Category Archives: Part 2

EXERCISE- Simple perspective in interior space.

Create and illusion of space. Take note of the vanishing point and try to work with a degree of accuracy.

  1. Is the perspective believable?
  2. Does it look wrong anywhere?
  3. Why do you think that?

First Exercise was to draw some quick sketchers around the house. I worked in charcoal and pencil then moved onto washes in the exercise- drawing with paint.

I like looking at views of familiar surroundings. I sat to view these drawings and the ones that have a lot of natural light are the most successful, my favourite is of the stairs in the hallway as the contrast between light and dark is intense. Not on show here.

In the end I choose the view of the downstairs fireplace. The low ceiling and window attracted a squashed level of light and the busy interior shows the stillness and crammed interior . There is a sense of something here that I can explore further, maybe within  assignment 2.

Colour pencil was used to check colour balance and then I discovered by drawing in paint that I should paint this composition on a coloured ground- a mid grey so to tone down the value of colour.

When I painted the wash on coloured paper, I wanted to try to create perspective so angled the composition to exaggerate this illusion. This use of changing the vanishing points location reminded me of the recent GRAYSON Perry exhibition (- The vanity of small differences) that I visited in Canterbury. His amazing tapestries are very colourful , narrative and lively,  The wonky perspective creates the illusion of narrative.

I splattered some paint into the corner of the room to add tonal interest.

I used to much white paint to create light from the window. I find that the white wash on coloured ground is difficult to see the full extent of the intensity when wet.

The leather chair was not proportioned correctly, so I had to draw over the wash and now the overall perspective is seen from a standing position.

The use of the rug to add dimension to the floor which works well.

Finally I wanted to add some life into the composition as from my research on the Dutch painting genre made me aware of the need for people within interiors  to give a sense of emotion. I took a photo and thought the man and the dog were not to prominent, But give a certain present to the rooms purpose.

The glow of the light from the over hanging fitting, reflected a curve like shadow onto the ceiling and when I painting this in a wash and Indian ink with a calligraphy pen , the feel was a cave .  I like this look as this room is subterranean and can feel like living in a basement which is cave like. I have used part of the photo as a technique to check my linear perspective and is useful to check the colour tone.


Colour relationship exercises.

Exercise to ENCOURAGE you to combine the previous colour work with experience. A series of a still life group that stays the same.3 painting exercises to study~ Colour accuracy , complementary colours and colour to evoke mood.
The first problem I had was the day light moving to fast to capture the intense shadows. The winter sun is much lower and sets away from the studio. At first I had a brilliant green glow on the wall from the reflection of the ‘Pierre’ water bottle but it just disappeared so quickly that I didn’t paint it into the composition.


Colour accuracy.

This exercise could have taken days and I thought; as it was an exercise – not to get to precious about it. I spent 2 days on this A3 painting and the colours are ok but the brush strokes are not and they therefore have an impact on the overall impression of the colour. I like to check my colours by painting onto a photo of the still life or onto the objects themselves, i.e. leaves or the bottle.

Not happy about the pewter vessel as the intensity is not strong enough. Maybe if I darken the shadows this will encourage the light to be seen as being stronger. The reflections in the green bottle are really busy and tend to dominate the composition. These reflections were always changing due to the day light reacting with the glass.

The white background and white table cloth are dull, but when looking to Van Gogh compositions or Giorgio Morandi ,they did not fuss with interiors beyond the still life (EXAMPLES OF WORK AS HYPERLINK). The next section is interiors, so I will work more on the surrounding of the still life objects in the next exercise. The overall tones are darker than the actual objects as I started off lighter and then got heavier with paint. The layers of paint have had a effect of darkness to the tonal values. I worked on a white background to help with the colour accuracy as it was such a sunny day. If I had worked on a darker ground then this would have been more difficult to gain the accuracy of the colour as when mixing the colours on the pallet and then transferring them to the coloured ground I would have found the colour hue would have changed. I also noticed that by working on a wooden board and not a white board, that the interruption of the colour wood interrupted with my observation

Still Life with Complementary colours.

I worked on grey paper for this exercise as I was meant to use a limited colour pallet so by utilising the colour ground I was able to use this as shadows ,so to focus my colours on the objects. I used reds, greens and dash of yellow. This painting was much easier to complete and only took an afternoon. I’m not going to do any more studies as I am satisfied with this attempt. I read the exercises before arranging the still life so the colours and the set up of the objects was created from an understanding of the briefs. I looked for objects that were colour complementary like the bright red leaves and the green bottle and the succulent plant and the grey pewter so that all the colours could bounce off one another. I SPENT TIME ARRANGING THEM AND LOOKING TO OTHER ARTISTS with regards, CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH and took photos of the objects from different view points and then made final drawings. Doesn’t matter how much time I spend organising the exercise because once I put paint to paper something always needs adjusting. The use of paint and brush has a power over my best intentions. I first was going to have a hat and a Halloween pumpkin in the set up but this just became to linear. I like the shape around these objects and the colour balance to background is not great but allowed me to focus on the colours of the objects and their shadows onto the White ground and walls.
The first exercise is more colour intensive than the second but this is due to more paint being used in the first exercise and that the second exercise was painted on a neutral ground.


Still life with colour used to evoke mood.

I went for a colour pallet that I find very vibrating and Influenced by the NOW tv logo colours. Purple and orange with yellow and blue. I also went for a reversed colour tone where dark tones became lighter colours and lighter tones were painted with dark colours. The overall effect looks like a poster, commercial in function because of the unrealistic morphology. The image becomes something other than an interpretation of reality, it therefore becomes a interpretation of feelings or an impression, expression or OP~ART

The pewter vessel is close to being an appropriation of op~art due to the strong contrasting colours and the effect that it has within the composition where it nether sits in-front or behind the other objects. It is out of place and because of its centralisation it reminds me of a portal to another dimension- OP~ART.

My aim was to paint with unrealistic colours and just see what happens. I changed the background colour about 3 times as the colour balance wasn’t right, either to light or to bland compared to the objects. This exercise was less about getting the drawing of the painting correct and more about creating a mood. My objects and the shadows have become shapes and less detailed. By painting with colour; intensify the impression of morality. A black and white to grey photo transcribes as atmospheric. A yellow to red tonal image will create a warm to hot impression. The combination of hot colours with cool to calm colours will create vibrations and vivid intensity. ‘One of Fauvism’s major contributions to modern art was its radical goal of separating color from its descriptive, representational purpose and allowing it to exist on the canvas as an independent element. Color could project a mood and establish a structure within the work of art without having to be true to the natural world‘ ~  ART STORY.

Compared still life’s 

  1. The first is detailed and more accurate in form but intensive in colouring.
  2. The second is calming, cool and  not very intensive in detail or colours .
  3. The Third is vivid and bright and uneasy on the eye. The background has flattened the image and is not about the objects but more about the shapes and colour.



Colour theory relationships.

Example of exercises for colour relationships project.

OCA colour theory

Why do colours convey meaning? why are they considered hot colours, cool colours, dull, vibrant, pale, intense and positive and negative? Is there hegemony among colours?

Colour is a form of language, its part of the visual language but its meaning is global.

The power of colour creates another dialect, another perception of the composition. If I was to paint in black and white tones, I would still be signifying forms, a composition and most probably perspective but add in colour and the meaning of the work is much more, its added another language to the visual language.

Simultaneous contrast colour appeared to change when seen against a different background.
Successive contrast– optical effect where when you focus on one colour then the after image will be its complementary colour.
First exercise is to paint a square several times and around each square paint a colour similar in colour range then paint its complementary colour , the vibrations are much stronger with the complementary colour contrasting . The similar colours surrounding each other look more calming, less noise, less vibrations.
Paint different colours in a square with a empty square in the middle and then paint inside with a neutral grey. The grey will change due to the colour surrounding it. We start to notice a level of high contrast or high definition (CONTRAST OF HUE)and low contrast which are the more murky colours. The further away on the colour wheel – the more definition and contrast, this means that the complementary colour combination has the highest contrast, while the analogous combination has the lowest.

