. He squinted at it for a moment before shrugging and adding in a second wobbly line next to it. Halfway through the third line, the paint on his brush dried out and he dipped it back into the pot. He added another splotchy layer of paint over 'tree' number three. Painting was definitely not as easy as it looked, and Zach's first try was anything but elegant.

On he went though, painting in a few more uneven brown lines to resemble more trees. They were spindly trees though, and the hunter went back to the first one to try and thicken it a little. He definitely had no technique, simply holding the brush near the top of his 'tree' and moving his hand in a straight line down. He tried to vary the thickness of his trees, with some ending up a little more wobbly than others. He had also ended up with a few spots where the paint had run out on his brush, so you could just about see some of the canvas beneath. His attempts to fix that could politely be called 'blobby'.

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Zach Grasswind
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Paint How You Feel

Postby Zach Grasswind on September 3rd, 2018, 8:21 pm

Eventually, Zach gave up on the trunks altogether. He set down the little pot of brown paint and dunked the brush in the cup of water he had been supplied with. He looked down at the selection of colours he had in front of him. Black, white, brown, red, yellow and blue. A small frown would over his brow. Where was the green? All forests needed green. Glancing round the Drykas tried to catch Nat's eye with a small motion of the hand and an awkward sound in his throat.

Thankfully, the woman wasn't caught up in any work of her own and she wandered over to him, pausing for a moment as she swept her gaze over his canvas. "Everything alright?" Zach motioned towards the paint that sat along the bottom of his easel. "There isn't any green paint." Nat's smile widened and he had the feeling that she was trying not to laugh. "You can mix green yourself." At the hunter's confused blink she did chuckle.

"If you mix the yellow and blue together, you'll get green. More yellow means it will be brighter like new grass, and more blue means it will be more like the ocean. Black and white will make it darker and lighter respectively." Zach's eyebrows raised ever so slightly. This painting lark was much more complicated than he had imagined. Nat pointed at a small wooden board propped up behind the paints. "Miz on that and take it easy with the quantities."

As she moved off again Zach picked up the board cautiously, as if the thing might bite him. He plucked his brush out of the water and shoot it off before dipping it into the blue paint. He smeared a blob of it onto the palette and then washed the brush off again so he could add the yellow. Slowly he mixed the colours together, and sure enough they started to meld to form green. Zach raised one disbelieving eyebrow at it. He mixed in the last of the stray colours and then started to dab the green onto his canvas.

He had no idea what sort of technique one might use to paint leaves, so he resorted to poking at the tops of his tree trunks with the end of the brush. The paint went down thickly in blobby, misshapen circles. On he pressed, dabbing randomly at the first trunk till he had all but run out of paint. As he paused to clean off his brush and mix some more, he sensed someone standing behind him.

Peering over his shoulder, he saw Nat squinting at what he had been doing. "...trees?" He could tell that she was trying very hard to be polite. "I thought I would try and do the forest." Nat nodded her head once, slowly. "Huh. I guess you haven't finished yet but, don't trees have branches?" Zach peered at his painting again. "I thought it looked weird." He said it with such an earnest tone that Nat had to hide her smile behind her hand. "Well, good luck with the rest of it!"

As Nat went off back to whatever she had been doing, Zach returned to his pot of brown paint. Trying to be a little more careful, he added in some branches to each of the trunks. Mimicking another artist he could see, Zach scraped off some excess paint on the side of the pot before brushing it onto the canvas. He was getting a little more used to how properly to handle the brush, and the paint went down more evenly as he moved his hand over the canvas.

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Zach Grasswind
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Paint How You Feel

Postby Zach Grasswind on September 3rd, 2018, 9:03 pm

Zach began to let his mind slip away as he concentrated more and more on the motions of painting. He definitely wasn't good at it, in fact he was quite possibly worse than a toddler would be, but the actual act of creating something with the brush was relaxing. He was starting to properly use the mental images he could bring up of the forest too, noting how the branches bent and twisted rather than sticking straight out of the tree trunks. His translation of them onto canvas was less than elegant, but he had managed to add enough shape that the resemblance of a tree wasn't quite so much of a stretch.

He set down the brown paint pot once more and picked up the little board to mix some more green. Just before he stuck the brush into the blue pot he remembered to wash it, swirling the remnants of brown into the now murky cup of water. Making the green was fascinating to the Drykas and he took his time mixing the yellow into the blue so he could watch the colour change before his eyes. Despite the improvement in his branch painting skill, the leaves sadly did not get any refining. Dabbing the brush onto the palette to collect the paint, Zach again resorted to stabbing it onto the canvas in large dots.

