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Assignment 2

baguni212022018

 

 

For this Assignment I had to demonstrate my understanding of colour, tone, composition and development of my technique in my chosen medium.

I was to set up a still life or develop an earlier sketch I had made. I was to work on A3 or above.

I wanted to paint a picture that said something, had meaning, and after researching paintings for Part 2, Research 4, I was enchanted by Johannes Vermeer The Love Letter, and the lovely family scene of David Wilkie. The hidden and not so hidden meanings within some paintings intrigue me and I would love to research this further and plan to get some books on the interpretation of paintings.

Limited time to do exercises doesn’t allow a complexed painting, but rather than work on a previous sketch I decided to paint something that had some meaning. It took a while to sort a composition and I really would have liked to add my walking boots, but felt it made the painting to disjointed. In the end, I went with a simplified version. This hopefully shows the viewer that my bag is packed, well almost and I am ready for a spot of Plein Air Painting and Sketching.

To start with I made several pencil and paint sketches of my subject playing around with the set up. I love paintings with limited colour, but wanted to add a splash to the picture, I don’t think it would have said I am going painting without some.  I placed some items with a touch of colour running through the painting andwas pleased in the end with the set up.  I had wanted to paint the picture as a slightly long square, but it would not have been A3 so I played with some lines on a painted sketch in my sketchbook and proceeded on the A3.

colour sketchesunivarious sketchesuni

Sample of Sketches

 

To begin with I roughly painted the watercolour paper with Gesso then sketched out the scene then strengthened the lines by painting them in and giving the picture a first wash of colour.

 

baguniww22

 

I decided to work the walls and top in a more abstract manner trying to make the impression of detail rather than the detail itself, not as flat as Giorgio Morandi but suggestive. I love his little pots which remain his focus and I wanted the same for my composition.  I wanted the eye to be able to read the painting and the items to take centre court. For the walls I added some texture with sand mixed in Acrylic paint, this had to be added with a palette knife. I liked this as it gave a rustic look making the painting have interest in a seemingly uninteresting negative space. The light also alters as you walk around the painting giving a different shade to areas of sand and paint. The sand was added on the third layer of painting then painted over again before complete. A small amount of blue, red and yellow were added to the back and foreground to bring the colour through the picture for unification. I feel it was very subtle and I could have got away with more than I used.

I like the artwork of a contemporary artists called Lindsey Kustusch her work sits between precision and abstract which I am interested in trying to do. I also like the texture practiced by Constable and many others which I feel adds another dimension to a picture. Overall, I’m pleased with my painting and feels it shows progression, placement of tone gives depth to my subject and I think the negative space is balanced. At last my use of acrylic has improved and I feel I am beginning to find a style that I am comfortable with, but still lack an artistic flow to my work. I would like a way to marry my precision with impressionistic part of the painting in a manner that flows from one to the other. I hope this is something that will develop as I continue my journey through the course. There is still the problem of a smooth tonal transition of paint, it has improved using a dry brush to blend adjoining colours, which are worked together whilst wet. Acrylic drys fast so this means working small areas at a time work best.

Altogether I feel there is a lot of room for improvement as mentioned above this was almost a eureka moment with the use of Acrylic paint and hopefully with beginning to use the paint better I will now be able to experiment a little more with my application.

 

bag uni
Photograph of Set Up

 

Colours used were:

Ivory Black, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Light Blue Permanent, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber,

 

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Part 2, Exercise Quick Sketches around the house

 

 

 

full side 1For this exercise I didnt have much choice over the room I chose to draw the interior of. I wasnt to look for Interesting objects I was looking for areas within a room to draw and paint as it is. There was only one room I could sketch and that is the Living Room. I was to draw and then turn 45 degrees and then draw the next area. I wasnt to get bogged down with detail but to look for positive and negative shapes and areas of tonal contrast. It was to be done standing and seated.Unfortunately  my drawings didnt photograph very well this one above was done standing up the one below sitting.  There is an interesting area within the fire that gave depth to the picture.

favourite side

This can be see better  in the picture above, I was sitting for this and it showed there was some depth to  the fire recess and there were some interesting shadow areas under the canopy.

Next I turned 45 degrees and  there was a door which showed a viewpoint behind which can be seen below.

