Sunday, 19 June 2011

On the subject of the past and my old artworks

Whilst thinking about older art works, I came across these two whilst rummaging through some old frames to find one for a particular (and urgent) need.

The first is a landscape executed in pastel on card. This became one of my favourite combinations but strangely I seem to have never really gone as far with this media as I thought I would. I think this is probably because I found collage / mixed media which has taken up most of my time for art. here is the painting.

I think this is a very blue sky, I probably did not have a very large selection of pastels at this stage and wasn't too confident about mixing the colours on the painting itself. But nevertheless, I do like this, and may well use it on my  Zazzle store.

The second I am posting today, is an early experiment with oil paints. This is on card again - not the best gground for this media but I was always very dubious about using these paints. here I was simply looking at the way the paints acted because I was basically a watercolourist looking for some other way to express my creativity. I never really took to oil and finally started to use acrylics. Mostly for larger works on canvas and mostly abstract.

Again though, I seem to have grown attached to this simple painting over the years. My group are painting en plein air on Tuesday, and it looks like rain again. Just realised that we wait for the longest day and this puts us directly in competition with Wimbledon. Of course rain is therefore inevitable, c'est la vie!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A look into the past ( some old ACEO paintings)

Do you ever look back over your old artwork and think, "Did I really do that?"

I was in that sort of a mood just recently. I have been having a little difficulty in getting my act together over painting. I have been doing mostly mixed media art, for example:-

and even when painting I have mostly been doing abstracts or semi-abstracts:-

and whilst I have no problem with these, I am finding that my drawing is getting a little rusty. In fact my ability to create a true to life drawing (especially a figurative drawing) is virtualy nil. This made me start to look over some of my older work with a "jealous eye". Hence the comment, "Did I really do that?"

 Brockhampton, a National Trust property

 The girl with a black hat

Seated Nude

Well, after this wallowing in nostalgia, I am going to have to get myself sorted anad set aside a little more time for simply sketching. Something I used to do regularly and often. there is nothing like it for developing the ability to draw accurately and to capture the essence of a subject. I have even written a page on Squidoo, "Not AnotherWatercolour Tutorial", about my sketching - but the examples I have used have all been very old. Just goes to show I guess, that a return to my old habits ( artistic, LOL) is long overdue.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Demonstration by Stan Kominski

The Knowle Art Group had a demonstration from Stan Kominski a few weeks ago, a wonderful energetic and committed demonstrator. Everybody enjoyed the evening thoroughly.

Stan gave a demo of how to paint using just three colours to paint an amazing landscape and then a portrait of a golden retriever. For the former he used dilute washes of gouache and for the latter he used paint with very little water added and also a white, the result was very much like an acrylic or oil painting. The main thrust of his demo however, was that he used only three colours in his palette. the colours were ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and yellow ochre. he explained that after experimenting with colours he chose these to keep things simple for sketching on-site and that these three colours harmonised well and gave a wide range of colour mixes.

He also staggered most of us by using very inexpensive brushes (or rather a brush), which was subjected to some quite rough treatment to achieve extraordinary textures. We had all been taught that we should buy the best brushes that we could afford to be able to control the marks on the paper, what a revelation. And to cap it he did not change his water at all in the evening. Something again that was the opposite of everything that we had been taught if we wanted our watercolours to look fresh. Stan argued that we rarely use pure pigments anyway and often end up adding small amounts of colour to make the mixes look realistic. His paintings definitely did not seem to suffer because of his technique. Check out some of his work on his web-site.

Stan also runs classes at his Warwickshire home which many of us were keen to find out more about, and if you can't manage that then his book is a must. Lots of demos of both techniques and something which is not too well covered in the litterature; making and using a tracedown sheet to transfer an image from a reference photo to your paper. The book is highly recommended.

This post actually creates a controversy over using colours as I wrote about in my last post and in this article, Painting the Seasons. However if you take things as they come and don't get too uptight, hey its only art - enjoy it!

Thanks for staying with me, see you next time.