Tag: Still Life

Part 2. Project Still Life, Exercise Still life with natural objects.

fruit picture 2

 

 

For this exercise, I had to assemble a group of natural objects. Which could be either highly coloured or structured. I was to use my sketchbook to help locate an interesting point of view.

The colours used were Titanium White, Paynes Grey, Cadmium Red, Light Blue Permanent, Yellow Light Hansa, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow.

I wanted to try something different and had to fight my instinct to paint in my usual way. I wasn’t sure which way to go and tried a few sketches to get my subject and the position. After a few compositions, my choice was the Oranges and Lemons on the Mantle. Limited palette is my thing and I love the hints of colour within a picture, so tried two colour attempts. One acrylic with ink tint I don’t think I had the skill and I need to practice. This led to a monotone painting and then colour tint but I couldn’t get the image I wanted, so changed my idea and decided to go with a more summer feel and attempt some texture and light. I also wanted to have a go at using bold brushstrokes. I usually use fine brushwork but wanted a go at a more fluid less detailed stroke, well half my brain did.  The end picture wasn’t great but it was better than I expected, details were added but I wasn’t too precious about applying the paint and tried a credit card to give me a rough texture along with an old rough tea towel. I can’t say I went all Monet but for me I relaxed my style and felt I had achieved a likeness that wasn’t too tight in application. I do need to try and stay neater in my brushwork, often in paintings seen by the masters of art each brushstroke looks like a mark made with precision, mine feel more like a toddler’s first attempt at paint.

First I prepared the background with a rough application of paint and then drew the picture with a paintbrush. I used some dry brushwork and thick paint, dabbing it on with brush and cloth to start my background, this was allowed to dry. The fruit then had an application of Titanium White because I wanted to try and push the brightness of the fruit forward and draw the eye to their form. I love Turners late work and his use of colour and light and was trying to capture the way the light fell on the fruit which was lit from the side and front this giving a concentration of light stronger in the centre of the picture.

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Photograph of setup

 

From the photograph of the Mantle it can be seen my background had a large pinch of artistic licence. The wall was too dowdy, fruit remind me of bright summer days. so I added a touch of blue and brightened with white to try and give that light we all love in the summer. I also cut the size of the Mantle and painted wall below.

Texture was added again on top of the first two layers of paint to the wall top and bottom of the picture and then a credit card used to scrape Titanium White, Light Blue, Raw and Burnt Sienna. I felt whilst this may not be to the standard of those proficient in using acrylic it was acceptable for the exercise. The Mantle and fruit were painted with more care but still they were a lot looser than I would normally paint and a bigger brush used for all but the tiniest detail.

 

I realise with learning to use paint I have a very long way to go. Do I feel this differs from my first attempt at Still Life, yes I do it was much more experimental in application and I am getting used to using the paint. In the future I would like to have a go at mixed media but need to have control of the acrylic paint. Also I would like to try the limited pallet again in future so will have a practice.

 

Still Life and Illustration are my thing so I enjoyed this exercise.

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Part 2, Project Still Life Drawing in Paint

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Final Painted Sketch

Above two pictures of stages of the painting.

 

Work towards the final painting.

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Photograph of actual area painted.

 

For this exercise I was to look around my house for an arrangement of objects that just happens to be there I could adjust it if needed but choose objects that are not too complex. I had to study the objects and look at the hard lines and angles. Notice flowing lines of fabric, shiny areas, wood grain etc.  Make drawings that explore the linear aspects then chose a support format and scale.

I did several sketches and decided to go with the painting above because of the lines, squares and rectangles.  I didn’t want to concentrate on colour but on shape so I decided to keep the bulk of the painting in pastel and use the lamp and cat as contrast. In that respect, I think the painting worked, however I know what I am looking at so that may be in part due to my knowledge with regards to the brief. I didn’t do the background as I wanted, it had less texture than I had wanted, but the texture  brought the background too far forward, so I learnt the benefit of my rag not only put texture into the paint but also removed paint I didn’t want.  I tried to rescue it a little and scratched lines into the paint to reveal the underpainting.

The painting was to be drawn in fine paint and lines retained until the infill of colour when the lines could if wanted be strengthened.

I started the painting with a pale blue and light pink brown wash. Then proceeded to draw with a blue grey line. I did eventually alter the colour of some lines and the width, but the original drawn paintwork can be seen throughout the painting.  The geometric shapes reminded me of the recent Still Life research I had just done where Matisse did an abstract version of De Heems original painting called The Dessert. I found this inspired me to look at the geometric shapes within this still life. I liked being able to see the original painted lines for some reason they did add to the picture. Although this painting wasn’t abstracted like the cubist work, it did bring to mind the work by George Braque’s work with his lines and shapes.

All in all the background gave the impression of foliage but was on the verge of being overworked. Where the curtains are probably my favourite point and with just a few lines and no real blending worked well, I was surprised at how with just a few brushstrokes the fold could look so impressive. In future I will try and not overwork areas and look at how less brushstrokes can achieve more.

 

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.

Part 1, Exercise tonal study on white ground

Part 1, Exercise tonal study on white ground

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Quick Limited Palette Still Life

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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.