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.