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.
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.
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.
Colours used were:
Ivory Black, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Light Blue Permanent, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber,