Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Green Composition

Exploring Concepts

Part 6 – Parallel Projects

Project: Summer

A Composition of Greens

I originally thought of painting from a location in my garden to do an ‘en plein air’ painting depicting the huge variety of greens and particularly the light.  In order to give some structure to the painting however, I felt I needed to include the pergola so I ended up with rather more additional colour than I felt acceptable.  I eventually contacted my tutor as this was marginal but she confirmed my suspicions and pointed me in another direction.

I looked at Graham Sutherland, whose work is not very familiar to me, also at Ivon Hitchens.  I felt the latter’s work was too abstract for the brief but I did enjoy looking at Graham Sutherland.  My tutor also mentioned Lucy Willis who is a contemporary artist and exponent of exploring light.  The initial painting was ditched and I worked on another view, this time from my studio window which looks through a weeping willow from a deeply shaded area with shafts of sunlight.  I wanted to capture the facet-like light as it glimpses through foliage and burns out in places as the light penetrates.  I decided to use acrylic with a fairly broad brush producing spontaneous brush-strokes, almost in an Impressionistic way.

It was an interesting judgement where the green lawn formed the horizon as it was in sunshine but also distant, should it be bluer because of the distance or warmer because of the sunshine? I opted for a hazy indistinct warm white which seems right.  I was pleased with the fluidity and facets of colour.   I didn’t like the sameness of the green and introduced more variety in the shade by using cerulean, viridian, and ultramarine, and violet and lemon yellow, cadmium yellow and touches of yellow ochre in the sun. For me this has been a good opportunity to realize a more fluid impression of the subject.

Check and Log

    • Were you colour sketches and notes detailed enough?
    This was an alla prima painting done from my studio window so it wasn’t necessary to have notes, I did however, take a photograph just for the record.
    • Did you get back to the location to gather further information?
    This wasn’t necessary.  Once I started on the painting and had the bear bones, I was able to work creatively as I didn’t want to get bogged down in detail but to explore lighting as a faceted phenomenon
    • How did you create a sense of distance and space?
    This presented a problem in that I was working from shade to sunlight therefore my distant horizon was in sunshine, therefore warm, but distant, therefore cool. I overcame this by more or less “burning out” the distant lawn. 

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