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How I YOGA

ā€‹22.01.17
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Day 22 of #ayearofyoga2017 with @cyogalab is #crane or #bakasana

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Painting Outside 1 – Research Point – The Golden Mean

I’ve known about the Golden MeanĀ for a while now and lately the Fibonacci sequence which was an easier way to understand it.

The Golden Ratio (Golden Mean, Golden Section, Golden Number) is essentially a proportion in which a straight line is divided into 2 unequal parts in a way that the ‘ratio of the smaller to the greater part is the same as the ratio of the greater part to the whole.’ OCA course material.

The ratio of the golden mean is 1 to 1.618.

The Fibonacci sequence goes something like this

0/1 –Ā 1 – 2 – 3 – 5- 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144……and so on, and so on.

Youā€™ll usually find the golden ratio depicted as a single large rectangle formed by a square and another rectangle. Whatā€™s unique about this is that you can repeat the sequence infinitely and perfectly within each section. emptyeasel.com

Fibonacci spiral against the Golden Rectangle

Fibonacci spiral against the Golden Rectangle

Here is a diagram depicting the Fibonacci spiral on top of a Golden Rectangle.

The Fibonacci Spiral is commonly found in nature from the spirals seen in certain fruit to the spiral shape of galaxies and because of this it is also known as the divine ratio as someĀ believe it is the finger print of the creator.

 

The Golden Ratio in Art

In the Renaissance period the golden ratio was known as the Divine Proportion was used by artists such as Leonardo Divinci. ‘All the key dimensions of the room, the table and ornamental shields in Da Vinciā€™s ā€œThe Last Supperā€ were based on the Golden Ratio.’Ā www.goldennumber.net.

Other Renaissance artists who used the Divine Proportion were Michelangelo in his painting of ā€œThe Creation of Adamā€ on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael in the ‘School of Athens’ and Botticelli in the ‘Birth of Jesus’. Coincidentally the canvas of Ā ‘the Birth of Jesus’ was also of ‘Golden’ proportions.

It is said that art based on the Golden rectangle is more attractiveĀ to the eye but it is not known why.Ā All squares and rectangles but especially the those based on the Golden RectangleĀ contain areas inside where things become the most appealing. Those points are seen below and are called the eyes of the rectangle.

rectangle eyes

Eyes of the Rectangle

The Rule of Thirds in Landscape

Before starting the Drawing 1 CourseĀ I had never heard of the ‘Rule of Thirds’ but once I had I used it for a lot of still lifes and sketching outdoors. The rule of thirds is used to get a more balanced but natural looking composition. This is done by slitting the canvas or other support into thirds by way of a grid and then placing the objects of interest, maybe a farmhouse and fence or tree on a hill in the position where to lines cross.

In the diagram below the rule of thirds is seen in blue vs a grid based on the Golden Ratio in red.

Rule of Thirds vs Golden Section

Seurat-Bridge of Courbevoie

Seurat-Bridge of Courbevoie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Seurat is thought to have used Golden MeanĀ in at least a third of his paintings. In the painting above you can see how the sale and the far bank of the river sit against the lines of the grid constructed of Golden Proportions.Ā On the other hand when I look at paintings by Claude Monet it seems that he uses the rule of thirds in most of his landscapes here you can imagineĀ the second tree from the right and the surface of the grass sitting on the grid lines.

Claude Monet - The Parc Monceau

Claude Monet – The Parc Monceau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

www.goldennumber.net.

emptyeasel.com

 

 

 

Expressive Landscape 2 – Creating Mood and Atmosphere

For this exercise I wanted to create a completely new painting from one of the photos I took while up in Chiang Rai rather than re-work one of my existing paintings. I had made several sketches while in the northern province but there was a couple of photos that I thought would be good for this exercise taking into consideration the different artists I had looked atĀ in the research point for this project.

1 Dark Landscape

1 Dark Landscape

The first drawing in water-soluble oil pastels in my sketchbook was a sketch looking onto to the mountain range where my girlfriend’s village is located. What I tried to do here was to try and draw something using similar colours to van Gogh’s darkest paintings such as ‘the Sower’ but from memory rather than look at his works. What messed it up was trying to draw the clouds using the dark tones, the original photograph was taken in the afternoon with a blue sky and white clouds.

2 Surrealist Landscape

2 Surrealist Landscape

This second sketch was drawn from the same photograph but this time I attempted to create a more surrealistic feel by lightening the sky and creating a more early evening feel to the drawing. The long shadows in the early evening reflecting the work of two of the artists I covered in the research point, Dali and de Chrico.

 

2 Inspired by Paul Nash

2 Inspired by Paul Nash

This third sketch was drawn not from the photograph but from the sketch above. There are slight differences but these were made deliberately Ā for the colours that I were using softer colours softer edges. The colours that I used here were supposed to be a nod to the ‘Wire 1918’ by Paul Nash. Again this turned out to be a surrealist style landscape and both would look great developed into a painting. However, I don’t know what type of mood or atmosphere I would be trying to create here.

One other thing about these last two drawings that I took into consideration was the effect made by the dimples in the paper, which can’t really be seen here in these photographs but it would be time consuming to try and recreate that with a pointillism technique.

4 Bamboo in Sketchbook

4 Bamboo in Sketchbook

I went on to look at developing a different scene, a close section landscape. This landscape with bamboo trees on either side reminded me of several paintings in Vincent’s Trees, such as Avenue of Poplars at Sunset pg. 49 and Couple Walking Between Rows of Poplars pg. 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Expressive Bamboo with Sunlight

5 Expressive Bamboo with Sunlight in Large Sketchbok

The photo was taken early evening and this first drawing in my large sketchbook captures that time of the day with the sun shining through the trees on that sunny day when I took the photo. It’s a nice bright drawing but i wanted it darker, my idea was to use similar colours to what van Gogh used in several of his paintings Prussian Blue and Lemon, juxtaposing them side by side.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Bamboo at Dusk

6 Bamboo at Dusk

So in this next drawing I went darker, I didn’t have prussian blue in the oil pastels but I did have navy and purple which gave me an idea of how they would look. I changed the sky to yellow and orange which changed the feeling of the painting and also the time of day as this change of colours made it feel later.

These last two drawings made my mind up for me to which of these scenes I would be painting but I still wasn’t sure which colours or what kind of mood I wanted to depict.

Showing these two drawings to my students in class I asked them which of the two they preferred, all apart from one student said the second one. When I asked that one student why he preferred the first one, he pointed to the second drawing and said I wouldn’t walk down there. to which I said ‘The second one it is then’.

The Final Painting

In the sketches above I had basically experimented with colours rather than techniques, scribbling the leaves of the trees in, dragging the pastels up and down the paper. I had no idea how I would depict this in the final painting. I had no ideas what would work or if I could make my painting anything like the sketches above or if I wanted to keep it the same.

Influence from other artists

6 Preparing the Background

7 Preparing the Background

I had some ideas of what techniques I were going to use in the painting, for the leaves of the leaves of the trees etc. I wasn’t even sure if the colours would work in the developed painting. What I decided to do was to throw my hat to the wind and let the painting take on a mind of it’s own, letting any influence from other artists take over in the different parts of the painting.

I started of with a van GoghĀ sun, lemon yellow on a darker yellow background moving out from the sun in circles.

 

 

7 Painting the Leaves

8 Painting the Leaves

The next choice I had was whether to paint the leaves first or the bamboo first, I settled on working on the leaves or at least making a start on them as it would be more difficult to paint them afterwards. At this stage I also started to lighten up the sky so that the leaves would stand out more.Ā I made a start on the bamboo, to see what it would look like over the top of the leaves.

 

 

 

 

8 Creating Perspective

9 Creating Perspective

At this stage I was just practising the long strokes of the brush and seeing which brushes were better for the job and to also see if the leaves looked anything like bamboo leaves. After a while I wasn’t too bothered about that.

 

I actually thought about making the leaves more dense or even painting them in van Gogh style with heavy swirls layered on top of each other.

I must admit that the bamboo did actually look like bamboo at this stage, that was to change.

 

 

 

9 Working on the Trees

10 Working on the Trees

From here I began to layer the colour on running my brush up and down the bamboo poles and also painting in the shadows. It’s a good job I hadn’t kept the lemon sun in the background as the shadows suggested the sunshine was coming in from a different direction.

The Prussian blue over the yellow turned to green so that was something I had to work on with more layers and that was probably the turning point. It now started to look more like a thick forest than a bamboo lined trail.

