Category Archives: Part 1: What paint can do

Exercise 1: View from a doorway

For this exercise I spent a great deal of time exploring different viewpoints for varying settings too. My search resulted in a view from a doorway and my decision to keep the content of the interior basic., enough to bring the story alive. However, not enough to take away the main focus of the painting. I chose to actually include the door frame and the main shapes, to draw the view in through the lines of the linear perspective. I wanted to visually take the viewer through the journey in to the garden.

Personally I wanted to create a peaceful mood and a relaxing atmosphere. I used a wash for many of the colours with acrylic in order to bring a similar result to my watercolour study. It created quite a romantic atmosphere. I explored the tonal range initially through my colour studies. This really helped when creating my final piece.

Initial sketches:

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Taking my chosen viewpoint further:

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Watercolour study:

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Acrylic painting A4:

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Exercise 3: Working from a photograph

I have to admit that working from a photograph really has it’s advantages. I discovered a lovely aesthetically pleasing landscape that was fairly balanced and included the main components that achieved a “typical” landscape. The mirrored water was achieved much greater in earlier sketches and my mini tester painting. The more that I spent time on this painting and even completed another second larger scaled one too, the more freedom that I discovered as I moved away from the original. I feel that the final painting moved away from the original, however, not too much that it lost why I loved it in the first place. I would say that the biggest changes were the colours used. They ended up being more of my own emotional expression, in comparison to the original.

I wasn’t as satisfied with it as I would of liked though. There was something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. This is something I am going to personally explore.

Other possible subjects:

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Initial sketch, line and colour study for my chosen subject:

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Watercolour painting in my sketchbook:

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My A3 acrylic that I wasn’t happy with and decided to try again:

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My re-done final painting on A4:

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Exercise 1: Painting from a working drawing

For this exercise I used a familiar subject. Using the corner of a room with a very simple composition really allowed me to explore this exercise to its full potential. Stripping away the fuss and clutter and exploring the area with three drawings:

  • a linear study (main shapes)
  • tonal study
  • a colour study

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Creating a painting using these drawings around me, really worked. I used a canvas, still small in scale, however, larger than the drawings.

017 A water colour painting bringing together all of the techniques.

025 Acrylic on canvas.

  • The sketches definitely provided enough detail to complete the painting. If the subject had been more detailed, I question if this would of been the same.
  • Once being away from the subject (as you can see), I was definitely able to explore my own style and freedom. I explored researched work that I had undertaken on other artists work in this area and especially colours used. This is something that I have been exploring more and more so recently after recent tutor feedback. I am being braver in my colours with the more knowledge that I am gaining on the subject.
  • Out of all the interiors that I have painting, I preferred this one. This surprised me as it probably took me less time in comparison. However I was more confident in my colour choices, etc. The linear perspective worked well too.

This is definitely a method that I will exploit in my work in future.

Exercise 1: Painting a landscape outside

I was surprised by my subject for this exercise. I was originally planning a similar landscape to that of the natural landscape. However, whilst walking my dog, I came across a view that really conveyed a linear perspective and was really enjoyable to paint outside.

I am happy with the results of this painting. I am also happy with how successful the watercolour was in terms of adaptability and its ease in transporting it, etc. This is definitely something that I will be spending more time doing in the future.

I have to admit I was a little nervous about undertaking this challenge, however, I soon found a comfortable peace and enjoyment. This has definitely encouraged me to do this again as I was able to bring a lot more from the subject in comparison to a photograph to work from. It definitely encouraged me to bring out of the subject everything that I wanted as appose to copying or attempting to justify the intent of a photograph.

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I also spent some time working on some sketches for possible assignment subjects:

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I wanted to take this painting further for a possible assignment piece:

I completed a small canvas using acrylic:

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I colour pencil sketch looking at tone:

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Investigating the subject using acrylic on A3:

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Exercise 1: Expressive landscape

Initially my plans were to either use bright colours or cooler colours. However, I went further after spending time researching and found inspiration though sunset lit landscapes. The light through a sunset creates incredible mood and atmosphere. I wanted to explore how such incredible changes are created and what they can achieve.

I feel that the initial line drawings were more successful in terms of the mirrored image in the water. However, overall I am happy with what I achieved. Watercolour successfully created the illusions in the water quite beautifully.

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Exercise 2: Aerial perspective

For this exercise I reflected the aerial perspective using a very basic landscape composition that I researched for inspiration.

I explored three suggested ways of creating a illusion of receding space using my sketchbook:

Exploiting these three devices were all very effective in their own ways. I then went on to combine all three in order to see whether this was even more successful. I really liked the results and went on to explore this using watercolour, and later on a larger scale using acrylic. I preferred the results of the watercolour. However, I also favoured the mountains of the acrylic in comparison to the watercolour as I chose to separate them with tonal changes even further.

This is a perspective that I wasn’t really in a practice of using. However its a really successful approach to depth.

012 Initial sketches as discussed above.

011 Watercolour painting using all techniques listed above.

DSC_0264 Acrylic painting, following the watercolour study.

Exercise 1: Linear perspective

Using a hard landscape to convey a linear perspective is quite successful. I chose a route that I often take at a point of day where the light wasn’t too overpowering. However at the same time it brought the depth of the streets to life.

Overall I am happy with the success and how well watercolour achieves what I wanted it to. It allowed me to make alterations with more fluidity, especially when trying to achieve accurate lines. Lines were very important to this subject matter which is why I spent time really investigating them before even attempting the painting.

I also spent time using pencil to explore the basic tonal changes within the light too. All of these aided me whilst I was completing the painting itself.

I chose to keep the format relatively small. This surprised me as I usually like to work on a much bigger scale. However this is something that I am going to enjoy doing more in the future as it really suited the content of the piece.

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