A grey with a primary yellow on white looks vivid and bright and clear in colour as a relationship, but a grey with a deep violet surrounding it makes the grey look dull and the violet as lost its intensity.
When I painted the same exercise onto black paper and darker grey, the colours were very dull and it was like painting on a chalk board where the red and yellow just didn’t cover the black as the black still was noticeable. The yellow became green and the red became soft and darkened. The blue was the best colour to cover the black so this shows good intensity on either white background and black. The greens look more natural on top of a black.
I love the fun colours of the fluorescent tones on white. The vibrations of these colours are young and exciting. Very plastic orientated and they relate to unconscious memories such as children’s toys, lollipop ladies, and cycling around fluorescence cones for a bicycle proficiently test, all sentimentally associations with this colours and that’s why I categorised them as Youthful and fun.

Successive contrast exercise.

Stimulation and exhausting the colour respecters in the retina. When exhausting the receptors for red (looking at a large square of red for 30 seconds) only the remaining combinations of colours that mix to produce blue green are seen when you turn from red to looking at white.

White light is made up from all the colours of the spectrum. The rod cells in the retina distinguish light and dark. The 3 types of cone cells respond to red, green and blue-Violet which in turn make up all the colours.

Still Life with Natural Objects. Part 2

Assess your finished painting carefully. Make notes in your learning log on;

How you’ve progressed from your fist attempt at still life

This still life was first created when visiting Belmont House near Faversham, Kent. We were in the kitchen garden and saw all the red onions drying out on the shelves of the green house. I took a photo knowing this is what I wanted to paint. The image was so enticing I didn’t bother to look elsewhere for another inspiration.

The first still life was experimental and this time I wanted to represent using my normal methods but using Acrylics not Oils. I looked to VAN GOGH as his perception of simple natural beauty was always depicted full of vibrancy.

I still painted in the form of shapes as depicting that many onions was difficult to remember where I was or which onion I was painting. The variation of tone is still to dramatic, need to practice tone graduation more. Don’t think I have progressed in this exercise.


Any problems that the natural object presented

The problem with flowers is that they tend to dry up and die but the red onions were going to dry up and wrinkle more over time but as I was working from a photo this did not hinder me.

The depiction of natural versus unnatural is a physiological one as I tend to over protrude or enhance natural forms like in life drawing and then structuralize unnatural forms. Just drawing or painting what you observe is much harder than we think it is. To try to look at things without perception or conditioned thoughts is impossible. As Authors of our work we are editors, judge and jury, we have chosen to signal this natural form onto a flat surface but want to show it looking like a natural rounded form. We can only show what we have observed and this skill could take a life time to be able to do.


Your choices, working methods and finished painting.

I like my finished painting and I’m pleased I looked to VAN GOGH for help. I chose to work on Brown A3 canvas, REALLY WANTED TO PAINT ONTO LINEN but found this board on sale, the linen was to expensive. My ‘make do and mend’ ideology may not go down well with tutors or assessors but I cant afford expensive materials. I would have like to spend more time working on some of the onions but I like the balance of some detail and some blurry. The window panel closest to the viewer needs clarifying as the sill is not structured correctly. I don’t know how to paint water running down the fostered glass with paint, so need to research this and practice……..


What you’ve learned from this exercise.

 Observation and colour blending and colour mixing have all been practised in this exercise. Perspective and capturing the enlargement and vibrancy of colour is something I struggled with. My concentration levels were tested as I got so entranced with the painting that I have had cramp in my neck for the last week. I must remember to get up and leave the painting alone and come back to it with fresh eyes and a relaxed posture, maybe every 2 hours? I spent 2 sessions on this over 2 weeks and feel I need to tone down some of the darker colours and touch up some of the graduations of tone as far to dramatic. I used black in the 2nd session as I felt some of the details needed more variations of colours but this has structuralized the shapes more and looks less traditional, almost abstract. Love the light captured on the mat behind the onions and the colour of the onions. It took the Burnt umber mixed with the primary and rose red to get the tone of red I wanted, not blue mixed with reds.

