Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's cold outside - so experimenting with still life in coloured pencil

Study for a larger work, coloured pencil in A4 moleskine, honesty

It's cold, very very windy and raining cats and dogs.   I'm lucky that we aren't affected by the terrible floods affecting large areas of the county but I still don't want to go out in it!  So I'm continuing to look at still life, a subject that I rarely do as a finished painting, preferring to do occasional studies of things that interest me and concentrating mainly on landscape.

The items on the shelf over the tv, lit by a table lamp caught my eye - a vase of honesty, wheat stalks and a large cardoon head, a carved wooden cat, some carved abstract birds on a tree, the lamp and a bright pottery cat.  So .... how to make a different arrangement of them? playing with colour and pattern, not simply doing them 'as is', which didn't interest me.

Switching the lamp on gave wonderful colour contrasts, the shadows having a positive lavender colour and the highlights a warm amber.  Light is so important in any painting.

I'd doing what I very rarely do, working from photographs.   The photos caught the light well.   I photographed elements separately and at different angles - the cat looked best from above, the vase straight on, the cardoon at an angle, the honesty with an abstract pattern of colours from the books on the shelf beside them ... all are being moved about in the versions I'm working on.

This one just looked at the mauve/amber shadows and highlights on a section of the honesty and the pattern of colour behind,   I didn't want to explain the books etc in detail, just use the pattern and colour they create, simplifying.

I could potentially develop this into a more abstracted painting, quite large .... even very large.  Maybe use pastel?  on a toothed paper like Fisher 400?  Maybe oil on canvas?

Another one I'm working on and will show soon involved the carved cat, the cardoon head, some wheat and honesty - all rearranged on paper.

I'm using up my moleskine sketchbook - I do quite like it for ink and pencil but as I mix media such a lot I find it limiting.  It's useless for paint.  I know I could prime pages but won't as I will simply use a different book - like my S&B where I can use anything in them.

I'm enjoying playing with these elements, rearranging, weaving the patterns through  :>)

No comments: