Renaissance Narrative

Renaissance Narrative

Brandon Hu


Today, I have the job of mixing up pigments. I worked in silence and saw Agostino painting. I went over to see what he was painting, and it was a landscape.

“You painted the grass a bit too green,” I said.

“What do you know about art? You are only in your apprenticeship, but I am a journeyman,” yelled Agostino in a heavy, angry Italian accent. Indeed it was a normal day, indeed, I thought as I grinded the pigments later, to a slow song that I learned in school. Later, I got to do my first sketch. I was about to start drawing with my pencil, when the Maestro’s voice came in.

“You need to have an idea of what you’re going to draw,” said the Maestro. “You need to know what colors you are going to use, and the amount of paint you’re going to use,” said the Maestro.

“But how will I ever know what colors to use, Maestro?” I asked.

“Study the world, my young apprentice,” he stated. “Anything can be the subject of your sketch.”

“But how, Maestro?” I questioned.

“I shall give you an example then,” he said. “For example, this apple on the table is an example of daily life.”

“I’ll sketch that then I guess, Maestro,” I said.

“Slow down!” yelled the Maestro. “Now tell me, what is there that is relative to this apple?”

“A table under it, a ceiling above it, and a window behind it,” I said.

“Good, now since we haven’t learnt perspective, we shall just draw the apple on top of the table,” said he said. “Now notice the curve of the fruit bowl, and notice the table’s legs and the source of the light and…” He went on and on. When he finished, I thought I was going to die. “And that is it,” said the Maestro. “Can you remember that all?” he asked.

“Yes, Maestro,” I said.

“Good, then sketch,” said the Maestro. I sketched slowly and paid attention to every detail of the apple and the table. I even sketched out the dust on the table perfectly.

“Good,” he said. “Maybe you’re not as dimwitted as I thought you are,” said the Maestro. “Now is the color,” said the Maestro. “Observe the colors of the table and the apple carefully.” I picked out red, yellow and brown colored pencils. “Good selection of colors, Giorgio,” he said. The Maestro never said my first name, so I knew he meant business when he said good selection. I put my brain back on to the sketch. I used less pressure on the brown colored pencil for the top of the table, where there was more light, and more pressure on the bottom. I drew a streak of yellow through the red apple and the top was also lighter than the bottom, but not by a lot.

“Nice sketch, Giorgio,” said Maestro. “But your brown for the table is a bit too dark.”

“It’s time for lunch!” yelled Magherita. I looked at the Maestro.

“Go, I will come later,” he said. I walked over to the dining/eating table place. I sat down and ate a bit. I was about to leave, but then Agostino started talking.

“I heard you had your first sketch today,” said Agostino. “So how was it?”

“It was great,” I told Agostino. “The Maestro actually complimented me.”

“I doubt it,” he said. I ignored his snide comment and went back to sketch with the Maestro. The Maestro taught me a bit more about shadows and 1 and 2-point perspectives, although I doubted I could remember any of this if I ever could even remember one. The Maestro finally stopped talking.

“I see that you are bored and tired, so you can go to sleep now,” stated the Maestro, Borso. It was hard to see anything at this time at night. Thanks to the slight slivers of the moon, I was able to get to my bed without tripping or slipping. I couldn’t really sleep. Agostino’s snide comment and the great amount of stuff that the Maestro taught me was a lot to remember. I felt awfully disconnected from the outer world. The only thing I knew was that there were a lot of holidays. I was fairly amazed by what I was now. I was an apprentice of Borso Forscari, and learning to become a journeyman. I just finished my first sketch today, but I felt like it took me lots of strength to even learn how to sketch. I really felt like I wanted to give up on learning to be an artist, but I could make a lot of money. The lightest streaks of red started to come through the window. If only I could draw this, I thought. Sleep came faster to me than I thought it would.

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