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Part 4: Project: Working from drawing and photographs page 116

July 8, 2013

Exercise: Painting from a working drawing page 117

A linear study= main shapes

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A3 loose leaf sketch: A linear study of the tower house at Avoch Primary school car park

a tonal study

Large tonal study: XL charcoal on 71 x 51cm decorator's lining paper

Large tonal study: XL charcoal on 71 x 51cm decorator’s lining paper

 A colour study

sketch referenced from watercolour 1 sketchbook

sketch reference

The painting should be larger but in the same format

Sketch development in System 3 acrylic on heavy duty decorator’s lining paper.

75 x 57 cm System 3 acrylic from watercolour sketch

75 x 57 cm System 3 acrylic from watercolour sketch

Exercise: Squaring up page 118

drawing or photograph- don’t paint too tightly

Inspiration for gridding

Inspiration for gridding

The street where I live has linear perspective potential complicated by the fact it is a crescent. Thankfully this is a straight bit before the bend. I feel the image should be cropped for a better composition.

Grid transferred photo with closer cropping

Grid transferred photo with closer cropping

This was very time consuming and involved process. The front doors of two of my neighbours are closer to centre stage. I feel more there, pulled in since object exit the picture plane and I like that. It is home after all. The pavement and the roof line makes a nice  zig zag route for the eye to travel and I may continue that pathway with clouds swelling top right.

grided image transferred and "cleaned" up on the substrate

gridded image transferred and “cleaned” up on the substrate

Well the linear perspective is not mathematically precise; but then, neither  is our street. I am satisfied that this represents the street fairly accuarately. Now to render with system 3 acrylic but in a fairly loose style.

first colour layer

first colour layer

I am feeling the loss of authenticity working from a photo. It just doesn’t feel genuine as the photo lacks emotion and there is no engagement with the subject in and experiential way. It is remote. I don’t think I will be happy unless I get out in the street and try to record a real place in time. At this point I have only used cobalt blue, yellow ochre and raw umber with white.

Scumbled sky and rendering around facades

Scumbled sky and rendering around facades

Scumbling gave a frothy texture to the clouds. Some would say dry brush work, however, the surface picks pigment off the brush in a grainy way. I could imagine using this technique much more. I created problems for myself by drawing in the buildings and rendering around. If I was to tackle this again I  would  prepare a sky and superimpose the image on top.

my street with rendered facades

my street with rendered facades

This has been a very limited palette. Burnt umber, cobalt blue, white, burnt sienna and French ultramarine. There has some unity/ harmony as a consequence. The darkest darks and lightest lights will complete this piece. To control the tone, I will be mixing with glazing medium. Shadows will give depth and solidity.

my street depth, detail and solidity

my street depth, detail and solidity

The painting is all but complete. I am happy that there is evidence of linear and  aerial perspective. I could possible go on tweaking this forever, but I have no desire to do so. I did not enjoy this and there is very little emotional content to tell the viewer how I feel about my street.

Gridding photos or drawings, however, is a notion that is rich and full of potential. In the portrait section prior to this; the idea of a landscape from the human face began to formulate in my mind.

Photo of a drawing

Photo of a drawing 1

This allowed me to study the human face. This is really important to me and is a go to setting in my artistic make-up. As is conceptual or abstract ideas.

Photo of a drawing 2

Photo of a drawing 2

I studied my own face and from this original I put the derivation through multiple distortions.

Photo of a drawing 3

Photo of a drawing 3

I got the notion of distorted grids from Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis. From that idea I extended out to playing cards, tiles and eventually shredding and weaving. This gave the heading that lives are “curiously interwoven” and I could produce images from shredded faces that are actually interwoven.

Photo of a drawing 4

Photo of a drawing 4

I really like abstracting landscapes from my face and hope to develop these pieces very large later and not necessarily for OCA purposes. However, OCA work opened up the potential in this area and I am indebted.

Exercise: Working from a photograph page 120

Glen Strathglass

Original Strathglass photo

Original Strathglass photo

This is a lovely view and I am lucky to live within twenty minutes of this view.

Derivative 1

Derivative 1

I cropped the photo to focus on the orange, purple and blue elements. This would be a lovely painting just to explore the symmetry and this portion of the colour wheel.

Derivative 2

Derivative 2

I cropped the image again to create a vertical strata that is quite abstract in character.

Derivative 3

Derivative 3

Again the picture was cropped square but a more moody part of the original has been highlighted here.. I occurred to me that all these views exist in one time depending on how each person views and encounters the world they live in. If they all exist at the same time, then why can’t all views be viewed simultaneously. When I pursued this idea I realised that this was the essence of cubism. The images could be zoomed, shrunk or elongated and then collaged. The collaging would destroy each image but if this was digitally recorded, printed and painted over; there would be a multi-dividend in the work and energy expended could be maximised. This was the essence of Andy Warhol and the mass-production of visual imagery. The idea was intriguing and I could imagine developing a working methodology from it.

Another idea was that the colours of the landscape viewed could be used to fit into pre-existing spaces. Referring back to my idea for a self portrait as a landscape; I could fit the colours viewed here into an abstract drawing that already exists. I had been thinking about the notion : Part of the landscape. Therefore abstracts of faces could be developed and then overpainted with colour schemes from the landscape. But why would you. Unless there was a unique connection between the person and their landscape. Say Hugh Millar and Cromarty; the only raison d-etre would be to develop abstracts that had personal meaning only. I am part of the landscape and I do live here. Therefore I am justified in pursuing this idea because it is mine and I am a creative entity occupying space.

However thes are departures that intrigued me and are congruent to the remit of this exercise. I decided to write these to allow the reader/ examiner an insight into the creative processes in my mind. I will probably develop these as I have been asked to contribute to an exhibition 2014.

Loch an Eilean Working from a photograph exercise page 120

I selected a favourite view that I felt matched the description closely. There is space for tall trees in the middle and large hill in the background.

Loch an Eilean inspiration

Loch an Eilean inspiration

Loach an Eilean inspiration 2

Loach an Eilean inspiration 2

Loch an Eilean inspiration 3

Loch an Eilean inspiration 3

I have visited this area on many occasions and know it very well. Indeed, the painting was begun  “plein air” and completed back “in the studio.”

Loch an Eilean landscape using photos. Atelier and system 3 acrylic on 46 x 61cm canvass

Loch an Eilean landscape using photos. Atelier and system 3 acrylic on 46 x 61cm canvass

A few quick drawings of the main shapes.

In what ways did you depart from the photo?

The entire composition deviates. Trees were moved around to find hot spots with the rule of thirds. Trees were positioned to create a frame for the castle. I remembered red oxide shingle under the water that had a different colour from the photos. I took a lot of liberties.

Why did you make that decision?

I really wanted to get a sense of the scale of the mountain in the background dwarfing the castle. I remembered the mountains being crimson biased and I wanted to exaggerate the use of complementary green. Additionally, the strong darks made the mountain faded and hopefully give a sense of depth

Did you produce a painting that satisfied you, or were you over influenced by the photo?

The painting does not satisfy me. There is some success in the quality of vertical light on the water. There is a suggestion of movement in the water too and I did achieve some aerial perspective. The picture just doesn’t look honest. Genuine detail has been lost. I am happy to deviate from reality and believe the artist doesn’t just copy the world- but has the power to invent new ones. The image is emotionally flat. Disconnect from the experience. It is easy to take a photo and capture the moment with no effort or thought; but to paint plein air, as I have tried to do so in this topic, is to be emotionally involved and engaged in time and place. The finished painting does not infer to the viewer any emotional content and it would be difficult to deduce my love of the place.

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