Posted in Coursework, Part 5, Sketchbook

Painting aside

Given some of the challenges I’ve been having with coloured pencils and pastels, and colour in general, I decided that I may as well give painting a quick try. To be honest I’m enjoying it more than I expected to. Firstly, an attempt with acrylic paints:

Tankerton slopes, Acrylic on paper

This is clearly development of the sea cycle, but I decided not to include it in that work because it is clearly a painting rather than a drawing. I have, however, included a reference to this as context. I think this stands as an interesting development of that work, and in many ways I like it. When I first started painting it, however, I was working too much with high saturation colours. I needed to actively tone that down as the work progressed. It is still a bit too highly saturated, but I’m going to consider that to be a happy accident. The result leads the eye to focus on the sea, which was intended to be the subject of the painting. The chalk cliff and promenade below it have been purposely un-focused by keeping the detail level very low. Again, it is possible that some more detail would be appropriate, but the result works reasonably well.

The wave patterns are, in many ways, derived from Maggi Hambling and Van Gogh’s approaches to dealing with painting the sea. The use of cross-contour lines to emphasise the wave forms has worked well in this context. I would like to find the time to develop this idea in further paintings to see where it will lead.

From here I decided that maybe I should just go for it and strayed into Oil on Canvas:

Langdale valley, oil on canvas

In both cases my temptation was to jump straight in with saturated colours, but I then has to pull myself back and start to mix colours taking more account of a balance in hue, saturation and value. In the case of the Langdale valley scene I may have gone a bit to far on dulling it down. As the paints have dried they have tended to dull slightly, which is an effect I will need to be cautious of.

There are a few aspects of the painting that I feel have worked well, especially the sky and clouds. I painted the top of the sky with a deeper blue than the lower region, and tried to blend them together reasonably smoothly. That has made the clouds and top of the painting and the hard separation between mountain and sky stand out well.

I’ve managed to avoid creating strong border lines in these pieces, which has helped with their overall look. This is much simpler in the case of oil and acrylic painting than drawings, but I will strive to consider this more carefully in future drawing exercises. The Cumbrian scene would also be worthy of a new cycle in future work, as there is plenty of scope for experimentation and development. I considered this as an option considering part 5 and again when I started the cycle about the sea, but am now planning to return to this subject going forwards.

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