Painting 1, Exercise Primary and secondary colour mixing

colour scale xxx

black and white

 

This exercise was more complicated, I had to identify my primary colours then arrange them on my palette in yellow, reds, and blues. I had previously, as requested prepared a coloured ground using my neutral grey and I was first to lay all my yellows, then blues, and reds next to each other and I was to notice the different shade of each colour and identify the most intense in each one.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many colours to choose from and felt I may not be able to do this exercise well, but I experimented with the colours I had and felt I learnt just as much from the few colours I owned, as I would with many. It really made me look at the variations between each colour well.

The colours that I thought were my most intense were Canary Yellow, Rouge, and Cobalt Blue.

I then had to make a scale from Yellow through to Red, Yellow through to Blue and the Red through to Blue. I was to make a note of how midway along the scale of Yellow to Red produces the secondary colour Orange. Yellow to Blue produced Green, however the Red to Blue produces a muddy looking colour which isn’t Violet. I feel this was achieved, I was then to try other hues to achieve violet. I tried different versions with the limited colours I had and feel it would have worked better if my Ultramarine Blue hadn’t been Green shade. In the end, I found a mix of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue, tinted with a very small amount of Purple to soften the green worked the best. This can be seen top right. I found this exercise fun and a great learning curve of how hues with just a tint of another can make a dramatic difference.

The last part of this exercise I am not sure I did correct, but I believe I was to repeat the first three exercises adding enough white to my chosen primary’s to maintain a consistent tonal value. I did this by putting three equal amounts of white on my palette and adding enough of each colour to produce what I felt was the same tonal value.  Midway between the Red and Blue scale the pigment was supposed to look Brownish Grey, mine was more like a Pink Grey, I feel if I had added more pigment this tone could have been achieved better.

I changed everything to greyscale and was surprised by how close in tonal value some of the scales were, in fact a previous exercise was closer in tonal value than the last three which I tried to keep the same. It was an eye opener as I do a lot of Graphite work that relies on the use of tonal value and I expected to have better judgement. The Yellow had a greater difference in tonal value than the Red and Blue which were similar this I think made trying to keep the tonal value the same difficult.

 

Painting 1, Exercise Mixing greys – anachromatic scale

greyscale xxx

For this exercise, I had to start by mixing black pigment into white to create a tonal scale.  I worked on this a couple of times because I felt I managed the scale gradient, so stopped at the second attempt. It was an enjoyable exercise because it really makes you look at the many different tones that can be made by just adding white. I felt happy with my attempts.

Then I had to study the scale and find the tone that is equidistant between black and white, known as neutral grey. Once found it was to be painted on two scraps of paper and one place at either end of the scale and look to see if they appear the same. I painted one scrap of paper and then cut it in half this gave a greater chance of the two scraps used being the same colour for the experiment. I was then asked to look at them in situ and see if I thought they looked the same. I found they didn’t, the grey under the white looks darker than the scrap under the black, it was an optical illusion as they are in fact the same. This supports the Research previously undertaken showing that hues and tone do have a visual affect over one another.

Painting 1, Part 2, Research Michel Eugene Chevreul

I was to find out more about the colour theories of Michel-Eugene Chevreul and make notes on how particular artists have used Chevreuls theories to expand the possibilities of painting.

Michel-Eugene Chevreul was a French Chemist one of his achievements was the development of a type of candle to which he obtained a patent. It was said to become a the most popular candle in France.

Later in his career, he became director of dyeing at a tapestry works in Gobelin. In his first year as director he heard complaints in relation to tapestry colours being poor, which he found the cause to be optical.  He spent time investigating the mixing of colours and found colours had influence over one another when placed side by side. Also, he felt our optical effect  when looking at colours will also have some bearing on them and how we observe them. For instance, if we stare at blue square for a short time, then move our eyes to a white background we see a yellow square after image which within a short space of time fades from view, the reason for this is we have red, green, blue colour receptors within our eyes, and when one of the colour receptors is fatigued by over reception the complimentary colour can be observed in a ghost view.

Chevreul wrote a book on colour theory which in the 19th Century was widely used as the colour manual by artists, designers and decorators. It was influential with the work of Impressionists and their search for colour brilliance, experimenting with the juxtapose application of colour allowing the colour mix to be done by eye.

George Seurat the pointillist met Chevruel and experimented with his colour theories, his paintings show the play of light where dots of colour are applied to his support and leaving the eye to mix the tiny applications of colour forming an image.