 

 

 

Photo taken on my tablet

11 Photo taken on my tablet

At the next stage painting in layers of Purple and Prussian blue with Lemon to add light it actually started to look like the style of van Gogh.

I had the crazy idea to add leaves to the bottom of the bamboo on the right, applying the paint with the end of a pencil, it seemed like a good idea at the time but I was hoping for too much thinking that it would give me perfect hexagon shapes and it didn’t. What it did do though was give the painting texture.

 

 

 

The leaves were too dark so I begun to lighten them up with yellow and red which gave me the same tones as the leaves of the trees above. As I did this I realised that I had created a really nice 3D texture rather like that of Max Ernst and the mood of the painting was changing rapidly. It was becoming more of an enchanted, cartoon-like forest rather than a scary, dark path between bamboo trees and I was willing to roll with that as I liked what it was turning into.

11 Finished Painting

11 Finished Painting

 

I begun to add more texture to it the path was too smooth, nothing like pebbles and so I painted over the whole thing with Prussian blue then going back over it with mixes of blue and purple and lemon and white for the light patches.

Then with a small detail brush I patiently began building up the layers of the hair like bushy grass with up strokes of blue, yellow and red, letting the colours blend together in the same way I did with the leaves above.

If I was describe the finished painting I would sum it up as unnatural, maybe even surreal. As the painting neared the end it was like I could see both the influence of Max Ernst and van Gogh coming together on the canvas and so I went with it.

Thoughts on the Finished Painting

  • The finished painting turned out to be nothing like the studies, in a way I wish it had but it doesn’t have to be the end of it, I still have them and I can use them again later.
  • The colours in the painting go together well but I did intend it to be darker.
  • I was hoping the painting would feel more natural but I like the overall feeling of it so I am not going to change anything. I did try painting leaves down the side of the trees but they didn’t look right.
  • There are definite signs of influence from 2 or more of the artists I looked at in the research point.
  • If I was to do it again I would paint it quicker with more random brushstrokes for a more natural feeling.

Expressive Landscape 1 – Research Point

I had recently made quite a few sketches and taken rather a lot of photos on my New Year’s trip to my girlfriend’s home town. I have already developed two of the sketches into paintings for the previous exercises and I wasn’t sure whether or not to work from those paintings on the upcoming Mood and Atmosphere exercise or to start a fresh. The best way to make this decision was to look at some artists and their expressive landscapes and to get some ideas of how I could go about the exercise and which of the sketches, paintings or even photographs would be best to develop into an expressive landscape.

I started with the surrealist painters two of which I was very familiar with, Dali and Ernst and one who’s paintings I had seen before but whose name was new to me, de Chirico.

Salvador Dali

Geological Destiny

Geological Destiny – Salvador Dali

I’ve always liked Dali and I’ve examined most of his paintings very thoroughly but the two paintings here are two that I have previously overlooked. The one hereĀ ‘Geological Destiny’ (page 37, Dali by Gilles Neret) shows a horse in the process of metamorphosing into a rock on a smooth almost glacier-like planeĀ with mountains in the distance and a solitary figure who looks to be walking in the direction of a giant rock. The long shadows and the colour of the light, tells meĀ it’s nearing the evening rather than morning and the whole painting makes me feel vulnerable, out in the open with no shelter.

Like most of Dali’s paintings, there are no apparent brush strokes at least not from the photograph.

 

Salvador Dali - Solitude

Salvador Dali – Paranoiac Critical Solitude

The reason this painting Paranoiac-Critical Solitude is included in this research point is that it seems to be a nod to Max Ernst, appearing t have some very similar textures incorporated into Dali’s own surrealist style.

 

 

Max Ernst

Max Ernst The Forest 1927-1928

Max Ernst The Forest 1927-1928

Like most of his paintings, in The Forest Max Ernst uses really strong almost wire like texture. This texture with the dark tones and height and close-togetherness of the trees he creates a stressful, claustrophobic atmosphere. I imagine that this is a painting where he has taken what he has learnt from frottage and used it here, unless he has been somehow able to transfer the information to the canvas before working on it.

 

Max Ernst Antipodes of Landscape

Max Ernst Antipodes of Landscape

I can imagineĀ Antipodes of Landscape to be the view that I get when I’ve finally made it out or above the Forest, a moment of bliss before you realise you’re in another strange land with prominent pipe like ridges pronounced by yellow light. A Rottweiler keeps guard laid down head upright with pricked up ears, probably relating to his time interned in Nazi Germany.

 

 

Paul Nash

Paul Nash - Wire 1918

Paul Nash – Wire 1918

Of the paintings I looked at of Paul Nash ‘Wire 1918’ was the one that really stood out as it was one that I could get ideas from for the type of scenery I was painting in Chiang Rai. Could I kill a tropical scenery into a ‘Killing Field’? What I liked about this was the way he uses the different grey tones with other lighter colours like rose to depict a cold, wet, post battle scene.

 

 

 

Gustave Moreau

Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine

Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine

This painting, ‘the Eternal Feminine’ by Gustave Moreau reminded me of two different Dali paintings. The rock behind the ship, The Great Masturbator while the sail and the mast of the ship reminded me ‘Soft Construction with Boiled Beans.

Don’t ask me how I got there. They are very different from the mystical scene of Sirens calling a boat in to the alcove. The darker tones in the bottom right corner looks like the crew members maybe getting into some trouble.

Emil Nolde

Emil Nolde - Lake Lucerne, 1930

Emil Nolde – Lake Lucerne, 1930

I had never heard of Emil Nolde before but this painting has a lot similarities to my painting in the Hard or Soft Landscape exerciseĀ with the feathery texture of the landscape, the lake and the light coming through the clouds. Only he takes what we both had and turned it into something magical, less colour but more light manipulation.

 

 

Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland - Western Hills

Graham Sutherland – Western Hills

This painting by Graham Sutherland has again a style that could be used to paint the small but steep mountains of Chiang Rai. The patch work hills almost look like paddy fields with the subtle light from the low sun giving them an exotic feel. I really love the way he played with the light here with the warm tones of the sunspot.

 

Leon Bakst

A Romantic and idealized landscape design for Daphnis and Chloe

A Romantic and idealized landscape design for Daphnis and Chloe

 

A Romantic and idealized landscape design for Daphnis and Chloe by Leon Bankst was the only painting of his that really caught my eye. Not really my kind or paintings, although I like the way he depicts the aerial perspective in this painting and you could imagine it would be really great as back drop on stage.

 

 

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt Garden Path with Chickens

Gustav Klimt Garden Path with Chickens

This painting looks better on page 79 of Klimt by Gilles Neret. There were often bright days in England where light bounced off too many objects for my eyes to take in. This painting reminds me of one of those days. The amount of detail that has gone into the individual flowers, each one with its own dark outline shows how long it took and how large the original painting must have been. Too be honest I looked at this painting a few times before and I never stopped to notice the dark objects were chickens even though they really stood out against the light coloured path. A brilliant use of colour and contrast.

 

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Roots

Frida Kahlo Roots

Thailand is in one of it’s worst droughts ever at the moment and this painting, Roots by Frida Kahlo depicts that perfectly. It is said that Frida Kahlo’s paintings weren’t surrealist paintings but paintings that depicted her agony and disability. I can’t sense her agony here but it does make me feel uncomfortable.

 

de Chirico

Piazza d Italia - de Chirico

Piazza d Italia – de Chirico

I’ve always liked the paintings of de Chrico with his white walled Mediterranean buildings, long shadows and burning sun that you never see that with the cloud on the horizon. He manages to create a great sense of distance in his paintings with very few obstacles.

 

 

 

van Gogh

van Gogh Wheat Field with Cypresses

van Gogh Wheat Field with Cypresses

It wouldn’t be right not to include at least one of van Gogh’s paintings. van Gogh was a master of expressing his inner emotionsĀ in his paintings and in Wheat Field with Cypresses there’s something there. You can’t quite put your finger on it but with the wild clouds and whipping leaves and branches of the trees and bushes you get a sense of frustration or anger or at least hyperactivity.

Perspective 2 – Aerial Perspective

Albrecht Durer - View of Trente -1494

Albrecht Durer – View of Trente -1494

 

Albrecht Durer’s View of Trente, 1494 (watercolour with gouache on paper) is a good example of aerial perspective. Unlike some of his other paintings the fade out of the mountains in the background is a bit More subtle.Ā Being up by the Meekong River examining this painting was helpful as it isĀ Ā relevant to the scenes that I was sketching.

 

1 Meekong River facing laos

1 Meekong River facing laos

These two sketches were part of a series of sketches that I made up in Chiang Khong and one of three charcoal sketches drawn by the Meekong river on the border of Laos and Thailand. This one here show a lot of promise, I especially like the way the trees accidentally turned out to look like two dogs playing but there isn’t much of a fade out in the mountains in the background, which would be better for this exercise.

 

2 Meekong Facing Down River

2 Meekong Facing Down River

This sketch, although drawn on the same morning and not long after the last one one looks a bit more mysterious, probably because the way I drew the mountains in the background makes it look misty. This was the main reason why I chose to develop this for the final painting. I was hopefully that the photos that I took while I was up there would help me with the colours of the trees and the sky as there were no photos taken of this actual area.

 

3 Final Painting First Sitting

3 Final Painting First Sitting

Like the finished piece in the Hard or Soft Landscape exercise I finished this one up in back in my apartment in Bangkok. After the first sitting it started to look very different to the sketch. The horizon was the same height and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it looked different, not realising that it was because the trees and mountains on the left weren’t as deep.

This wasn’t a problem for me and it actually .gave the scene more height and distance so I continued to let it take on a life of it’s own.

4 Finished Painting

4 Finished Painting

By the time I got the sky and the detail of the trees painted, it began to look even better than I expected. Painting thin washes of blue and white at the bottom of the trees helped me to depict mist on both sides of the river and I used the same scrumbling technique as I did in the Hard or Soft Landscape painting for the sky. Painting the clowds horizontally looked like they were (I think) lifting up in layers from the mist in the distance.

 

I’m not sure if I did a good job painting the mangroves in the foreground and I did go a bit wild with the solitary tree bottom right but the idea was to give them a lot of colour compared to the mountains and trees fading out in the background.

 

Perspective 1 – Linear Perspective

Canaletto - The Grand Canal with S Simeone Piccolo

Canaletto – The Grand Canal with S Simeone Piccolo

When I think of think of linear perspective in an urban landscape I think of Canaletto and his paintings of Venice and his wonderful interpretations of the canal systems and architecture.

They used to call Bangkok the Venice of Southeast Asia due to the network of canals Ā in and around the city, most of which have been closed off and made into open sewers. One of these canalsĀ is situated behind the Temple school where I teach and so to start this exercise I did Ā rather lengthy study of the canal and the buildings around it,

Bangkok

Canal Behind Debsirin School

1 Behind Debsirin School - Watercolour

1 Behind Debsirin School – Watercolour

This was the first and probably the best study in this exercise completed from life and in one sitting. I put it together in pieces like a jigsaw drawing the main lines and filling in the details one part at a time rather than drawing the lines of the whole thing first. The plants, bridge Ā and the outhouse at the end of the canal give the painting a lot of depth and it is very much a finished watercolour painting. It would have also been good to paint using really thin washes of acrylic using them as a watercolour medium something I haven’t tried yet.

Wat Makut Temple

2 Wat Makut Temple - Watercolour and Pen

2 Wat Makut Temple – Watercolour and Pen

Continuing with watercolour I went onto make this sketch over two pages in my Moleskine sketchbook of Wat Makut Temple at lunchtime.

This time I completed the expressive outline in Rotring drawing pen before ‘colouring in’ in watercolour. Usually on this style of urban sketching I would lock the sketch in first in pencil before going over in pen but this time I hgave up on the pencil after a couple of lines and completed the rest in pen making it a bit more expressive.

It wasn’t bad and is probably something I would like to develop in the future. However, it would have been better if I had used the book length ways capturing a cropped version scene of both sides of the temple as there are nice buildings on all sides here.

 

 

 

Koh Larn

3 Koh Lan Street in Pencil

3 Koh Lan Street in Pencil

I loooked all over Koh larn Island for a place where I could sit down undisturbed and spend time sketching without being bothered or being burnt to a crisp. It turned out thatĀ the best spot to sketch for this exercise was right near our hotel/guest house where there was a small passage way in between a resort and some traditional Thai island houses that lead down to the beach.

 

4 Koh Lan in Pen and Watercolour

4 Koh Lan in Pen and Watercolour

Here I managed to sit under the corner of a canopy and look down the passageway from the road. The first sketch I made was in charcoal pencil, the second in pen and watercolour. The reason for the two sketches was to see how similar the perspective of the two quick sketches would be, if there weren’t that much difference then I would look at developing these into a painting with the information I had.

 

The Final Painting

Torn between the Canal at the back of the temple and the scene on Koh Larn I decided to go for developing the scene on Koh Larn to capture the memory, with it being my last year living in Thailand.

5 Painting the Outline

5 Painting the Outline

I started by drawing in the outline by dipping the handle end of the paint brush in a slightly watered down mix of primary blue, hopefully this gave me the same kind of control as drawing with a stick, nice and stiff but not too precise.

 

 

 

 

6 Applying the Washes

6 Applying the Washes

From there IĀ applied a thin watered down mix of watered down blue fading into the white of the support for the sky and then began to apply thin washes of blue for the buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Trying a New Technique

7 Trying a New Technique

The brief for this exercise said that ‘the use of line by drawing with a brush or a drawing medium will be more important than your use of colour and tonal contrast’ but I wanted to use this opportunity to practice a new technique. I don’t know what it’s called or if there’s a name for it but I worked in the paint on the wall of the building in a criss-cross motion working the thin layers of red, blue and burnt Umber on top of each other.

 

 

8 Half Way Point

8 Half Way Point

After painting the grass and the sand I carried Ā on working on the lines of the side of the shop and the wooden panels of the Thai houses with a small flat brush before moving onto the resort side of the passageway and the most difficult part, the wooden fence above the wall.

 

 

 

 

9 Finished Painting

9 Finished Painting

The two sides of the passageway depict a contrast between the traditional lifestyle that the Thais lead and holiday island lifestyle of the visitingĀ holidaymakers and travellers and I was hoping to show that clearly here.

The finished painting is not how I imagined it would turn out. The perspective is good but I imagined it looser and more fluid rather than tight and precise like it turned out. This was due to the left hand side of the painting being quite technical and I would have probably been better choosing a street or passageway with Thai houses on both sides as I like the way the wood on the Thai houses turned out.

The wall on the building on the right remind me of the early paintings of contemporary artistĀ Therdkiat WangwatcharakulĀ who paints on rusty old aluminium panels, the difference being my finished painting is a bit too clean. Maybe this is because the wall on the right is too clean, would it be better to mark it up in someway?

 

 

From Inside Looking Out 2 – Hard or Soft Landscapes

Living in Bangkok it is very hard to find any rural landscape to draw or paint for this exercise but luckily enough it was a very busy month socially and within the space of a few weeks I had travelled to the seaside town of Pattaya and Koh Lan (Coral Island) to my girlfriend’s home town ofĀ Chiang Khong, just across the Meekong from Laos. This helped me get in quite a few studies of both rural and urban studies in a matter of days.

Urban Sketches

Chao Phraya River Bangkok

Wet on Wet Watersoluble Pencils

Wet on Wet Water Soluble Pencils

This is one of my favourite sketches of a hard landscape to date and it was a very different style for me. I made the sketch with wet water soluble pencils in a side to side motion on wet paper. The problem though was that I did not capture enough information to turn into a painting and another trip to the spot was needed before I could consider this for a painting.

 

 

Pattaya Pier

Watercolour Pattaya Pier

Watercolour Pattaya Pier

This watercolour sketch was drawn from a photo that I took arriving at pattaya from Koh lan on the ferry. Although it is quite a week sketch there are parts of it that really stand out, mainly theĀ ripples on the water and the sky.

 

 

 

Cranes on the Chaophraya

Watercolour Cranes on the Chaophraya

Watercolour Cranes on the Chaophraya

There is some pretty interesting construction going on at my side of Bangkok at the moment that needs documenting. IĀ passed these cranes on the way to work every day for about three months and eventually managed to get the day off so that I could draw them. This sketch had all the information needed to be developed into a painting but at this stage I’m not sure if I would be able to depict the water using acrylics

 

Emporium Park – Sukhumvit

Watercolour Sketch Sukumvit Park

Fig.1 – Watercolour Sketch Sukumvit Park

Watercolour Sketch - Sukhumvit Park

Fig. 2 – Watercolour Sketch – Sukhumvit Park

I wouldn’t have thought about going here as I live at the other side of the city but my girlfriend landed a private yoga class in the park and so it was a great opportunity to do a bit of sketchingĀ after I had helped her take photos of the Yoga class.

