Friday 10 June 2016

Reading a Paint Surface 2: Colour, Pinholes and Drawing the Spaces

Week 2 of ' Reading the Paint Surface' at City Lit  started  with the  scene of our previous weeks endeavors partially covering  the still life arrangement, a playful hint of what was to come - using a small  hole  in a piece of paper to look at the objects while we painted them!

  After an application of yellowish acrylic paint to seal the surface of the paper  we built up   a textured  background using a couple of other colours of acrylic . I kept  mine fairly simple  with scrapes and brush-marks, others  really went for it with  dribbles, palette  knife marks ( and a Richter-esque scrape with a palette in 1 case- I wish I'd thought of that!)  A brief coffee break was allowed while they dried and we set up palettes for oil -painting
Using the oil paints we mixed a light, mid and dark tone ( in my case a pale peach, red and purple)  and used these to  paint what we could see through a pinhole in the paper  ( the  stage above  shows 2 overlapping views)  The idea was to build up a picture in reverse of normal practice where you finish by putting in the detail, here you were starting with it!
As I haven't painted with oils  since  I was at school, this proved an additional challenge! I was also beginning to regret the choice of red as a mid tone ( I should have  remembered the lesson learnt while doing my 'red boat ' journal quilts -  it doesn't 'play nicely'). In feedback tutor was pointing out how the eye fills in the detail  , finding shapes in the background like the rest of the vase
After lunch, a whole group crit  which was incredibly valuable, looking at each others work and weighing up what draws your eye ( and to leave alone )balancing with areas that need more work.
The verdict  on mine at the stage above was  liking bottom left  and  the top ( apart from the hovering  white oval)  but to lose the 'stripey cap' in the foreground ( it's actually the  coffee pot !)

We were then encouraged  to add some more colours - I mixed some green  for the bottle but it really wasn't  working so I wiped it off ( the advantage of working in oils) .  The tutor really liked what was left , it had a real translucent quality but  said ' enough of the red period', that I now needed some cool colours  to  alter the temperature  so I mixed some blue greys for the shadows.  

 That made all the difference  and filling in the spaces around the objects tricks the eye into finding the shape. Magic!  Next week we're to bring in objects / secondary sources to work from.

1 comment:

Margaret Cooter said...

On reading about this course I immediately had a look for "something" to follow my drawing course and signed up for two courses at City Lit, one in July and one in August. Something to look forward to! One is an intro to lino, the other combines drawing, painting, printmaking.