Still Life with flowers. Part 2


Make extensive notes about the Decisions that you made, your working methods, the time that you spent and your thoughts about the completed work.

Visited my local library and got some still life books out and actioned some of the exercises. One exercise that I rely got involved with was the drawing around shadows and over lapping those shadows so to create organic natural shapes. The contrast of dark and light was fantastic to capture as the sun would go in and out from behind the clouds and I felt like I was representing a moment of light, similar to taking a photograph ; capturing a moment of light.

When I was drawing thumbnails of still life flower arrangements I noticed I was drawing these inside and that the light was not working well with the flowers as it made them look flat. I took the flower arrangement outside into the sun and noticed the strong shadows on the decking. I placed a canvas and drew around the shadows , moved the arrangement and drew some more silhouettes and took a photo from a few different view points.

I decided that the shape of the shadows of the flowers should be bold so used black ink,  this reminded me of the sociological studies by Rorschach. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly.

These marks also triggered me to investigate SIGMAR POLKE

I printed the photo and cut around the shapes and used the découpage method. Then I painted over the top. One of my mistakes was that I painted the flower arrangement while observing it inside, so again I lost the variations of colour, the light reflecting and bouncing off the leaves, the arrangement is very deep in colour hue so the overall effect is dull. I also had to stop myself from painting flowers from muscle memory or how I think flowers look and not what was observed at the time. I worked in Acrylics, not my normal Oil paint and found this fast drying so able to correct things quickly but dried very dull. may add a varnish.

I feel like I should work another colour into the shadows so not so black as this is overbearing. I also feel I might add to this with some suggestions taken from SIGMAR POLKE.  The shadows have been objectified and are more interesting to me than the flowers  due to the work carried out as exercises first (shadow drawings).

I had visited an exhibition of Flora paintings and brought cards of the style I was gravitated towards so having these nearby while I was painting my own flowers was helpful at keeping the work lose.

I’m not happy with the final painting , the  unpainted canvas and the dull colours but I like  the way the work evolved from an exercise of drawing around shadows

  •  capturing light to objectify shadows to represent shapes
  •  noticing that  compositions from the thumbnails  were lacking light and shapes
  •  thinking about using sunlight to capture a composition of flowers and shadows.
  • Represent this development onto canvas.
  • This is not my normal style so to create something different was liberating.


My thoughts are that I learned from this project to reach out to other sources to aid with my learning.

  • The use of books from the library with examples of methods and exercises to carry out,
  • to researching online about artist such as SIGMAR POLKE and how varied Botanical artist can represent arrangements at the annual Flora exhibition at Sevenoaks.
  • Looking beyond the structure and form of the still life and objectifying the shadows the form of the flowers made inwhich created another dimension to the composition.
  • I also want to add to it and I feel this may turn it away from an exercise and into a painting that I would normally create with all canvas covered in paint. So I have learned to be brave with this experiment and just add to the variations of tone.
  • I will use this learning process in the future (researching different sources and resources) and add to these sources of Literature, exhibitions, Internet as a resource to research artists work and experimentation, but for now this is a good foundation to build from and I hope my still life of flowers reminds me of this in future work.

Continue reading

Understanding Colour. part 2 painting 1


Chevreul theories

Michel-Eugene Chevreu,l born in Angers, France in 1786. Published his first book in 1823-‘Chemical researches on animal fat’ in which helped with his studies of candles and his interest with epistemology (Theorizing knowledge). In 1824 he published ‘General Considerations on Organic Analysis’ and then he was appointed director of the dyeing department at the Gobelins Manufacturing. He was considered a specialist in study and use colour and was educated as a chemist. After four years of studies he published a memoir ‘Memoir in the influence that 2 colours can have on each other when seen simultaneously’ which was read at the Academy of Sciences in April 1828. He later (11 years later) published a book ‘On the law of simultaneous contrast of colours on it’s applications to…..’ confirming his findings but took so long due to the reproduction process not being able to print exact colours. It reads as impressive explanations in the area of colour theory and was widely used by carpet manufacturers, tapestry, clothing, horticulture and stained glass industries. This book evolved to became a series.


