Saturday, 26 February 2011

Geometrical compositions

I found it a bit hard to work backwards in other people's paintings. Once you start looking for geometrical lines, you see them everywhere.

I played around with the geometrical patterns myself. Once again I found this much easier to do on the computer.
It's a nice idea to try and base paintings on a pattern like this, but hard to then realise in reality unless you're making up the scene completely. Which I did next :o)

On the bigger version (click) you can see the underlying geometrical structure.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Starting Composition

Playing with abstract forms like this really is a great way to free yourself to think mainly of the compositions. in the two top rectangles there is definitely a feeling of space, mainly due to the very intentional horizon lines, I think.

In these I found that while the pictures become much more interesting it is harder to only think of the composition alone without being distracted by the colour. It plays such a vital part in the balance though, so we have to look at both together. All of these became flat patterns in the end. Number 5 does have a horizon line, but the colour overrides it's effect. If I had expanded the light blue to most of the spaces above it, it would have worked as a horizon, but the picture would have been unbalanced.

Note that I actually started this second exercise on paper. I drew out all my rectangles and started painting. But I quickly realised that this exercise would be much better on the computer as it would allow me to try out different versions very easily. I played with the colours for quite a while, changing the balance and looking at the effects. I can see why Paul Klee got completely engrossed in getting it just right.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Project 5 - What have you achieved?

Do you feel confident about your choice of subject and choice of view point or do you still have doubts about what to select?
All through the course I have been conscious of thinking very literally about these assignments. As this is the first painting course I reasoned that the focus is very much on learning techniques rather than pouring individuality into the pieces.
I got a bit fed up with that approach though, because taken literally the assignments aren’t very inspiring and I couldn’t see my own expression in the paintings I produced. Just doing that extra jug still life where it was all about me and my choices was hugely liberating and I enjoyed painting it a lot more.
So I decided for the last piece in this project to not do the window view or landscape so obviously indicated and instead turn the assignment to something I would rather paint. I could do a still life and still explore the concept of merging two views.
The merge doesn’t work well, but not because of the choice of subject, rather because I chose to make them too different from each other.

Do you feel your paintings have been influenced by other paintings you have seen? Can you say which influences they might be?
I have been fascinated with the still life since I started this course and have been looking at lots of different painters approach to this, as well as researching the “from one view to another”. There are many influences and it helps a great deal to look at how other people solve a similar problem. But I don’t set out to copy a particular style, rather I look at the soft focus some of the still lifes has and say: I’d like to have that in mine. I looked at the harsh winter light in one window painting and wondered if I could achieve the same.

In concentrating on multi-viewpoints in this last project, have other aspects of your painting been neglected?
Yes. I felt I had to compromise on the composition to get the two paintings to join up. I wouldn’t have put the box so much on the side in painting number two, but felt the exercise was completely lost if I pout it whole in both. I guess I should have spotted that in the drawing phase and rearranged the setup.
The box is abhorrently inaccurate perspective- wise, something I should have gotten right by now, but was focusing too much on playing with the mew media; oils, and on getting other aspects right. One day I’ll be able to hold it all in my head :o)

All in all the projects in this section have been very good. I really enjoyed drawing interiors and will be doing more of that. I feel like I have to work on the feeling of space. The paintings both came out with a flat cartoony feeling and not as 3D as they should have been; something I think I could maybe have fixed with more time on each.
I am beginning to feel that there isn’t enough time to do each painting justice, but to maintain a decent pace throughout the course I have to press on. I’ve been reading about academy training where they spend up to 75 hours on a single drawing. I spend roughly 10 hours a week on this, so that would be 8 weeks just to get one drawing right. Wow.
The switch to oil is great and I like the medium so much better than acrylics, but it exacerbates the problem of my time. I can’t do a painting in two sittings but have to wait patiently for the paint to dry. It can’t be helped I think, even with the use of drying medium. And in a sense I liked that there is no rushing.

Have you seen possibilities for paintings at work, in your street or in the garden?
Not really. I like drawing street views and interiors, but they are not my favourite subject. I like still lifes and people the best and those are the subjects I tend to think about.
I am getting more used to painting and that feels great. I wish I had more time to work at it.

P5.4 - Second part

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Practice practice

Time for some figure drawing. I think.

And more charcoal

Jeff Legg

Just came across Jeff Legg's fantastic still life paintings. Seeing them made my heart sing. I already live still life as an art form, but I didn't realise they could look so much like fairy tales and fantasy. The glow of those colours...

Jeff Legg Website

Friday, 4 February 2011

Project 5.4 Preliminary drawings

For the Paintings I decided to try something a little different. Instead of a whole view out the window I'll go for a tabletop set-up. Simple because it is easier to see the effect of the different viewpoints and check if my perspective is correct.

I struggled to get the drawing right. For some reason I just couldn't get the proportions nailed. But I'm happy with the end result.
Hey, if it's too easy, you don't learn anything, right?