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/georges-seurat-the-channel-of-gravelines-grand-fort-philippe

Josef Albers artist and art educator was inspired by Chevruel’s findings, he published a book looking at colour phenomenon, which is said to have 150 colour plates in relation to the subject. He became a very influential art educator.

Then around the 1910 there was a movement developed called Simultanism by abstract artists Robert Delaunay and Sonia his wife . The word simultanism was taken from the theories in Chevruels book of colour theory, De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs. The Delaunay experimented with patches of abstract colour to create movement and light.

http://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light/using

 

Chevruel and Albers were two artists to influence the Op and Kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez with his use of colour and style of art. Some of his pieces, with their coloured juxtapose lines create visual affects causing the viewer to see changing colours as they move around to view the piece. The shapes within shapes seem to hover and alter, I must admit they have an odd effect on your eyes, I am not sure I would like to look at them when I have a Migraine.

 

http://artradarjournal.com/2017/05/16/mastering-colour-franco-venezuelan-kinetic-and-op-artist-

I have just brushed the surface of this interesting topic, the enormous influence of Chevruel’s research not only effect those that read his studies, but those that studied the studiers. There is no doubt one colour does influence its neighbour and the subject is a very interesting one, but not all artists felt the research of Chevruel was the colour Bible. Monet for one who was said to be preoccupied with garden colours and its powerful contrasts, didn’t feel it was wise to be over reliant on Chevruel’s colour wheel. I think I will have to study the subject more to be able to come to a more educated view, but in this modern world I am sure most of us have seen in one way or another the way colours do have an effect over one another.

 

Costa, A. B. (2017, June 21). Michael-Eugene Chevreul. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michel-Eugene-Chevreul

Courthion, P. (2017, June 26). Georges Seurat. Retrieved from Encyclopaedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Georges-Seurat

Unknown,  (2017, 6 27). Carlos Cruz-Diez. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Cruz-Diez: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Cruz-Diez

Unknown. (2017, 6 27). Mastering colour: Franco-Venezuelan kinetic and op artist Carlos Cruz-Diez at Puerta Roja, Hong Kong. Retrieved from Art Radar: http://artradarjournal.com/2017/05/16/mastering-colour-franco-venezuelan-kinetic-and-op-artist-carlos-cruz-diez-at-puerta-roja-hong-kong/

Unknown (2017, 6 27). USING COLOUR. Retrieved from SMITHSONIAN LIBRARIES: http://library.si.edu/exhibition/color-in-a-new-light/using

Physclips. (2017, June 23rd). Complementary colours, after-images, retinal fatigue, colour mixing and contrast sensitivity. Retrieved from Physclips.

Roque, G. (2017, JUNE 23). CHEVREUL’S COLOUR THEORY. Retrieved from CHEVRULS LAW F1 WEB: http://www.colour.org.uk/Chevreuls%20Law%20F1%20web%20good.pdf

Unknown. (2017, 6 27). Simultanism. Retrieved from Tate: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/simultanism

Painting 1, Assignment 1

still life part 1 uni

 

photo uni still life
Photo of set up for still life

For this assignment, it was recommended I was to keep it simple and do either a still life, landscape or interior. My painting was to be representational and proceeded by preliminary drawings looking at line, colour and tone.

I chose to do a still life; I love the work of Javier Mulio and after a few drawing of fruit and pots decided to do a painting in a similar fashion.

After the initial sketches, I decided to go with a form of Chiaroscuro, my attempt wasn’t that brilliant but it did show light and dark.

Acrylic is a totally new medium for me so I am learning how to apply it at the same time as producing the painting. It is not as unforgiving as watercolour, but to get the polished finish I was wanting it took many layers as it doesn’t go on smoothly. Well at least I don’t find it easy, my control of the medium is poor and I feel the finish bitty. I have found it easier to use in a looser fashion when practicing so maybe I will adapt to using both types of application within the picture adding a little texture.

I ran through various options and then decided on the above setting, and as mentioned wasn’t sure whether to go for light or dark background but felt a dark ground would give more atmosphere.

To get the lighting correct I chose a darkened corner and put a black paged photo album as a backdrop. It was then lit from the side. I had initially been looking at red wine, but decided on white in order I could bring a thread of a different colour through the picture.

The watercolour paper was first covered in a dark ground made from a mix of Paynes Grey and Raw Umber at the top and then Raw Umber and Alizarin Crimson below. I put two different shades to begin with as it would be easier to produce shadow if the base was already near to the under colour. I then used a pale ochre watercolour pencil to draw in the picture. I found this much easier than using Charcoal, it gave a better outline and it overpainted without any problem. As the picture was to be a smooth rendition it was painted in many layers rather than using a spatula. Still I found it very difficult to get the affect even with the use of an extender medium and diluting with water. I have never used oil paints but from observation they do seem to be more suited for this delicate method of painting as they look to go on smoother. However, the drying time is difficult for me as I have very little space to store the paintings, so Acrylics fast drying time is better.

