Assignment 2

Tutors Report for Part 2 and my thoughts on it

Thanks to my tutor for such positive feedback. It’s very reassuring to know that not only am I loving exploring and learning to paint but I’m also on the right lines for this course.

“Feedback on assignment: Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Within your outcomes for this part you demonstrate a good technical command of your materials across a range of mediums. You show a commitment to your practice and good compositional and visual skills throughout. Your confident use of colour and alternative formats show an inventive approach and you are commended for your ambition with your final piece.

Your still life studies show a well considered colour pallette and observational awareness. Your technical skills are good, evidenced by a command of perspective. There is a graphic quality and precision to some of your sketchbook work and I particularly like your use of a viewfinder to crop a painting study, as it intensifies the vibrant orange, reds and green of subject and creates a more abstracted and formal image.

The technical parameters of your fish eye works for this assignment are challenging and you have shown a competent ability to represent this well, within your final outcomes and more so in your preparatory works. The cropped edges of your work on board enhances the optical quality of your composition. Works depicting interiors can feel claustrophobic but by using this non-human viewpoint you have managed to create an expanding space. This gives the piece a sculptural quality that could perhaps be explored further in future work.

(I really enjoyed developing this fish eye interior and it’s definitely a style that appeals to me and will certainly pursue it further at some point. Crossing the surfaces linear boundaries and having parts continue outside, helps keep the eye searching every corner of the piece – I find including this were possible helps a composition)

There are many challenges with this work and it’s good to see you explore different methods of applying your paint, alongside thorough planning of your composition. You have developed some intriguing results, most successfully when applying more illustrative methods, rather than impasto techniques, where to my eyes the optical effect of the composition is lost through the more gestural application of paint. Here raises a question between representation and abstraction, and how to select methods and mediums for the type of ideas explored.

(I agree – I wasn’t at all sure about the green impasto version but some students at the study day preferred it as it gave an abstract fairytale feel. I did like the texture and life the impasto gave however so definitely more experimenting to be done here.)

Moving forward, continue as you are and use experimentation to develop unexpected directions for your work to take. Use your sketchbook to trail diverse ideas and push your comfort zone. Explore mixing different mark making mediums on your surface, with a focus on explorative processes and material investigation.

Sketchbooks: Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You are finding a good balance between sketching, planning, note-taking and experimenting with exercises, alongside some artist research throughout your sketchbook. There is an eclectic mix of ideas and images and it’s building into a great document of your progress so far. The only thing I would say is to be less precious with the pages and let further experimentation spread across more and more pages. Sketchbooks don’t have to be linear, go back and rework sections, or pull parts out to use in other works.

(This first POP sketchbook was far too neat, nerves at it all being so new. But this is changing – lots of experiments in Part 3)

Research: Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You have included some interesting references throughout your blog, offering insight on your thinking process and exhibition and study visits. You demonstrate an understanding of the research points and write clearly about a variety of ideas. Moving forward, focus your reflecting on how contextual research is impacting specifically on your own work. What can you glean from your research that is supportive of your own practice, both technically and creatively. Try to reflect more directly on how contextual research is impacting on your own ideas, methods and approaches and importantly the subject matter you are interested in.”

(Noted, and I’ll attempt to write more about it. I find researching work by other artists of immense benefit and commonly use this as a starting point for my own pieces – more direct reflection needed here then.)

Several links to contemporary artists were then included which I shall investigate and write up seperately.

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Assignment 2

Part 2 assignment

I have decided to develop the interior painting of My Studio rather than doing another still life composition. I feel that I’ll definitely benefit from more practice with interiors and need to find an interesting and lively composition.

Research: Anthony Green

During the past year of visiting exhibitions I have come across paintings by Anthony Green on several occasions. The fascinating composition of these instantly leaps out at me to make him one of the few artists whose work I can identify.

I spent some time looking at his interiors on the internet then decided that the thing to do was to print some off and make notes on them. See sketchbook:

Main points:

  • Irregular shaped supports or even multiple supports loosely joined.
  • Almost always uses a high viewpoint, up at ceiling height.
  • Multiple perspectives, includes all walls, both those in front and behind the viewer, plus ceiling, next door rooms etc. Great sense of space. Some rooms distorted or extended to create extra space.
  • Very bright vibrant palettes but limited to a few colours. Many are tones of oranges and reds, others greens.
  • Trickery included – reflections in mirrors can show different people.
  • The artist himself and family members included, almost as caricatures. Eyes high on head.

Also bought this book, really interesting insight into what is behind his painting:

Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain) (2017) Anthony Green: Painting Life. (s.l.): Royal Academy of Arts.

For Part 2 of the Drawing 1 course last year, I worked on My Studio to do these pieces. Then I was using David Hockney (for multi-perspective) and Roy Lichtenstein (for changing/updating patterns and textures) as inspiration:

This isn’t quite what I was hoping for, too many straight lines…. then I thought about taking panoramic photos with my mobile – that will give a curved perspective….

Yes that’s much better, more the effect I have in my mind. Too many objects and clutter to include, I need to be selective to get best composition.