  • He found that the colour on a ground was not the grounds fault but more a psychophysiology.  This means the brain has a tendency to exaggerate differences in order to perceive them better. Along the boarders where 2 different hues are juxtaposed this is named the ‘Chevreuls illusion’. When these samples are side by side and with no white boarder around them the eye or brain tends to add in a darker line to differentiate the two tones.
  • When tonal colours are seen the brain informs us to see texturally.

Buffon memoir explaining his theory was about accidental colours and there illusions reacting, for example the Red dot on white paper-if looked at long enough a pale green appears around the outside of the red dot, if we look away to the pure white paper a green dot appears = Triadic colour scheme which are 2 colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. Try the above with a yellow dot- is it violet.

  • When 2 complementary colours are opposite each other they are seen more intently, they enhance each other and this has been confirmed by recent visual neuroscience study.
  • When light is used and only colour can be seen with the use of light, it therefore can adjust its opaqueness and transparency.
  • Saturated colours are about dark and light levels.

Chevreuls law of simultaneous construct proposed a grammar of colours, a syntax of colour combination as well as of their modifications when seen Juxtaposed. This law reflected upon by abstract painter who didn’t want to render nature.

Artist that expanded the possibilities of painting.

The artists such as Seurat, Signac, Gauguin and Van Gogh all reviewed their work of colour after Charles Blanc explained the colours Halo affecting the colour of the complementary colour. Artists needed to know that the viewer would not just see a red dot but a red dot with a green hallo and that this was natural, they didn’t need to add to it as this effected the overall colour perception.

In 1877 Pissarro framed his work within white boarders so his colours would be intensified. In 1880 Pissarro used complementary dominating colours of the composition as a ground cover to also enhance his colours.

The Neo Impressionists  were the artistic movement most interested in colour science. They often used’ Optical mixture’ where the eye was exposed to mixed juxtaposed pigments so that the eye mixes them instead of physically seeing blended colours which was confusing and causes emotional reactions, mood changes, perspective and understanding of the work to the viewer .

Van Gogh was diagnosed for having Xanthopsia which is yellow vision. He was a great   colour mood theorist also diagnosed with Bi Polar due to his depressive behaviour. In one of his many letters to his brother Theo, he wrote ‘Chromatic strategy as seen in ‘Bedroom at Arles’, combination of complementary colours to give harmony but to also give meaning to the painting’.

Robert DELAUNAY talks about colour vibrations and how colours placed next to one another vibrate speed, some more than others. A measure was visualised via these vibrations due to colour intensity, it’s relation to its neighbouring colour and the surface density in relation to other colours.

While visiting Turner Contemporary in Margate to see the Seeing round corners exhibition, (July 2016) I wanted to reference some works on show that really highlighted the findings with reference to the research points above. I found the paintings on Aluminium were glossy and this caused more complications in depicting but greater vibrancy.

  • Anish Kapoor deep violet/ultra-marine velvet covered convex half globe protrudes into the gallery space and when walking towards it the illusion is a black hole and really not sure it is a concave or convex form. The Colour used and the form, its placement levitating can be difficult to understand visually while the brain deciphers this vision.
  • Patrick Heron Rumbold Vertical One 1970 . Image found on Pinterest  July 2016. . This painting is about my height and it was easy to stand infront of this and been fully exposed to its vibrance. My eyes were bouncing from the green to the red and then the yellow seem to be throubing.
  • Ian Davenport White and Yellow study 2015 which is acrylic on Aluminium so glossy and when gazing at this suddenly you are seeing lots of other patterns, knowing this isn’t the actual patterns you first set eyes upon, almost hypnotic and I felt you had to jerk yourself away from it. This painting by Bridget Riley 2 yellow composition with circles 2011 was situated next to the Ian Davenport and this allowed the viewer to be signified the different properties of the two paintings. Again the colour used , the density of the colour on the surface and the relationships with colour and the white of the gallery walls all affect the two works is very different ways.