A good half a bell passed before he had finished adding splotchy leaves onto his trees. Zach took a small step back so that he could see his picture slightly better and then wrinkled his nose at it. He knew what he had been trying to do, but it definitely didn't look how he had wanted it to. The branches had definitely made the trunks look slightly better, but all the leaves had blended together so that the canopy of the trees was one huge blob of green paint, slightly brighter than he had realised.

Zach tried to remember what Nat had told him about making the colours darker. Add... black. He moved back to his easel and set about making yet another lot of green paint, and then mixed in some black. To his satisfaction, the green darkened till it resembled the darker colour he had wanted. He raised the brush to the canvas and paused just before he made the next mark to think about it. He definitely needed to do something a little different this time, or else he would end up with another large blob like before.

This time, Zach added the leaf-blobs a little more carefully, spacing them out so that they were dotted around rather than all next to each other. As he worked he thought back to the painter he had met in the park. He had been so caught up in actually trying to paint that he had forgotten why he had come here in the first place. He needed more feeling. Zach nearly laughed at himself, the idea seeming almost absurd now that he was trying it. But he had come this far. Maybe if I just stop thinking about this and think about only the forest instead...?

As he continued to dot in the darker leaves, methodically dabbing at the canvas with the brush till he needed to refresh the paint, Zach let his mind wander away from the studio and into the forest that lay outside the city. He imagined walking between the trunks underneath the pressing canopy overhead. He barely paid attention to the palette as he mixed some more paint up, daubing the new colour on wherever he felt like. He hated that canopy and it's feeling of oppression. He hated the smell of dampness and the close press of the trunks around him.

As his mind wandered, his hand continued to direct the brush. It was't until it made a horrible scraping noise against the canvas that he realised he had been adding brushstrokes with a lot more force that he had intended to. Or perhaps that was what his wandering mind had actually wanted as it had stewed on its hatred for the place he was trying to depict. Blinking at his picture, Zach saw he had added in a dark, almost black-green over the top of his trees. The strokes were rough and jagged, clearly painted on with malice. He dropped the brush into the water and quickly set down the palette. This picture was definitely not what he had had in mind when he'd started.

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Paint How You Feel

Postby Zach Grasswind on September 3rd, 2018, 9:58 pm

Zach left his easel altogether to go and find Nat again, hoping that she could help him come up with a way to paint something less violent and perhaps a little less childish. She collected a clean canvas for him as they made their way back over. "I thought that if I painted the forest I could see it differently... It didn't really work." Nat stopped directly in front of his painting. "Huh. You really hate those trees, don't you?" Zach shrugged with a single shoulder. "That's kinda why I wanted to try this." Carefully, Nat removed his first attempt and set it off to one side, replacing with the empty canvas.

"You said that the painter you saw earlier wasn't trying to paint the actual details she could see?" Zach nodded. "Why don't you try that? Paint an impression of the forest and don't worry about the details." "That sounds more complicated..." Nat chuckled. "It doesn't have to be. You can still have your tree trunks and green leaves. But be gentler. You want to stop hating the forest? Think about anything that you do like, and then think about the colours you associate with those things. Then add them in however you want."

Not entirely convinced, Zach reached out to pick up the brush once more. "Don't be so forceful with your painting. Use less paint, a bit more water and maybe try sweeping rather than dabbing. I'll be nearby if you need me." As the artist wandered away again, the brown paint pot found its way back into Zach's hand. This time he didn't shake off all the excess water before he dipped in the brush, and he didn't collect too much paint. He placed the bristles onto the middle of the canvas and drew his hand downwards. The paint trail it left behind was of a mid-brown colour and the edges of the stroke were soft. It actually looked quite nice compared to the thick blobby lines of his first attempt.

He repeated the same action several times over to place some trees into the picture where he thought he wanted them. Once he had a nice even row, the Drykas paused and turned his mind to visualising the forest again. As his mind stepped through the trees, he recalled that some - the closer ones - he could see clearer. He added some more brown to the paintbrush and tilted his head.

With half his mind still in the forest, he swept the brush down again over the top of one of the lines he had already made. The 'trunk' thickened slightly and stood out among the paler ones surrounding it. Satisfied that it was going in a much better direction than his first attempt, Zach did the same thing over a few more of the lines along the canvas. By the time he was done with that, noon had crept past and he was left with what he hoped Nat had meant by 'impressions' of tree trunks. The paler ones seemed to sit behind the others on the canvas, even though it was a flat picture.

Feeling pleased with himself, Zach dunked the brush into the water and looked round for the painter. She noticed, and made her way over, holding out another paintbrush to him as she drew close. It was larger than the one he had been using, and a bit flatter. "It might help for you canopy. Try and do it in a similar way to that." She motioned to the blurry trunks. "It looks nice."

