Category Archives: ASSIGNMENT 1

Assignment one

 My still life of Calla Lilly’s. Acrylic on canvas ( 50 x 60 )

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Above (the second photograph), is a more natural lighting and colour.

Some close up photographs of my painting are as follows:

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Above is one of my favourate sections of this painting because of the lines and tones.

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I included some visible specks of green through the transparent glass.

Notes on the process as well as the process itself are as follows:

  • My original sketches stemmed from a simple observational pen sketch (b). This inspired me to attempt a still life of a vase of flowers for my first assignment. I began by researching the type of flowers that are available during this season. I made a list of the ones that I felt would be most pleasing and interesting to paint (c).
  • I complete a colour study and plan my colours, some of which can be seen below (f) that I was going to use.
  • I then went on to experiment with composition. I began this process with many flowers, I then sketched a few and chose my favourite. This came down to three (f), which later turned in to two. Even though the third was beautiful, the two that I chose, really worked together and complimented each other well. They also created an insinuated diagonal line flowing through the painting. Their shapes, complemented the colours too, creating quite a gothic effect.
  • After researching well known artists that used dark back grounds for the base of their paintings during a previous stage of part one, I truly wanted to use this method for this assignment. I chose a mixture of cadmium red and ultramarine (inspired from working on a white background tonal study) and applied the mixure of paint with a small sponge on to canvas (to achieve a successful even background with a lovely texture). I covered the canvas completely as a base, to achieve a strong base for the coming layers of paint.
  • Following this, I then painted the table that the flowers were on, adding the tone of cloth. I have to add that through my research, I discovered that the positioning of a still life vase commonly seems to be positioned to one side of an oval table. I experimented and have to agree that this is the most aesthetically pleasing of all my choices.
  • For the vase, I used a transparent mixture of black and water. Followed by black paint directly from the tube for the stems visible through the glass.
  • I absolutely love the shapes and colours of these flowers, they were a real joy to paint. the flecks of green, white, many shades of purple through to black, etc. These were fascinating flowers to say the least.

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A brief evaluation of my assignment

Overall I am really happy with the results. I am pleased that I challenged myself to work in a way that I wasn’t used to and learnt a lot of things on the way.

I really wanted to achieve solidity in the paint for the most part, and I am happy that I used a dark backround to achieve this. I did find that as much preparation work as I did to begin with, really did help me when it came down to my final piece. However, I have to admit that once my painting dried I went back and added to it spontaneously after observing it for a while.

I had choices of light and dark shades of this flower, and thanks to previous exercises in this course, I wasn’t afraid to chose the darker shades. Along with my choice of flower (the mystical and haunting shapes of the lily’s), I feel that the whole composition, including the background of my living rooms purple wall, only enhances what I wanted to express through my piece. This was the whole meaning of still life flower paintings. Facing life within its last breaths and inevitable mortality. I feel that the flower especially conveys an emotional representation of everything that I have been learning about still life’s, especially vanitas paintings. I cannot wait to take this knowledge further.
I also have to add how much more freedom I am achieving in my painting. I found myself using not on my paintbrushes, but also my hands and fingers, etc. I love this new more adventurous side to my creativity.

As I progress through both my course and as an artist, I am learning the importance of patience. Allowing for the paint to dry between stages, waiting to see what my work dries like, working on different sections gradually, etc. This all takes time and I am learning to enjoying and appreciate the process, not just the outcome.

Technical difficulties and what I did to rectify them

  • I didn’t like the even plane back ground aswell as the lighter shade in front of it, so I added another shade from the spectrum very faintly to both, to add texture to the areas. Only in some areas.
  • I went back to go over the bright white reflections that were on the vase, with a very watery mixture of the black paint wash. The contrast was too over powering and originally distracted the whole focus.
  • I wasn’t happy with how the edge of the table dried, so went back and added a further layer of a different shade on top.
  • The overall painting appeared quite dark though the camera, putting the painting in direct light when taking a full shot, chaged the colours slightly in the photograph. I took several shots and commented above.
  • In the end, I chose quite a dark flower, however, leading from artists such as Rembrandt, etc. I used a lighter shade directly behind the flowers for the most part. I deliberately let the tips of the petals flow in to the darkness.

In conclusion this has been a perfect end to part 1. I have enjoyed bringing together much of my knowledge that I have gained so far, as well as you could say, discovering a new accent to my artistic voice.

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