Category Archives: Pt 1 – Introduction to Painting

Transparent and Opaque 3 – Opaque Colour Mixing

Some pigments have greater opacity than others without the addition of white and some can be laid on thickly to cover layers underneath, but white is essential for building body colour and is the vital ingredient for most opaque painting techniques. In this exercise, you’ll paint graded tones by mixing in white. Look carefully at your tonal mixes and put some white on your palette or saucer. Choose at least three of the washes you’ve painted (including the single colour ones) and attempt to recreate exactly the same colour, shade and tone of each of these in turn. This time, though, you’ll be mixing colours by adding in white, making the paints opaque.

Over-painting with acrylic works well because it dries so quickly. However, subtle, smooth colour blending is harder to achieve and that is the aim of this exercise. You’ll have to work fast at blending the graded tones of each colour by adding more white progressively or you could go from light to dark. Acrylic paints tend to dry darker than when they are applied so this exercise will help you to see how they behave. If you’re working with oil paints, you should be able to blend the colours with ease.

One way to blend colours is to lay out broad bands of colours to be mixed and gradually feather the tones across each other so that they blend smoothly and evenly. When you’ve completed this exercise, compare the effects of the transparent colour mixes (from previous exercises) and the opaque ones. Think about ways in which both methods could work together. Make notes in your learning log.

Due to the fact that I live in a one-bedroom apartment and will be doing most of this course using acrylics I decided to go with acrylics for now, but I am hoping I can get to use some oil paint in the same way later on in this course.

My first attempt was pretty good although my first band of blending went totally to pot as I grabbed a Titanium buff by accident in a hurry going home from work, I am not sure what a buff is for, I will look into later but I will make a wild guess at toning down bright colours…

In this first attempt which was on one of only two of the only 300 gsm sheets of watercolour paper I had left I attempted to was intending to recreate the tones of the first single colour blend, ultramarine.

I couldn’t really see much difference between the transparent wash in the Tonally Graded wash Exercise, except maybe the transparent washes were probably smoother. However, the colours in this exercise were probably more vibrant.

1stTry with Wrong White

1stTry with Wrong White

The next attempt was on a thinner sheet of watercolour paper on the back of one of the existing washes treated with Gesso but still the bands of colour blends were a success. This time even better than the first go. I have had previous experience at this on one of my own paintings from years ago where the ultramarine towards the top of the sky was very dark as though it was almost touching space, but the colour wasn’t blended as well as these. With the white space between the bands I can imagine the trail of  fighter jets against the blue sky.

2nd Attempt Getting Better - Warped Paper due to Gesso on Thin Paper

2nd Attempt Getting Better – Warped Paper due to Gesso on Thin Paper

I felt that I had got where I needed to be as far as blending the ultramarine so my next attempt was to try and recreate the Violet wash, again the colours were more intense than in the Tonally Graded Washes exercise but not as smooth. Next to the blue bands the Violet seems alot more opaque. I used the other side of the same brush so there is a hint of Ultramarine at the top of the colour bands, this actually looks quite good.

 

3rd Attempt with Ultramarine and Violet

3rd Attempt with Ultramarine and Violet

From there I worked length-ways across the paper to blend the two colours together althought the ends are quite messy the blend of colour which I achieved by feathering one colour over the other is not too bad, I can work at this but I feel that the Overlaying Washes were a lot smoother and easier to achieve as to blending these two opaque colours.

4th Attempt Blending Ultramarine into Violet

4th Attempt Blending Ultramarine into Violet

Thesecond attempt working down the paper in landscape was a lot better maybe because the paint at less time to try, it was 30+ degrees heat here and the acrylic was drying quickly.

From there I loaded my palette up with lots of ultramarine an attempted to recreate the spherical wash of the base of the Vase in the Painting Monochrome Vessel Assemblage by Brian Irving Shown in the Coursework.

5th Try with Spherical Blend

5th Try with Spherical Blend

After researching Mark Rothko I really wanted to try painting something in the style of but I realised that I would have to make two very dilute mixes of colour to cover the quite large sheets of acrylic paper that I had at hand and so keeping to opaque colour mixing I attempted to blend as many different colours together as possible, I then separated the colour bands with Payne’s Gray to see what emotions I could evoke with this against the bright colous.

6 - Blending Different Colours

6 – Blending Different Colours

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Research Point 1 – Mark Rothko and the Seagram Murals

Look at the paintings of Mark Rothko, in particularly the huge Seagram Building Paintings, now in the Tate Modern, which form a solemn kind of tone poem all in shades of crimson.

Rothko was an American Abstract Impressionist painter, born in Russia and emigrated with his family to the U.S.A. in 1913. As a young buy Rothko was interested in literature, music and social studies and won a scholarship to Yale University where he studied liberal arts but left without graduating in his third year.

In 1925 Rothko moved to New York where he was he made irregular attendances at the Art Students League, one of the classes there was a painting class buy Max Weber, which remained his only formal art training. Mostly self taught, he educated himself by attending exhibitions and visits to artists’ studios such as that of Milton Avery, whose work influenced Rothko along with that of Matisse with their simple compositions and flat areas of colour.

Bathers or Beach Scene Untitled 1933-4 by Mark Rothko

Bathers or Beach Scene Untitled 1933-4 by Mark Rothko

Rothko’s earliest pictures comprised of Expressionist landscapes, genre scenes, still-lifes, and bathers and were somewhat muddy in tone while his watercolours of the same period, demonstrate an expert approach to thin washes of pigment. His paintings throughout the 1930s invoked a feeling of mystery and dread with tragic figures set in claustrophobic apartments, lonely city streets and subway platforms.

Mark Rothko - Entrance to Subway - Subway Scene - 1938

Mark Rothko – Entrance to Subway – Subway Scene – 1938

In the lates 30s Rothko and Gottlieb as well as other Jewish artists with similar interests formed ‘the Ten’ together they mounted exhibitions in New York and Paris Until 1940.

During the mid-1940s Rothko evolved a personal watercolour technique.  he applied watercolour, gouache, and tempera to heavyweight paper, then before the paint had time to dry, he used black ink to define forms. The ink would bleed when introduced to areas that were still wet and resulted in the black burst often found in his works from this period. These watercolour techniques seemed to have influenced the technique which he  developed for his oil paintings.

Mark Rothko - Untitled  oil on canvas 1945

Mark Rothko – Untitled oil on canvas 1945

Rothko felt that his new work was consistent with the subject matter of his earlier paintings, he stressed he had not removed the human figure but had replaced it’s form with symbols and later shapes. In his opinion paintings like No.13(White, Red and Yellow) below had developed out of his hopes to express human emotions.

Mark Rothko Number 13 -White Red on Yellow

Mark Rothko Number 13 -White Red on Yellow

‘The progression of a painter’s work…will be toward clarity…..I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom…and if you…are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point.’ Mark Rothko.

The Seagram Murals

Mark Rothko untitled Mural for End Wall

Mark Rothko untitled Mural for End Wall

Rothko was received one of the biggest commissions of his life in 1958, to paint a series of murals for the fashionable Four Seasons restaurant located in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue New York.

Mark Rothko untitled 1958

 

This set a new challenge for Rothko as it was the first time he had been asked to produce a coordinated series of paintings as well as producce an artwork space concept. To do this the artist constructed a scaffold in his studio, the same dimensions of the restaurant. Over the next three months he completed 40 paintings. A total of three series in maroon, dark red and black rather than the intense bright colours in his earlier paintings. He also altered his the usual horizontal format to vertical so that they would complement the restaurant’s vertical features: columns, walls, doors and windows.

Mark Rothko Untitled (section 3) 1959_0

Rothko was influenced by Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library in Florence, with its blind windows and deliberately oppressive atmosphere, he commented that Michelangelo ‘achieved just the kind of feeling I’m after – he makes the viewers feel that they are trapped in a room where all the doors and windows are bricked up, so that all they can do is butt their heads forever against the wall.’ While on the SS Independence Rothko disclosed to Harper’s Magazine publisher John Fischer, that his true intention for the Seagram murals was to paint “something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room….”

Mark Rothko Untitled (section 2) 1959_0

Eventually he realised that the worldly setting of a restaurant was no ideal location for such a work, Rothko withdrew from the Seagram Mural commission. He kept the commissioned paintings in storage until 1968 before presenting the series to the Tate Gallery, expressing his deep affection for England and for British artists such as J.M.W. Turner.

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon mural, section 5

Mark Rothko Red on Maroon mural, section 5

The Seagram Murals arrived in London for display at the Tate Gallery on the very day of his suicide, February 25, 1970. His assistant Oliver Steindecker, found him lying dead on the floor in front of the sink. Rothko was covered in blood with slices down his arms inflicted by a razor that was found lying at his side. The autopsy revealed that he had also overdosed on anti-depressants. ‘Mark Rothko was always incredibly depressed’ – Matthew Collings, This is Modern Art.

Mark Rothko Black on Maroon 1958

Mark Rothko Black on Maroon 1958

I used to have a reoccurring nightmare when I was a kid which was more of an intense feeling of anxiety than anything else. There were no figures in the dream just vertical blocks of dark greys and blacks pushing together and as they did the pressure that I felt would force me awake. This could have been from temporary damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain from pneumonia or asthma and I haven’t really thought about it for years but looking at the images above brings it all back and that’s just on the computer.

I’m not keen on the paintings, although I do understand the concept and respect the artist and I would like to get right up close and personal with Rothko’s paintings to feel just what the artist intended you to feel “tragedy, ecstasy, doom”

Although there is some emotion there for me looking at the murals above on a computer do not them justice at all, I have seen how two colours bleed into each other when wet  and can only really guess how the darker colours of the black shape on ‘Black and Maroon’ for example have bled into the lighter maroon. To see that on a grand scale would be something else.

If according to the Greek historian Plutarch ‘Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.’ Then yes the poetry that these paintings offer us is very solemn indeed.

http://www.the-art-minute.com/

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/display/mark-rothko

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rothko

http://www.oxfordartonline.com/

Transparent and Opaque 2 – Overlaying Washes

Once my papers from the last exercise, Tonally Graded Washes, had dried I made up the same colour mixes again but this time painting the second colour over the dried wash I had set aside. There were noticeable differences in the way the paint and colour behaved.

The colours did not merge in the same way, in the first exercise the colours made new colours and spontaneous patterns as they merged in the middle but in this exercise the wet layer faded into the dried layer. Merging in this way gives you more control as  the result is more predictable.

 

1 - Wet Blue Ultramarine over a  dry violet wash

1 – Wet Blue Ultramarine over a dry violet wash

2 - Wet Blue Ultramarine over a  dry violet wash

2 – Wet Blue Ultramarine over a dry violet wash

3 - Wet Violet over dry Ultramarine

3 – Wet Violet over dry Ultramarine

4 - Wet Violet over dry Ultramarine

4 – Wet Violet over dry Ultramarine

From there I went on to look at other pigments all acrylic and I found out that some pigments were thicker than others. Below is a wet and wet overlaying wash of sand over raw umber, with the same amount of water I found that the sand was more opaque than the raw umber so rather than run into the more transparent colour it had to be worked in. However, a wet and wet wash of raw umber over sand had the opposite result with the raw umber running into the sand.

5 - Sand over Raw Umber

5 – Sand over Raw Umber

6 - Raw Umber over Sand

6 – Raw Umber over Sand

From there I wanted to experiment with two contrasting colours and so chose a yellow wash over fluorescent pink, again wet and wet, what I found was that the colours blended well together forming layers of orange as the layers of wet paint mixed into each other.

7 - Yellow over Flourescent Pink

7 – Yellow over Flourescent Pink

From there I chose to do some glazes with several colours over two different coloured backgrounds, one a bright yellow the other, raw umber. I found that bright pigments remained strong over the bright yellow while they toned down over the mellower raw umber.

8 - Glazes ovrer Yelllow

8 – Glazes ovrer Yelllow

9 - Glazes over raw umber

9 – Glazes over raw umber

Transparent and Opaque 1 – Tonally Graded Wash

Set up length-ways and look through your colours for either a strong red (such as cadmium red) or Ultramarine. Then put a small amount of pigment on your palete and work inwater or turps until you have a strong fluid mix of the colour. Load a medium wide brush and work from the top to the bottom of the sheet with increasingly dilute mixes of the colour until, at the bottom of the sheet you have a very pale wash, almost faded out to white.

It was eveming and I had neither a string red or so I tried mixing two blues together to start and the only paper I had was a thin 150 gsm watercolour paper. I learnt my lesson, the two acrylic blues werent mixing together as well as i thought they would and the dilute wash was very streaky and between that and the thin paper the results were horrifying.

I decided to start again the next day after I purchased some Ultramarine paint and some nice Canson 300 gsm watercolour paper as well as a good quality medium brush. With the new quality tools i started to produce quality washes.

i found it wasn’t as straight forward as working my way tk the bottom with increasingly dilute mixes, occasionally I had to load up the brusb with a thicker mix and work my way back up to get the graded wash.

intitally started out by bulldog clipping the sheets to the drawing board but as i got better at the tonally graded washes i let the bulldog clip alone.

 

1st Successful Wash Ultramarine

1st Successful Wash Ultramarine

2nd Successful Wash

2nd Successful Wash

3rd Successful Wash

3rd Successful Wash

4th Wash Tonally Graded Wash More Improvement

4th Wash Tonally Graded Wash More Improvement

5th Wash Couldn't ask for better

As the brief instructed I practised this several times until I had a satisfactory progression from deep tones to the very palest tones. All the time controlling the load on the brush and the flow of paint on the paper to avoid the paint running, then I put the ones with the most steadily graded wash aside to dry to be used in the next exercise,  overlaying washes. I then did more washes in a dilute mix of violet as it is close to the original colour on the spectrum (as instructed) and set those aside for the next exercise as well.

6th Wash in Violet

6th Wash in Violet

7th Wash in Violet

7th Wash in Violet

Then i worked wet-in-wet and painted a graded wash of the second colour (violet) on to one of the sheets with the second colour (ultramarine) and vice versa allowing the colours to merge in the centre, what i found was that the violet and ultramarine formed layers of purple as they blended into each other which reminded me of an horizon seen from over the wing of an aeroplane.

8th Wash Wet and Wet

8th Wash Wet and Wet

9th Wash Wet and Wet

9th Wash Wet and Wet

Basic Paint Application 3 – Painting with Pastels

If you’ve got some pastels amongst your art materials, try this exercise.

Luckily for me I have just studied the OCA Drawing 1 Courseand so I have plenty of pastels, in fact I have so many because I have to keep buying boxes just for the white pastel.

Pastels are both a drawing and painting medium, and nowadays are used more in the latter category. The application of oil pastel and soft pastel is very different, particularly in relation to painting:

  • Oil pastel is usually used with turps and can be used to layer and blend.
  • Soft pastel picks up the tooth of the support and can be blended with paint using a damp cloth or brush and water scumbling techniques.

You can cover large areas with the side of a stick, lay one colour over another, and blend colours and tones. Use the points of the sticks for linear details. Practise making marks and blending with pastels; if you have time, use the techniques you’ve discovered to make a simple picture.

I was actually planning to just use oil pastels for this exercise as i the box of soft pastels that i have is a portrait box and yhere isn’t a great deal of contrasting colours in there. However, I decided to give this exercise a go with soft padtels first and the results were satisfying.

With the soft pastels I used a number of techniques, squiggles, hatching zig-zag, smudging, blending with a hard cotton bud ( I lost my tortillon in the move) and a new technique that I wish I had a name for and that was to blend a dark with a deep pink using a wet cloth and then to add lighter colours to the blend. The lighter colours sat on the top of the damp blend and could lightly be rubbed in with a finger or cotton bud. If I put pressure on while rubbing they would disappear into the darker blend below. The results can be seen in bottom right of the image below.

1 - Experimenting with Soft Pastels

1 – Experimenting with Soft Pastels

From there I wanted to use my new found technique which I still don’t have a name for in a simple picture, I was watching Peaky Blinders which gave me an idea, which I realised in the drawing below.

2 - A Simple Drawing with Soft Pastels

2 – A Simple Drawing with Soft Pastels

From there I went onto using oil pastels. I used mostly hatching techniques which was nothing new but what was new was how I blended in the hatching (with my finger). I found that by moving my finger across the hatched lines I could manipulate the oil pastel or drag it horizontally across the hatching. Other techniques I used were using the side of the sticks to cover bigger areas and then ‘dragging’ that into another colour as well as squirkling and blending with the cotton bud.

3 - Experimenting with Oil Pastels

3 – Experimenting with Oil Pastels

It was now time to create a simple picture with the oil pastels and I had something in mind but first it was time to christen my sketchbook. I chose a pose from the last part of the Drawing 1 Course which was actually quite a dramatic pose but I had only used squirkling with oil pastel and this was an opportunity to do more with it, luckily I held on to some photos that I took from that exercise Using Colour.

4 - Painting with Oil Pastels - Getting Familiar with the pose

4 – Painting with Oil Pastels – Getting Familiar with the pose

I picked out the simple details from the pose as I wasn’t working on massive sheets of paper so I needed to know I could recreate in oil pastels.

This time I used a 50/50 white spirit/linseed oil solvent with cotton balls and cotton buds to blend, something I had never done before and it was quite messy. Using this technique I found it quite difficult to get te colours right as lighter colours sat on top of the solvent and would not blend in, it is also taking a very long time to dry. I feel that it would have been better on a larger sheet of paper using my finger/cotton bud/tortillon to blend the colours like in the experimental stage above.

5 - Painting with Oil Pastels and Solvent Mixture

5 – Painting with Oil Pastels and Solvent Mixture

Basic Paint Application 2: Applying Paint without Brushes

Painting knives have been used for many centuries, usually in conjunction with brushes, but you can also complete whole paintings with just knives, which are sold in many sizes and shapes.if you don’t have one, use an ordinary palette well loaded with paint for your initial experiments.

I went out and purchased a painting knife for this exercise and I initially used acrylic paint with a medium gloss gel to thicken the paint.

Also try applying paint using old plastic credit cards, set squares and protractors, pieces of cardboard windscreen scrapers and plastic plastering tools. You can apply paint quite thinly with these and lay one colour over another so that the first layer remains visible. Don’t worry about creating a painting- just enjoy experimenting.

Unfortunately I am limited to what I can find here in Bangkok but I do have an old student union card as well as protractors and set squares.

Now try applying paint with sponges, rags, toothbrushes and your fingers. Sponges and toothbrushes are good for texture effects, and can be built up in layers or laid over flat colour. Rags and fingers are useful for blending one colour into another or wiping across the surface. This exercise is best done with oils as they dry slowly, giving you plenty of time to manipulate the paint.

I went out and bought a small pack of oil paints to use for my first bit of experimentation. I had some board that I have been using for backing board for my first assessment (drawing 1) so I decided to use the oils on that. I had learnt how to clear my mind and doodle in Drawing 1 so I decided to continue here.

Painting Knife

I started with black and white paint with a painting knife which I didn’t think was as controllable as I thought. I thought I would have more fun with this. I used the knife on the bottom and forgot to prep the support which seemed to absorb the paint so I covered the rest in Gesso.

Credit Card

Next I used my old student union card which I found was more controllable than the painting knife and that I could get better angles (flatter to the board) with it.

Bubble Wrap

This was the first time I used bubble wrap which I wrapped round a Vicks’ Jar to give me almost circular groups of prints with it. Later  would use a soap box which gave me a large square of prints that was better for covering bigger areas.

Sponge

I have yet to find a natural sponge. I did used a synthetic sponge on it which gave me the same texture as a cloth.

Protractor

I loved using the protractor but I found I had to either put loads of paint on it or move the protractor in a wave like motion on the surface so that the whole edge would touch the surface. By then dragging this down I could make a fan like pattern.

 

1 - Doodling in Oil Paint without Brush

1 – Doodling in Oil Paint without Brush

More Experimentation

For me that was my first bit of oil painting done and what I learnt from it was that I had to learn how to mix better so. So from there instead of wasting more oil paint I decided to continue with the acrylics and medium gloss gel instead.

I had seen how these looked together separately on the same support now it was time to see how they could interact with each other and so the next ‘doodle’ was a result of finger painting over painting knife and then bubble wrap and protractor over the top. This tyime I made circles with the protractor.

2 - Experimenting with Fingers Student card and Protractor

2 – Experimenting with Painting Knife and Protractor

 

3 - Experimenting with Student card and Protractor

3 – Experimenting with Student card and Protractor

Toothbrush

Reading the brief again I realized I had overlooked the toothbrush, so with a flat toothbrush I set out to recreate the same landscape I attempted in the last exercise, Getting to Know your Brushes, personally I prefer the toothbrush landscape below

4 - Painting with a Toothrush

4 – Painting with a Toothrush

Bubble Wrap over a Square Object

As I said above I wrapped the bubble wrap around a soap box for more experimenting, the result of which can be seen below which I tonally graded by letting the paint fade into the middle and then used a close paint colour at the other end of the paper.

5 - Applying Paint with Bubble Wrap

5 – Applying Paint with Bubble Wraparound a soap box

6 - Applying Paint with Painting Knife

6 – Applying Paint with Painting Knife

7 - Applying Paint ewith Fingers

7 – Applying Paint ewith Fingers

8 - Applying Paint with Student Card

8 – Applying Paint with Student Card

My preferred painting tools from this exercise are definitely the credit card as to the paintng knife as well as fingers and bubble wrap.

 

 

Basic Paint Application – Getting to know your brushes

I had no prior knowledge of paintng brushes or their names before this exercise. I had only ever used a cheap round synthetic brush for stippling.

The brief for this exercise:

Part A : Start by exploring the range of marks and shapes that can be made with your brushes, make marks of different sizes, using flats, rounds and filberts.

materials used:

  • Canson XL Mixed media pad (about A4)
  • Gesso
  • Hog Bristle brushes
  • Synthetic Brushes
  • Reeves acrylic paints

After researching the names of the brushes online I then went out to purchase some, Ito start I bought hog bristle thinking they would be the best but after this first part of this exercise on recommendation by an artist friend I went back and invested a bit more money in synthetic.

For this part of the exercise I used flat, angle, fan, bright, round and filbert brushes and acrylic paint and three sheets of Gesso prepared mixed media paper.

The first sheet in blue was basically my first attempt at getting to know the length, width and type of stroke I could get from each type of brush and I did use every type of brush I had at my disposal as I had never used any of these types of brushes before. On the next two sheets in brilliant red I looked more into what marks I could make with each brush.

I found that the main brushes made the following types of strokes:

  • The ‘Flat’ brush made strong long strokes.
  • The ‘Bright’ creates short controlled thick strokes.
  • The ‘Filbert’ can create short round, flat, thin and pointed strokes.
  • The ‘Round’ brush good for thin to thick strokes depending on how much pressure is applied
  • The ‘Fan I thought this would be good for texture like leaves on trees and clouds but I think I need to find a synthetic fan as the hog bristle was a bit disappointing.
Getting to Know Your Brushes 1

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 - Second Experiment

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 – Second Experiment

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 - Third Experiment

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 – Third Experiment

From there I focused on the both synthetic and hog bristle Flat, Round and Filbert brushes in and with just these three brushes I made a wide variety of marks with short strokes, long strokes and by applying more or less pressure and different parts of the brushes to the paper.

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 - Marks with Flats, rounds and filberts

Getting to Know Your Brushes 1 – Marks with Flats, rounds and filberts

Part B : Then, from Memory, paint a small simple landscape (about A4). Use large brushes so you won’t be distracted by the urge to include detail; instead, concentrate on the possibilities and patterns made by the brush strokes.

Gettibg to Know Your Brushes 2 - A Landscape from Memory

Gettibg to Know Your Brushes 2 – A Landscape from Memory

I live in Bangkok and don’t get to see much country landscapes and throughout the Drawing 1 Course I drew most of my landscapes, bar one, in a park close by so the painting above, was from memory, from my 360 degrees studies. I concentrated on possibilities and patterns made by the brush strokes but these happened in the background as to the fore or middle-ground and with the fan and flat more than the other brushes that I use on this exercise which were a hog bristle medium wide, flat, filbert and fan although the smaller filbert was good for the leaves on the trees.

Getting to Know Your Brushes 2 - A Landscape from Memory 2

Getting to Know Your Brushes 2 – A Landscape from Memory 2

i decided to have another go at this part of the exercise, with synthetic brushes. Again from memory, from the same exercise 360 degrees studies, facing West. Looking at the original drawing in charcoal afterwards it is nothing like but it did give me chance to concentrate more on possibilities and patterns made by the brush marks.

I had more control with the synthetic brushes and found that the edge of the flat was great for grass, tree trunks, the filbert was good for shading as well as the curved form of the branches. This time I used a synthetic fan, which I think was for watercolour, and by using grass green at one end and lime yellow at the other I was able to depict the light shining off the trees and by fanning in a circular motion was able to give the trees more body.

Part C :  Once you have experimented, paint a piece of fruit, using the techniques, taking care to set the fruit in direct light to help define the form.

Getting to Know Your Brushes 3 - Painting Fruit

Getting to Know Your Brushes 3 – Painting Fruit

Originally I bought four bananas for this part of the exercise but by the time I got round to it they had gone off in the heat of my kitchen so I used a pineapple I bought the day before. Because it was evening I directed a bendy lamp at it so I could define the form. I used a lot of the techniques that I had learnt above plus a few new ones but I used the Flat, Angular and Filbert mostly on this. I am glad I didn’t use the glossy gel on this as the flat matt acrylic paint makes the pineapple look almost stone like and even though I didn’t do an amazing job on the leaves they only add to the stone feel.