Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The parliament paintings - the water carrier

Today's session has been an experiment in some techniques I haven't used before. To start, I used the cerulean blue to express the mid-tones on the figures. I didn't completely cover the layers already painted, including the original light blue wash. You can still see parts of the canvas showing through, giving it quite a rough feeling.

With the figures complete I turned my attention to the background and introduced a new colour - cobalt blue. Originally I had added some light purple to the painting but it spoiled the effect so I scraped it off. The cobalt blue was added using vertical brush strokes with thick paint straight from the tube. I really like the rough effect of the canvas showing through, so I have not covered the background completely with the cobalt blue. On top of that, while still wet, I added some white vertical stripes. These turned out to be too much, so I took some non-absorbent paper and pressed it against the background, blurring the white and cobalt blue together a little (a technique called tonking). Next I took a palette knife and scratched away some of the paint in vertical lines (a technique called sgraffito). I still feel like there is something missing from this painting, so won't call it done just yet.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Reworking an old painting

I'm preparing for another trip to South Africa next week and I want to get as many paintings as possible finished. Luckily the painting gods seem to be on my side as I completed 'Selkie Woman, after Rackham'. A selkie is a mythical shape-shifting creature; a seal that can shed it's skin and turn into a human. Humans fall in love with selkies only to find that they are missing later on; or some humans hide the seal skin so that the selkie must stay in human form.

I loved this image from Arthur Rackham the moment I saw it. It's taken a while to complete but here you go!