Saturday, February 02, 2008

seascapes update February

Tides Edge. mixed media on canvas 40 ins square. Vivien Blackburn

I'm happy with how this one is going as it evokes to me what I wanted. I'm not sure whether I'll glaze a bit more blue and viridian over the purple sections of sea or not - what do you think?

It's hanging over the sofa just now so that I can consider it. I love working this size.

I wasn't trying to catch a frozen moment of time with the waves in realist detail - that isn't how you experience it. The waves come pounding in, funnelled by the shape of the beach, meeting each other in a crash of spray. It's all confusion. A horizon that isn't level, consisting of swells of water racing towards you, rearing up - power, colour and light and noise. I wanted to catch this feeling.

I finally did what I'd advised my daughter to do - and what I always forgot to do myself and was reminded :>) in the comments section to do - put a piece of tissue over the flash to soften the light. MAGIC!!! the subtle colours show so much better and the photo of the painting isn't bleached, or needing lots of tweaking in PS to bring it back to 'how it really looks'.

Tissue and an elastic band are going to be permanent residents in my camera baga :>)

work in progress, charcoal on grey paper 19/20 ins approx. Vivien Blackburn

This one is a work in progress, done as a demo. I haven't decided yet whether to add muted touches of colour with pastel or paint or simply use white pastel for highlights and keep it monochrome. The grey paper is a slightly warm grey so subtle additions of earth colours would work well - even those Lyra skin tones coloured pencils ????? now there's a thought .....

finished - Across the beach, sunset. Charcoal. 16 ins square. Vivien Blackburn

Sorry this one is a bit distorted - it's leaning on my printer at the moment. This is the one on watercolour paper. I decided to move the moon and do a little more work on the darkest areas. Finished now.

These charcoal sketches were partly about exploring those evenings when the rays of the sun showed like this and working out how to pull together the painting that I wasn't happy with. I do like charcoal to work with, it's got such painterly qualities alongside the ability to produce lovely black flowing lines :>)

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15 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

Now I really miss the ocean, where I grew up.

Kim said...

Oh, I really like Tide's Edge! The colors are perfect and you captured the movement beautifully.

Thank you so much for the tissue tip! What a great idea!

Your other WIPs are also quite good, but I am particularly drawn to your beautiful colors!

I look forward to seeing what you do next.

vivien said...

Casey so do I miss it :( I spent my childhood near the sea in Gibraltar - where it's impossible to be far away! then Cornwall on the wild north coast, the a spell inland and then the north of Scotland near the beach - when I win the lottery I'm off to buy a house with fabulous sea views :)

Kim thank you :) I'm going to do a proper post on the tissue tip with some examples later this week

Jeanette said...

I do love the colours in this piece - and the size is wonderful. I must tackle some larger pieces myself.

I'm virtually on top of the ocean here, but haven't really done much with it in terms of drawing or painting. I must.

vivien said...

oh Jeanette you should! I remember seeing a photograph on your blog with the sea and being really envious! (but not of the cold weather!)

Working big is very freeing I love it. I limit the size to what will fit in the car, having had a huge blank canvas sail off the roof rack in a gale when I was at uni!

Lindsay said...

Your painting is wonderful. I can really get a feel for the wind and the wave. The color choise is really lovely too! Funny story about how you chose your"largest size". That's one expensive sail that floated away.
Your charcoals are haunting. An altogether different feeling from your paintings. Very mysterious. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the moon one. That one has a romantic feel.

Julie said...

Your painting is working well. You can feel the wave about to crash over. Difficult to say whether it needs some more blue/viridian over the purple. That may be a question of personal choice. You wouldn't want to kill all the purple would you? For myself I would incline to some more blue/viridian but that's just my opinion. I think you have certainly created the feeling of tumbling crashing waves.

vivien said...

thanks Julie

Lindsay it was a nightmare when the canvas sailed away - it landed on the other side of a dual carriageway in the middle of the city (luckily hardly any cars about due to the torrential rain and gale force wind and dark night)

The reason it came off was because I couldn't find my bunjie cords and my husband said it was fine tied on with string - and no he didn't need to come in with me to make sure - huh! I heard the string go ping!

I couldn't see where it had gone and had to go round the block and park on the pavement to look and there it was - across the dual carriageway with a lorry driving over it :>o sob

I ran and got it and was tying it back on with even less string when a police car stopped, opened the window, looked and drove on.

i was soaked to the skin and had to drive the rest of the way to college with my hand out the wind in the cold and rain holding it - and going at about 5 miles an hour - to check that it didn't skim off again.

I had a few words to say to himself when I got home :>Z

Lindsay said...

That's a GREAT story! I laughed so hard at the last line. Might have been a good time for himself to have had a Trans-Atlantic sort of distance.
Well, I'm sure I'd limit my canvas size after such an adventure!!!

vivien said...

it's funny looking back :>) - but it wasn't at the time >:>(


and it's left me paranoid about paintings on the roof rack!

Martha Marshall said...

What a fun and informative blog, Vivien. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and introduced yourself. I'll be checking back often.

Lindsay said...

Yes, sorry Vivien. These sorts of experiences are amusing in hindsite and/ or to those who have not had to experience that sort of sodden, harrowing event personally.

BTW, I ment to say that the splashes on the waves in this painting give the waves a wonderful movement.

Becky Vigor said...

Your painted piece is looking amazing and really captures the rushing waves as you intended. I can see why you're thinking of more glazes, but I do think that the purple passages add drama, which enhances the feeling of movement.

I would love to see that charcoal drawing with some colour added. In my mind I imagine it looking somewhat like those old tinted black and white postcards (only better obviously), those muted colours over the monotone are always so appealing.

Cath Sheard said...

I love the sentence where you say "I decided to move the moon...". I think you've summed up the magic of your work right there.

vivien said...

Lindsay don't apologise! It IS funny looking back

Martha - hi :>) I check your blog out regularly but haven't commented before

Cath - :>D

Becky - it's funny you should say that but I'm doing exactly that - adding subtle muted hints of colour on a charcoal drawing done on grey paper. I don't know how it will work because I decided to see how coloured pencils will work with charcoal - not a mix I've ever thought to use before. As it's a 20 inch drawing it'll take time to work out. (pastel would have been more sensible - I just fancied experimenting :>) )