 

doors

 

You could see the difference between the standing and sitting version. The latter was more interesting because the beams were visible giving more interest to the picture.

 

A turn of 45degrees gave me another door.

front door

 

I found these more interesting as there were leading lines that took me towards the door to the left is the standing version, the right the seated. This was harder to do as getting the underside of the box on the wall was difficult as were all the leading lines and these were meant to be quickly sketched so there wasnt time to measure the lines to the horizen. This one held some good shapes.

 

Another change of area and this is my least pleasing area.

radiator

 

This is a radiator with various towels hanging on it and really didnt hold any interest at all. There was a slight difference with the standing/left sketch, to the sitting in that I had more ceiling within my view but it really wasnt the best area within my 45 degree turns.

I think the sketch which showed the most interest was one of the fire, however if I repeat this drawing in the future I will draw a little to the left in order to get the angle of the adjoining wall in. I think this area was the most interesting. It was also the most challenging as there are various items giving good positive and negative shapes and tonal variations.

 

Part 2, Colour Relationship Exercise Colour Accuracy

hallow ad 2

Not the best painting I have done, nor the best photograph, it has lost some of the blue tint to the painting, and the white looks cream. I had to photograph it under lights and it altered its colour, but good enough to see the exercise. For this exercise, I wasn’t to take too much notice of accurate portrayal, but the accuracy of the colour I see. I had to evaluate the tonal values of all the objects, not get too bogged down with detail, I was then to assess it against the actual object and its colour and see how close to the actual subjects I am. Ok this took me ages, I am only just getting used to the magic of acrylic, you paint one colour and it changes to something darker.

 

The colours I worked with were Cadmium Yellow, Hansa Yellow, Titanium White, Ivory Black, Light Magenta, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Burnt and Raw Sienna.

Its fair to say I tried hard to match the colours to the original and took my time, often I would find that my colour dried darker than wanted and had to re-do the work. I felt tone and shadow worked well.

To start I decided that I would do a Halloween picture as it was contemporary. Having recently studied Chiaroscuro paintings a Halloween Still Life would be a good way to follow on from my studies of artists such as Caravaggio and Ribera. I set up my Still Life in various ways but decided to go with the lights out and the subjects light by two different lamps, one gave a red light the other blue. This gave great colour cast on my plastic skull and equally plastic spiders and other objects. As the subject of this study was the colour I didn’t try out the colours before I did the painting, I only did positional and tonal sketching.

Unfortunately, the picture above as previously mentioned, doesn’t accurate show the colour I finally achieved but in the most part I could not 100% colour match. The white was a pain it just didn’t have the glow you can see in the photograph, although the actual painting was brighter than shown above. I unfortunately went with a solid dark background to start with and I feel it may have possibly influenced the white, no matter how many layers were applied. In future, I will have to experiment and see if I can get a better likeness from white with other under painted colours as I did with the earlier fruit picture, which I under painted with white. The next thing I had problems with was trying to get the coppered leaves to look metallic with just colour. I felt I was halfway there and pretty much got the look I wanted but again I will need to experiment more with getting that real copper glow. My colour transitions were not smooth within the painting and maybe gentle blending would have helped and more time spent on the details. The yellows were a good likeness but I had various yellows to work with, the background not totally accurate but I had difficulty matching the shadow colours. I learnt from this painting matching colours accurately comes with not just having the correct colour paints, but knowing just how much of each colour to mix together, what affect the underpainting of the picture has and the influence of the juxtapose colours. It makes me feel how little time I have left to learn my craft and wish I could shed some years.

pump

Part 2, Close to home, Complementary colours

 

 

 

For this exercise, I was to draw a circle divide it into 12 parts and and mix the colours from Chevreuls colour circle or wheel beginning with primary re, red-orange and so on.

Next I had to consider the twelve colours from Chevreuls colour circle and lay each colour next to its opposite or complementary on a grey ground. Try to match the darker tone to the lighter by adding white. Then I had to make mixtures of each pair of complementary colours and describe the resulting colour.

One thing that I have notice was I didn’t seem to be able to match tones as easy on a grey ground I found this very difficult as can be seen its easier when I look at the colour wheel which does emphasis Chevruels view that adjacent colours can alter the tone. I do a lot of work in black and white and found it really disturbing that I find it so hard to do with colour on a grey.