All in all, although in the realms of things this was a quick painting, I was pleased with the outcome, yes the skill level wasn’t great which can be seen by the bitty application, but I did manage to produce a picture which resembled the actual set up. Also, the Chiaroscuro affect was helped by doing the tonal sketch on dark paper and gave a style I would like to look at further at a later stage.

 

Colours used were, Paynes Grey, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Light Hansa and Alizarin Crimson Hue.

Painting 1, Part 1, Tonal study on a dark ground

pots on a dark30052017

This exercise came after researching Chiaroscuro and was a tonal study on a dark ground. In order I could compare this drawing with the tonal drawing done on a light background I kept the arrangement much the same.  However, the chocolate used in the light ground had gone- I wonder why, so I was left with only one bar, which melted under the lights unfortunately. I had to use a different backdrop, which was reflective so I put in the reflections this time. The colours I used were the same 3 colours as before Ivory Black, Titanium White and Burnt Sienna. Unfortunately, the Black did make the drawing a little muddy but I hadn’t the money to buy anymore paint so it had to do. With a Dark ground the balance of the picture was different so the pots were placed in the centre and a dilute but stronger than the light study ground was painted.  The wash was laid over the whole paper and a darker ground added, leaving the original wash showing, this acted as the lit areas of the paper. I made the mistake with the lighter ground picture, in not putting the ground over the entire paper and it was difficult to lose the edge which left the picture looking more fractured.

 

 

 

For the exercise, I had to place my studies together and see which one appealed to me most. Thinking about it I prefer the darker ground. The dark shadows didn’t work as well with the Black so I must try and get some more colours in Acrylic or try mixing to get the tone wanted, but I do only have limited paint colours. What I do like is the darker ground concentrates the eye on the pots. The darker study I didn’t use charcoal I used a graphite drawing but I will probably dust off my watercolour pencils next time and use one to draw out the picture. I drew both under the ground but next time will do the ground first as you can’t see the drawing well when painted on.  The ellipses are getting better with each time I draw them, but they still need some work. With the lighter study, I do like the texture I painted on the walls which gives the picture interest, I wasn’t able to capture it in the same way when under such shadow.  I think when painting with acrylics, or I am guessing oils it is sometimes difficult to keep the objects shape, as the guide lines are drawn over. I guess with time and a redraw the mistakes can be corrected easy enough but as this was only an exercise I didn’t go back and alter any mistakes to the point of what I felt was perfect.

PAINTING 1, PART1, Research Point Chiaroscuro

 

I had to explore the work of some artists whose art is a typical example of Chiaroscuro an Italian word meaning light and dark used in art to visually describe a third dimensional scene, or object. Used in its most extreme form it can produce a powerful picture, evoking an emotional response.

The use of Chiaroscuro has a possible origin dating back to ancient Greek and Romans, but it was an artist with a dubious character called Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio who fine-tuned the technique by darkening the shadow areas.

Merisi de Caravaggio

Saint John The Baptist  Probably 1610

http://www.caravaggio-foundation.org/St-John-the-Baptist.html

This is a beautifully painted picture of a young John the light revealing the most prominent items in the picture to be the boy and a red cloak. Light gives these shape and form, the sheep although picked out by light is beginning to have less form, as are the plants shown by a change of tone. What is fascinating is the use of light in the top left corner and the lower central bush, a mere touch of light on leaves is enough to give life and the suggestion of a three-dimensional form.

Jusepe Ribera

Paul The Hermit 1640

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-saint-paul-the-hermit-jusepe-de-ribera.html

 

Jusepe Ribera depicted as a follow of Caravaggio  was known as a Tenebrist painter and printmaker, though the painting above is more in the style of Chiaroscuro, it does show Chiaroscuro effect the dark background with delicate changes of tone show shape and Saint Paul lit by an opening in the cave a skulls form just picking out by half light. As Caravaggio the touch of light gives shape to the subject. I love this painting, the craggy face, bones of the knees and the sagging muscles all shown with great skill.

Peter Paul Reubens

Venus Frigida 1614

This oil painting by Reuben’s is another good example of Chiaroscuro although there is more detail in the painting than seen in others, it’s clear the light falling on Venus is depicting her three-dimensional shape emphasizing the curves of her body and Golden Hair. The painting was said to have been enlarged at a later stage, I didn’t know this when first picking the picture to study but felt it was unbalanced at first view.

