Sunday, 25 November 2012

Warming Up

Autumn Glow
(Based on Geoff Kersey's Trees, Woodlands and Forests)
Watercolour on Paper
18cm x 15cm (7" x 6")

This is my interpretation of a demonstration by Geoff Kersey. It is from his third programme on “Trees, Woodlands and Forests” from The Painting and Drawing Chanel.

I tend to paint something from the Painting and Drawing channel as a warm up at the start of each painting session. It gives me a chance to get into a painting frame of mind and to muster my eye-hand coordination before working on one of my own paintings. It is also a good way to experiment and learn about other people's techniques.

The background in this picture is painted wet in wet. Geoff started by wetting the paper and then adding a yellow gold, a red gold and a purple. The colours merge into each other to create gentle transitions and a soft golden glow.

After the background was dry, Geoff used a dry brush technique to create the broken effect of the foliage. He applied stronger mixtures of the same colours (and an autumnal green) using the side of dry brush to skate along the surface of the rough paper.

He used a similar technique to create the broken texture on the trunk and branches to give the impression there are leaves in front of them. The final step was to add some opaque yellow leaves to increase this effect.

I’ve had a productive day - I painted the picture on this post, finished painting my Christmas cards and did some more work on the painting of Coverack Harbour (see Preparations for Coverack Harbour).

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Change of Plans

Watercolour, Gouache and Permanent Marker on Paper
18cm x 25.5cm (7" x 10")

I was planning to spend Saturday painting some Christmas cards and finishing the painting of Coverack Harbour that I started back in September (see Preparations for Coverack Harbour ). Instead, I was sidetracked into painting the picture at the top of this post.

On Friday evening, Elaine posed for three 5-minute Straight and Curved Lines studies. One of the drawings really appealed to me because a small number of lines captured the gesture of the pose and there was an interesting contrast in the way Elaine’s straight right leg crossed her curved left leg. On Saturday morning, I was more attracted to painting a simplified version of the drawing than to the activities I had planned, so we will have to buy Christmas cards.

Sustained Study - Section 20 - Contour Drawing
11 November 2012
Graphite Pencil on Tracing Paper
38cm x 37cm (15" x 14.5")

This is the contour drawing from the sustained study for Section 20. It is the closest I’ve come to a likeness of Elaine in these exercises. It is a shame it is on a tatty piece of tracing paper.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ready For Christmas

Ready For Christmas
Watercolour on Paper
8cm x 11.5cm (3.25" x 4.5")

I know it’s a bit early for Christmas, but yesterday was the November Painting Day of the Shelford Group of Artists and Tony Slater’s topic for the day was Small Pictures for Christmas Cards/Presents.

Tony painted a sprig of holly in an attractive loose style and then offered the group advice on their paintings.

My subject for the day was this well-fed robin. One of my goals was to give an indication of feathers, without getting drawn into painting details with a fine brush. Before I started painting, I made some marks with a clear wax crayon in the direction of the feathers. The paint cannot stick to the wax and I hoped the textured wash would read as feathers. I made some more prominent wax marks on the background to represent plant stems, but perhaps they look more like falling snow.

After the paint was dry, my final touch was to add some Winsor and Newton Iridescent Medium to the snow and white plumage. Its effect is a more subtle version of the beloved classroom glue and glitter technique. Unfortunately, the effect is so subtle it doesn’t show up in the photo.

I will wish you a Happy Christmas, but lets leave it for a month.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lighten Up

Sustained Study in Crayon 3 - Modelled Drawing
29 October 2012
Conté Crayon on Paper
33cm x 37cm (13" x 14.5")

This is my third sustained study in crayon. The first two studies are on Sustained Study in Crayon and Try and Try Again.

In this study (and the previous one), I spent too much time trying to make an accurately proportioned drawing – I sacrificed my initial reaction to the gesture of the pose to try to obtain accuracy and in the end didn’t achieve either. The result looks stiff and lacks emotional involvement.

I start another study this week and this time I am going to focus on keeping the gesture of the pose. I will try to make the drawing accurate, but this will be of secondary importance. I’m also going to make more use of the white crayon.

I feel guilty about posting this study. Elaine posed for it, but it is an inaccurate and unflattering representation.