 

 

I did a lot of the sketching in the park and then finished them off at home and over did it with the water which looks too muddy. Ā The water in the park is very discoloured but should have more reflection on the surface in the sun.

 

 

 

 

Watercolour Sketch - Sukhumvit Park

Watercolour Sketch – Sukhumvit Park

 

The third sketch was a little better and I actually thought about using it for the coming linear perspective exercise. It was also great practie for mark making for the leaves of the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Temple at Rama VII Bridge

Acryic Sketch of Temple and River

Acryic Sketch of Temple and River

This sketch was a very fast sketch in acrylic of a temple by Rama VII bridge that sits on the Chaophraya river, the UFO type building in the background is the Nonthaburi campus of some Technology university. I thought it was a good contrast of old and new buildings. I sketched the buildings very quickly over a wash of blue and red which gave me the colour of the sky and those colours reflected on the water.

 

The water however was the only thing that stopped me developing this further in acrylic as again i’m not sure if I would do a good job of it an acrylics I think I may have to look into techniques for painting water.

Silhouette of a Local Temple

Silhouette of a Local Temple

Silhouette of a Local Temple

 

On the way home from painting the last sketch I took a photo of this temple on my side of the river which come out as a silhouette. It was a bit too easy to paint but it did give me some practice painting the sunset which I painted in watercolour before drawing in the buildings with a Pentel Brush pen.

 

Chao Phraya River – Khrung Thon Bridge

Watercolour Study Chaophraya

Watercolour Study Chaophraya

 

I took another trip back to the place where I completed the first sketch in watersoluble pencils. This time I wanted to capture more detail that I could maybe use in a final painting. Unlike the other sketches in watercolour I wanted this one to have more fluidity to it and so this time I used a wet on wet technique. It was my first time using this technique but I think it worked quite well. The only thing that didn’t really work was the boat.

 

Rural Landscape

Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai

The laos Bank of the Meekong River

Fig 1. The laos Bank of the Meekong River

Charcoal Study of a lake

Charcoal Study of a lake

The next sketches were part of a series of sketches I drew in charcoal in Chiang Rai while visiting my girlfriend’s home.

Fig 1. is a sketch of the banks of the Meekong river which I really liked as there were many layers to it with the trees and mountains in the background and the river in the foreground.

 

Fig 2. is a sketch of a small resevoir at the back of the girlfriend’s house. This was drawn at sunrise which I couldn’t really get over in charcoal. Being the most appealing of these sketches to be developed as a painting I took a photo of the scene so I could use the information from that for the colours I needed to use for the final painting. I just hoped that I could manage to paint the water as easy as it was to draw it in charcoal. Could I use a similar technique in paint?

 

The Final Painting – Soft Landscape

Final Painting after 1 Sitting

Final Painting after 1 Sitting

Once back in Bangkok I began the final painting in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment. Firstly I prepared the supportĀ the support with a wash of pink and blue that met in the middle this gave me a blue to work on for the sky and pink for the reflection of the illuminated clouds on the water. Then I begun to paint the clouds using a scumbling technique.

In fact I used the same technique but with different thicknesses of paint for most of the first part of the painting which I did in one sitting using only the the primary colours, red, yellow and blue plus white, mostly layering them on top of each other or mixing them on the canvas rather than mixing on the palette, applying the paint with a medium filbert.

Finished Painting 12 x 16 inch

Finished Painting 12 x 16 inch

When it came to the water I had no idea how to go about depicting the reflection on the ripples of water and tried several different techniques until I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at Monet’s Water Lily paintings. In one of his paintings, Water Lilies and Reed he seemed to use small horizontal strokes, this helped me a lot and I finally got it right, applying the paint in small strokes with a small detail brush.

Thoughts on Final painting

I really like the final painting for a number of reasons. Overall I’m quite proud with it as it was the first time I had painted using only the primary colours.

Composition

I originally chose the composition because even though this was a simple composition it was very soft with several focal points that would draw the viewer in such as the sky, the water and Ā the flow of water between the mountains. I wasn’t sure I could do a good job painting these areas but I am very happy with the results.