As can be seen with the mix of the pair of complementary colours I managed to get the tone a little better, hopefully a learning curve and not letting the grey ground influence my tone. When mixing complementary colours in relatively even amounts the colours in the main went to a version of brown, well nearly all, blue and orange was more a grey because of the lack of red pigment and the yellow purple to green beige in relation to the amount of red in the purple. I have noticed Complementary colours are just that and complement one another, enhancing each other’s visual appearance.

Painting 1, Understanding Colour, Broken or tertiary colours

For this exercise, I was to make a scale between an orange red and a green blue. Try to maintain consistent tonal values across the scale by adding a little white. At the midpoint add more white, the result should be grey. It goes on to say this is known as a broken or tertiary colour and this type of colour makes up the appearance of much of our world. Then I was to make a carefully graded scale between a pair of secondary colours like Orange to violet once again the middle colours should lose Chroma.

I have tried reading up about this and can’t find the term broken applied in the way I am reading it so, my only interpretation of this is the colours are laid side by side as in the broken application of paint used by the Impressionist. It is fascinating how colours react, secondary colours do seem to be muddy in areas, the first few steps from the original colour seem to be the most clear. The primary colours do behave better when mixed giving a less muddy appearance.

I applied more white in the centre of both exercises the primary exercise became a blue grey  the secondary was a beige, which went with the muddy look form the mixing of the colours. For both exercised tone appeared to be relatively even I was surprised as this was the first attempt and totally by eye, I don’t find keeping tone similar very easy.  Exercises like this can be fun and a good way to learn about the colours we are using and how to mix them so it is an exercise worth practicing especially as different makes of paint can behave differently.

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.

 

Part 1 Overlaying Washes

orange on red dry
second colour over first dried colur

 

red on orange dry
Something went wrong with this red over dried orange.

Above are various exercised tried out using wet in wet and wet on dry applications of paint

For this Exercise I was to use the dry papers from the last Exercise, make up the same colour mixes only this time paint the second colour over the dried wash that I set aside. I was to notice the different ways the colour behaved and make note in my learning log. For Example

Does this method give you greater control?

Have the colours merged in the same way?

How could I employ these techniques of building coloured glazes?

After I was to practices what I had learned with some of my other colours. I was to finish up by looking at Mark Rothko and the interactive tour with the Tate.

There are numerous factors that are involved in how this exercise goes, from thickness of wash, gradient of paper, type of paper, wet on wet, wet on dry.  Wet on wet if done on a slant mingles with the second colour and you get happy accidents within the mix as can be seen within the previous exercise. How well it mixes does I have found depend on the colour pigment used. The most definitely don’t all act the same way, even within type of colour Ultramarine Blue is far more grainy and unpredictable than Cerulean Blue which flows more even when doing a wash.

Working wet on dry is altogether different, rather than mixing and having a range of colours by merging mixes, you get a very vivid colour either end with a slight tint of the second colour and a gradation rather than a mix.

The exercise of wet on dry I tried out from my original paper didn’t work, I have no idea why although the orange over red worked better, the uptake on the paper was odd, it could possibly be because the paint was left in pots overnight and hadn’t fared well. However the orange and red both contained Alizarin Crimson a colour which didn’t work as well with the previous exercise. However I tried out numerous sheets of various applications and paper some worked some didn’t. I think Acrylic this watered down is far more unpredictable than watercolour paint, however like watercolour it does work better on watercolour paper. I painted one sheet of watercolour on some old watercolour paper I had and it works so much better when applying as a glaze, the piece I painted was wet in wet and can be seen second from the left top line.

Above are a selection of some of the exercises I have done including the two original ones that didn’t work.

Wet on Wet and Wet on Dry applications will have their different and similar effects which could be used for various reasons especially where a gradient is needed or wet in wet gives a feathery look which would be good in skies, petals, water whilst layered washes can give a glow from an under colour that just can’t be got by a single colour it adds depth and texture and will be able to be used for various reasons, like stone, paintwork, sky and so on.

I looked at Mark Rothko and whilst his work is not something I particularly like I must say after the exercise I can see the fascination on his use of colours.