For this exercise I have to explore two approaches to the same subject, one in which the transparent qualities of the paint provide the dominant effect and the other which exploits the opacity of the paint. I am not sure this is correct as the latter part of the exercise says prepare dark coloured wash and a grey colour then use the alternate colour on each to paint the suggested subject of a tree.
First prepare two sheets of paper at least A3 or two boards, I did this by applying gesso to cartridge paper, I put the colour tint within the Gesso for the base and applied a wash of each colour to the paper.
I then used charcoal to draw the picture of a tree as suggested the worked on the light ground. I found this the easier of the two exercises, my tree was worked from imagination and I portrayed the finer branches and twigs with a broken line.
The second exercise was to block in the negative shapes on the darker ground, I started drawing the tree in charcoal but got lost along the way. Working backwards was really hard, I kept accidentally painting over the branches and in the end I had to scratch some out because it was so difficult to do without drawing them in first. Charcoal didn’t give me the detail I needed to do the exercise the way I wanted.
I am not sure what the transparent and opaque part of the exercise was as both seemed to be opaque but I can see the uses of both ways of applying colour and have probably used both within my drawings, because in the main we use them to create form and contrast. The whole exercise reminds me of Piet Mondrian The Gray Tree http://www.piet-mondrian.org/the-gray-tree.jsp.