Another sketch, this time on A1 paper, long to include all walls of the room.

  • Curve to the walls as they go off into distance.
  • Furthest point is left end of window wall where it meets shelves so this part is the smallest and lines grow as things get nearer to the viewer.
  • Desks are central focus (and nearest point) so items are large.
  • Desk edge sticks out beyond edge of support to accentuate.
  • Ceiling beams included, as Anthony Green does, with them sticking out. These help to hold the room together and make it look like the side walls are parallel. Without the beams I’m not sure that I’d have the 3D feel at this stage.
  • Can see into adjoining wash room though I’m not including the door itself as that’s too dominant (pretend it opens away from us and hinged from right of doorway)

Next stage was fiddling around with the lines again and making a simplified plan. Now what colour palette to use? (see sketchbook)

Decided to use different colours than it is and go for green walls and a reddish colour (its complementary colour) for a wooden things. Practiced mixing various greens – mostly they turned out pretty dull and mossy which isn’t what I want. Grass Green with either Cobalt Blue or Cadmium Yellow gave a good range of vibrant, in your face, greens.

I wanted to use a support other than paper – try something new. I found some hardboard and drew on the outline, then was told that I should draw it on the reverse side to get a smooth cut on the front. I did this but stupidly forgot that I needed to reverse the pattern so it was cut wrongly – bother. And the back is very textured so no good.

I’m going to have a go anyway and attempt to do a mirror image of the room.

I’ve been watching Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 and one of the artists used a Pebble Sculptor / Contour Tool / Wedge (seems to be called many things) which I’d not come across before. I’ve ordered one and am going to try using this along with palette knives – just to try to create a different effect and to add some texture. It would be too easy to just do a regular brush painting and make this realistic – I want to experiment and try new stuff!

Initial layer of acrylics applied using Wedge and Palette Knives – scraped so that under layer shows through and there’s lots of texture. Carpet applied with an old toothbrush and stippled to get texture. Allowing this to completely dry and then I’ll try adding washes to sort out tones and detail. Working in reverse is actually quite interesting – the lines are less instinctive and I hope I’ll be looser rather than obsessing with accuracy.

Some parts are sticking out to me as very wrong:

But some of the textures are great:

There’s a lot wrong with some of the line work – the shelf unit is far too narrow, hasn’t got a smooth curve around and the tall part too wide/short part too narrow! Working as a mirror image was hard – as you can see I failed to reverse the items on the table and I got confused by the curve of the ceiling line above the window.

I do love all the textures though and they really add to the interest of the piece. I worked hard on the tones, especially on the walls, to show places where there was light or shadow and I feel that I’ve largely achieved creating space and depth to the room.

Although I’m pretty pleased with the finished painting, I’ve decided to have another go this time on mount board and hopefully the correct way around!

This of course looks far more like my studio, that’ll be the accurate colours used this time. I leant by my previous mistakes and spent the time getting the lines right first this time.

The curves of the shelf unit are correct this time and I’ve added a small view of the near left end which helps (though it can’t really been seen from this view point). When I painted this unit on the linear perspective exercise, I really struggled painting the straight lines of the unit front and they ended up very wiggly. This time I used the wedge to ‘print’ straight line sections – these are slightly raised and reflect the white paint well resulting in a nicely highlighted front – much happier this time. I painted in the shadows/light in each shelf to give it depth before filling with miscellaneous items. I deliberately kept the painting of these items vague and loose, not accurate representations but general forms.

I think that both the use of tones on the walls together with the curving lines and including the ceiling, have all contributed to giving a great sense of space within the room. As one fellow student said, they would like to walk into the wash room to explore in there too.

The far window looks better with the window sill included, along with being able to see the sides of the window recess (not the top due to high view point).

I did the ceiling beams as on the first piece – black on the shady sides and black with gloss medium on the light sides, with streaks of white allowed to show through. I also did the carpet the same, stippling colours but adding more shade this time too.

This second piece is more realistic, calming, accurate and sits well on the eye. But, it is more boring in many ways with its largely smooth texture and cool colours.

I presented these two assignment pieces at the SW Study Day on Saturday 9th Nov to fellow students and tutor Lydia Halcrow who was there. I asked which they preferred and why – interesting responses:

  • Green has more energy. The errors add interest and intrigue, and make it my own. Since the perspective and line is rather abstract, these errors aren’t seen by others as errors. Texture is great. Colours and texture give it quite a fairytale/dreamland quality. A place of energy and adventure.
  • Blue is obviously more precise and the colours are calming and relaxed. The feel of space is very realistic and they’d like to walk into the wash room to see that too. More to look at in this piece, one student commented that they could study the contents of the shelves for ages deciding what the items were.
  • I had assumed they would prefer the blue one however opinion was split between the two.

This has been a great learning assignment. Lots of positives and lessons learnt that I can take forward into future painting. ie use lots of texture and apply paint in a variety of ways to create interest, Accentuate the light/dark tones, Don’t fuss with fine detail but do make sure there’s plenty going on for the eye to find, Initial sketches, planning and mapping out are very important!

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