 

John Constable

 

I chose John Constable because I can see what he means when he says through application of light and sky the painter conveyed emotion capturing what he called the chiaroscuro of nature.” He made a series of engravings from his prints engraved by printmaker David Lucas the second series had the subtitle Principally Intended to Mark the Phenomena of the Chiar’Oscuro of Nature.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/constable-lucas-old-sarum-second-plate-t04035

This print and its dramatic light and dark is a good example of how nature does indeed create its own chiaroscuro effect.

 

 

 

Adam Butler, C. V. (1994). The Art Book. New York: Phaidon Press Ltd.

America, F. A. (2017, April 23). Saint Paul The Hermit. Retrieved from Fine Art America: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-saint-paul-the-hermit-jusepe-de-ribera.html

Caravaggio. (2017, May 23). Retrieved from Caravaggio the Complete Works: http://www.caravaggio-foundation.org/St-John-the-Baptist.html

Chiaroscuro. (2017, May 23). Retrieved from Encyclopaedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/art/chiaroscuro

John Constable. (2017, May 23). Retrieved from National Gallery of Art USA: https://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/highlights/highlight1147.html

John Constable, David Lucas, Old Sarum (second plate). (2017, May 23). Retrieved from Tate: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/constable-lucas-old-sarum-second-plate-t04035

John the Baptist (Caravaggio). (2017, April 26). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Baptist_(Caravaggio)

Venus Frigida. (2017, 5 23). Retrieved from Baroque: http://barokinvlaanderen.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/en/node/7963

Venus Frigida: Rubens’s portrait of love in a cold climate. (2017, May 2017). Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/picture/2011/dec/16/venus-frigida-rubens-jonathan-jones

 

Part 1, Exercise tonal study on white ground

Part 1, Exercise tonal study on white ground

still life paint053
Quick Limited Palette Still Life

still life 5052 tonal

For this exercise, I had to find a few simple objects to hand which are plain and un-patterned. A jug vase and some fruit would be ideal. Place them so that they are lit from the side, either by natural alight from a window or by lamplight.

A soft tonal drawing medium was to be used to do some simple studies of my objects in my sketchbook, to ascertain the best viewpoint and angle to use for a tonal painting.

I then had to use a board or sheet and using my drawing to help work on a simple tonal study. Work directly or lightly sketch in outlines with charcoal. I had to only use two colours and white – at least I think that is what was meant, I didn’t find that clear.

I did start with a charcoal sketch but I am not keen on this approach and may try the blue pencil or a plain carbon or graphite pencil. The Charcoal even when brushed off does show through light applications and can mix and taint the paint. The sketches were useful when deciding on the tone and grouping of the objects as I have found in the past what looks good in a photograph doesn’t always look good on paper.

The colours I chose were Burnt Sienna and Ivory Black as I didn’t have Payne’s Grey as suggested. Black was never used on its own always mixed with Burnt Sienna to create the shade wanted mixing with white when necessary and mixing was done by eye as I put down various layers in slightly different tones.  I started with a dilute wash of Burnt sienna on the walls and base, the walls were my sketchbook, base a table cloth, there was a little artistic licence removing the pattern to keep it simple. I then laid down thin layers of dry brushstrokes and wash, to keep the background and base simple but interesting. I decided to do this to give the negative area some interest. I love Georgio Morandi since my tutor told me to take a look at his pots, his use of pastel colours I find very soothing. The remind me of the pastel painted  houses in Greece so bring back happy memories. The day I painted the picture my objects were illuminated by both natural light and a table lamp, the shadow very deep so I felt the group of objects were balanced more if I used the shadow as balance and set the objects to one side. I enjoyed doing this tonal painting though I need to get some extender for blending in future. I think I managed the tone well, better than I handled the paint, which I found patchy and temperamental. Maybe I should put more colour down next time. the picture in various layers, a hang up from watercolour painting. I have never used Acrylic paint before starting this course and find it a great learning curve. I usually use pencil or watercolour.

Colour tone is still difficult I forget that acrylic paint dry’s darker and forget to compensate and need to keep that in mind when painting. Overall for a quick painting though I was surprised how well it came out and although the photograph below shows the tone of the teapot to be lighter, this is due to the light. I painted the picture from real life and not a photo, the photograph being taken the day after in different lighting conditions,  for some reason the teapot looks much lighter possibly as the daylight was poor and the pots were illuminated mainly by lamp.

pots.