The hunter moved on to what he thought was his favourite part of painting so far - mixing the green. It was almost magical how two completely different colours could make yet another, completely different colour. He made sure there was some water on the larger brush before he scooped up some of the paint. How do I do the leaves similar to the trunks...? Zach thought for a moment before reaching up with the brush held sideways this time, rather than down. Hoping that he had the right idea, he touched the bristles to the canvas and pulled his arm across left to right along the top of the brown tree trunks. It left a fuzzy but thick green line in its wake - close enough to what he had imagined for his to be satisfied.

He brushed more green along the top so that the green reached right up to the edge of the canvas. The bottom line was nicely blurred along the tops of his brown lines, and in some places the colours had even fuzzed together. Zach considered it for a moment before deciding he liked it. He then repeated the whole thing along the bottom but decided to add some of the brown into the pain before he did so in an attempt to make it more 'forest floor like'. It wasn't quite what he wanted in the end, but he didn't think he had ruined it completely. In any case, he thought he had started to get the hang of the 'sweeping' motion that Nat had been talking about. He finished the bottom of the canvas with a little more enthusiasm, maybe too much as he had managed to flick paint onto both himself and the floor.

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Zach Grasswind
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Paint How You Feel

Postby Zach Grasswind on September 3rd, 2018, 10:35 pm

The brush was placed into the cup of water once more as Zach took a step back to look at the painting. He folded his arms as he scrutinised his work. It was certainly a hundred times better than that first monstrosity he had produced, of that he was certain. But now what did he do with this? He'd gotten the forest onto the canvas, and it looked nice, but he still didn't have any of that feeling in it.

What did he like about the forest? The hunter's brow furrowed as he tried to think of something. He let his mind wander through the trees again, trying to see them in a different light. Light... Light! That was it. He liked the light. In his mind’s eye he glanced up at the canopy and pictured how the golden rays filtered through the leaves and danced on the forest floor. That was the thing that was missing from his picture. But how on Mizahar was he supposed to paint light?

Nat had come over to join him while he had been staring off into space, and he nearly jumped out of his skin when she spoke. "That's really lovely." Embarrassed, Zach cleared his throat. "I want to paint the sunlight. But I can't work out how." Nat nodded. "I have an idea."

Nat helped him to mix a colour that somewhat resembled the golden light of Syna. She had him add yellow, a dash of brown and some white onto his palette and then stir the colours together. By the time he had done this, the rest of the paint on his canvas had dried. "You don't want everything smearing and blending together, especially as you're going to be working with such a light colour now."

Under the artist's instruction, Zach loaded his brush with some water, and then a helping of the golden paint. Carefully, but not too slowly - apparently he didn't want the paint to go on thickly - he moved the brush along the tops of the tree trunks. Zach used a sort of patting motion as he did so, in an attempt to 'dapple' the colour on.

Moving down to the trunks, he returned to the smaller brush and used a larger ratio or water to paint this time, as Nat thought that too much would throw off the effect of how he had painted the trunks. He followed the lines he had previously made with gentle strokes, pleased that he seemed to be getting the hang of how to properly use the brushes now.

To finish off, Nat helped him add more brown into the gold colour so that he could get some variation along the forest floor. For this he dabbed the paint on randomly, mainly because he liked the effect. By the time his painting was finished, Zach was tired. He had ended up being in the studio for nearly the entire day. But as he stood back, next to Nat, and looked at what he had achieved he felt happy. And that was not a feeling he had ever had when looking on a forest before. It was green and gold, colours that reminded him of his home, something that he had never realised before now. The blurry quality to the painting made it seem like a magical place, soft and calm.

Satisfied that he had finally achieved what he had wanted, Nat helped him pack up the various paints and the brushes he had used. He paid her for them, and then meandered back to his apartment, the canvases tucked under his arm. Once there, the ugly brown picture was dumped unceremoniously in the corner of the room, but the second one he propped up on the desk so he could see it. Looking at it definitely gave him a sense of calmness and as the Dryaks decided to go back out in search of some supper, he hoped that the painting - as simple as it might be - was his first proper step in growing to appreciate his new surroundings.

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ooc :
Will sort out ledger tomorrow.
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Zach Grasswind
What’s a tree?
 
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Paint How You Feel

Postby Kynier on September 4th, 2018, 12:32 am

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Observation +5
  • Painting +5
  • Socialization +4

Lores Learned
  • Location: Sunrise Nook
  • Location: Alheas Park
  • Location: Tain’s Studio
  • Painting: Painting emotions can change your view
  • Painting: Mixing blue and yellow to make green paint
  • Painting: Adding black to make a color darker
  • Painting: Using water to thin the paint
  • Painting: Using left to right strokes for a forest canopy
  • Self: Hates the forest
  • Self: Likes the sunlight filtering through the canopy of the forest
  • Self: Green and gold colors remind him of home

It was enjoyable following his struggle wit an artistic endeavor! If you have an questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
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