Notes from ‘Oil and Watercolour demystified by Peter Turner 2007 Published by SPENCER . Bradbury .Page 25- Colour Theory and painting practice chapter.

Primary colours in oil are – Cyan pb15:3 (greenish blue) Magenta pv19 (bluefish red) and Yellow py97

Gainsboroughs ‘Blue boy’ was only painted in 3 pigments. Blue boy by Gainsborough

Paint has personalities and over time we can come to dislike some personalities. Artists tend to use more than 3 pigments manly because they have brought them and it’s much quicker to squeeze it out of a tube readily mixed than waste time mixing a pure colour and I found it gives me confidence knowing that colour is a true representation of the name of that colour described on the tube  ,for example-pale green. In the exercise within this project where we have to paint a colour wheel, I found that afterwards when the paint dried that I went back and matched up the brought colours and compared them to the ones I had mixed myself. The Coeruleum (HUE) was to dark but my Virdian hue and Sap green were a match.

  • Just using 3 pigments such as the Primary colours and white and black we can create over a million combinations that the eye is capable of discerning, a human response to colour.
  •  The eyes detect colour using 3 cones, red, green and blue.
  • ‘Winsor Green’ is not a natural tone but has high saturation and staining capability so often appears in manufacturing such as umbrellas, tents, clothes.
  •  Yellow and black becomes muddy; use yellow ochre, burnt sienna or magenta.
  • Creating MUD is easy- any 2 complements.
  •  To shade a colour – intensify the pigment with its own colour then use a neutral tint.

Colour wheel guide

Saturation (also Known as colour purity and Chroma) is the amount of colour relevant to black or white which exists. When a painting looks powerful or colour intensive, the colour saturation is most probably too high. Light can have an effect of colour calming and I find in the uk that a blanket of cloudy light obstructs the true colours perceived and when I was living in New Zealand the light was so intense (the sun is exposed due to a hole in the ozone layer from numerous nuclear testing carried out on Mururoa Atoll by French military ) and clear that it Herts your eyes to see the diversity and variation of colour, far greater than the colours seen in the UK.

 Computer visuals need for colour theory.

Chevreul theories are about how the brain perception works. During the digital age where computers are coded to reproduce colour, his theory has been computerised and hence updated. My Research came across this YouTube video explaining computer graphics and the different colour schemes to adhere to if you want to create fantastic art. The images are peculiar and more comical but still interesting to understand the graphic artist need for the use of colour theory.

The digital age has been a great influence on researching colour theories further and have invested in the research by neuroscientist that will enable them to understand how the human brain detects colour , form ,perspective and colour relationships in aid to develop virtual reality platforms. Apparently our brains can be trained to understand that virtual reality is the same as reality.

In the following YouTube clip the presenter states the following –

  • Colours relate to emotions, for example ‘call of duty’ is created from a grey scale. The film ‘UP’ starts with lovely bright colours to relate to the love felt within a relationship until she dies and then the film shades are more pale and dull- sad and lonely.
  • Monochromatic-1 colour, strictly atmospheric
  • Analogous-colours adjacent on the colour wheel, easy on the eyes ,natural related colours, Blues, Violets and pinks or blues greens and light greens.
  • Triadic- equality distant on colour wheel, playful, lively.  Complementary colour schemes.
  • Complementary- opposite colours, very popular with colour schemes, only 2 colours used but equal distance on the wheel- cool-Warm.
  • Split complementary- similar to complimentary but one split, gives a joyous and freedom feel.
  • Tetra tic (double complementary) 2 pairs of opposing colour which is best when used for a background or foreground.