Thursday, 24 May 2007

Pictures From an Exhibition

oil 1 May07
oil 2 May 07
oil 3 May 07
I had a fantastic birthday. Thanks to my cousin & aunt for the 20th century art books, to dad for the Artists & Illustrators magazine subscription and to my little sister for the fantastic selection of classical Cd's.
So last night I sat listening to Pictures From An Exhibition, while doing oil studies from the nude photo's I took a few weeks ago. I've loved working from photos I've taken, rather than from reproductions of other's, like Edward Weston. Though his photographic style has definitely left it's mark on me. Please respect my wishes not to reveal who that, or any future models are, as they're likely to be friends and family, & it was hard enough to get them to pose for me without their names being plastered all over the Internet. Thanks in advance.
Anyway, earlier yesterday I'd watched a watercolour programme, of a winters scene, and the colour choices really struck a chord with me. So last night I selected French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna & Cadmium Yellow Pale. I worked using oil boards, and traced the outlines to the board in pencil to make sure the proportions were right, though later I worked over them quite freely to accentuate curves and shadows.
I will be making some amendments to some shadow shapes later I'm sure, but I was so excited by what I'd done that I wanted to post images on the blog sooner rather than later. I love the warm flesh tones, and the late evening light cast cool highlights on the model and created deep shadows which caused the form to merge into the background. Originally it was the simple light/dark contrast that I was struck by, but as I worked on these last night I saw more and more movement within the mid tones and shadows. I hope the photos I post show these, as it's a dull day outside where I snapped them.
All the while I was immersed in Mussorgsky. I think it shows.


Melanie Rimmer said...
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Bill of Ballaugh said...

Now I see why you were so excited last night. Oil 1 is superb but oil 3 is my favourite, I can feel the warmth of the flesh.

Yellow said...

Strangly, they got harder to do as I progressed, whereas usually I speed up as I loosen up and get into it. No.3 took a lot of re-working. I need to get more boards to paint on.
Oh, and I need to thank aunty Jo for the glass jam-jars. Not only for future jam-making, but for holding brushes, pencils, and white-spirit.

Anonymous said...

These are really great, I can see the taughtness yet fluidity of the earlier ink studies that you did in them, plus the drama of the way that you've lit them, but with the new element of the flesh tones you're using now.

I think the coldness of the blue in the background really helps too, partly to throw the figure into contrast as the warmer colours push it forwards, but also because the blue implies emotions within the picture, perhaps of melancholy? Certainly in the 2nd picture (which is actually my favourite) the pose seems to suggest that the figure is maybe hiding, or crying, or frightened, a sense which the background hightens.

I also like, as per Mel's email a while back, the way that you're cropping the picture, so that there's no face, so the figures become a more abstract form, plus the way you're using big contrast in lighting is breaking down the outline of the figure as well.

I've never worked in oils so you'll have to have to give me some tips!


Susie said...

Bravo on the progress! Seriously, do you take a chance to step back and see where you've come? I love the lighting on these last 3.

I have some time set aside this weekend to finally work with my acryllics and I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. The Sunshine Journal says Hello!

Yellow said...

Susie, I look forward to seeing your works of art.

And thanks Andrew. I worked the oils quite thinly, but by the third was starting to addmore layers. loads of thinner meant they're dry already, so I plan to start some larger canvases, maybe having a number on the go at one & see what they develop into. At the moment I'm pretty much painting whats on the photos I took. Now I fancy turning them into paintings in their own right. As I'm visiting you next week I'll bring some originals for you to see. In the flesh as it were.

Lisa said...

I LOVE these pieces. I love the compositions and I love the palette you've chosen. I completely understand the inspiration you probably drew from Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition is one of my very favorite works. My parents had it on LP when I was a little girl and it's as much a part of me as my brown roots ;-) Your work is wonderful!

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