Assignment 4 studies.
Review all your paintings and sketches and assess which have been the most engaging and why?
The hard and soft landscape that i painted in oil on an a4 size box canvas was a good study for me as I was able to focus on the dull colours depicted in the view out my back window. The linear study was particular engaging as I feel drawn into the composition and again the colours were an opportunity to change the colour pallet because the light was at full strength that day, and the reflection from the light on the water has an over all effect on the surroundings, for example the grass cliff was much more Naples yellow than burnt sienna. Both these paintings feel more successful than the others because they are smaller and feel more intimate to me due to the views being something I see every day. The comfort is taken by the familiarity of the composition and the feeling that I have been able to depict some resemblance.
This assignment is on about enlarging a study and working partly in location.
Detailed assessment of the finished painting;
The elements that have special appeal to me is contrasting light, the drama of shadows. After reviewing all my landscapes I noticed the same sky pushing down upon the composition. This might be that by the sea we tend to have moist air, low clouds or just a lack of sun at this time of year (April-May). I liked the idea of describing a scene that the viewer felt within, not standing on the hillside looking down but more standing under a tree looking out. This would then take away the damping sky line that I noticed in my previous exercises.
The techniques that i used were to express drama and warmth. When researching the German expressionist, I found a painting by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) called ‘Avenue at Schloss Kammer’ and this inspired the composition where the tree tops departed from the canvas and no sky line was needed to explain liner perspective. I also looked to Van Gogh and his work completed in the gardens and surrounding area while a patient at Saint Paul De Mausole asylum in Saint Remy. ‘ Undergrowth’ 1889 has blues , greens with black and yellow dancing around together. The composition I was working with needed some brush strokes to show the dense foliage of the sunny park with its lumpy hill side.
First of all I did a drawing at the park of the tonal values and then came home to draw the simplistic shapes of the composition. I had taken some photos of the trees in the park and the overall landscape. The second time I visited the shadows had gone for the day, but I picked some leaves. I wanted to study the colours that I intended to use so I did a quick oil pastel drawing and then stared on a oil painting ; both A2 size. The oil painting had good value of wash where I started with violet foreground and cadmium red mid ground with a primary yellow as the back ground/ tree foliage. These 2 studies were successful as I was able to enlarge the image, trail colour studies and practice the brush strokes size and direction.
Assignment 4 progress
In the images above I worked on an A1 size board covered with canvas and painted in with yellow acrylic and stuck on some straw and mixed some beach sand into the glue. I sat the board up so the glue would run down to suggest the trunk of the tree. Unfortunately the yellow ground all over did me no favours with the violet ground or the blue shadows. I should have painting the ground into sections like I did with the study. The green foliage was where I painted the straw with sap green acrylic and was difficult to do as, not just the top of the straw but where it leaves the surface and leaves a gap between the straw and the canvas, all needed coverage of paint. I worked in stages;
- light wash to link the shadows together but the light as individual shapes.
- validate the values of the shadows , work more tones into the composition.
- Work with the lightest areas with white and various yellows such as lemon yellow, primary, cadmium.
- I found that the straw was dominating the painting and pulled some away from the board. This left texture and more light was able to balance the interest of contrasting light.
- Details of size of brush strokes, diluting of white oil so a wash over the light shapes and layering more paint such as the flesh tint within the tree branches but also repeating that colour in the shadows connected the painting together.
I am pleased so far with the outcome, Its different to the paintings that I engaged with during part 4. Its full of colour and heat. The straw was experimental and I enjoy being able to challenge myself with working with other materials like painting on carpet for assignment 3. This course allows me to push my boundaries with the assignments, where I find the exercises restrict or focus on certain outcomes.