I put off starting exercise 4.............. drawing, painting, getting out paper, looking hard..... I forget how much I enjoy pottering around mixing colours.
There's no real finished project, there's only me to judge it (fortunately my family think everything I do is brilliant!) I just have to start.... The starting part is the hardest!
This exercise is about matching colours, but this time using real objects.
Place the objects on a piece of coloured paper, look hard and record the colours you see, not the ones you think you see!
I chose fruit for my objects - 2 apples (a nice green one and a red/green one), and a lemon, and placed them on coloured paper
I made the mistake of starting this exercise in the evening under artificial light - there were highlights, but no interesting shadows, the colours were not changing as they should have done.
So I thought I would make a pencil drawing of the objects and work in colour in the daylight.
I worked for a little while using pencil, I cross hatched directional lines to give the fruit shape, create shadows and add depth.
|Initial pencil sketch of the fruit|
I finished the sketch by using an eraser to add the highlights and more directional lines; black biro to intensify the darker shadows.
|Adding shadows and highlights|
It was good to practice drawing the objects, although this was not a required part of this exercise. The actual instructions were, "Don't try to paint your objects as things."
In the morning I started using colour, I also made the decision to use just the bright green apple and the lemon.
I placed the objects on a red piece of paper, immediately the colours of the fruit began to reflect the colour of the paper.
|Apple and lemon on red background|
I used watercolour paint and a round, soft, squirrel hair brush.
I used washes of colour, building up the layers.
|Apple and lemon on a red background|
This influenced the colours of the washes as the paint was mixed.
The yellows and greens of the fruit became bright and warm in tone.
The palette after mixing the warm tones
|"Prang" Semi-moist watercolours - warm colour mixes|
Next, I placed the apple and lemon on a bright blue background.
Again, using washes of watercolour, I began to build up the layers of colour.
|Apple and lemon on a blue background|
Blue tints appeared to be reflected on the surface of the apple and the lemon, the green and yellow reflected on the blue background.
The blue in the background influenced the colours that were mixed for the fruit.
The greens and yellows of the fruit became cool and dark in tone.
The palette after mixing the cool tones:
|"Prang" Semi-moist watercolours - cool colour mixes|
Remembering the instructions, "Don't try to paint your objects as things." I thought I had better develop the work I had created, so that it would be a study of colour, not just a painting of fruit.
So, I cut up the pictures (well, a photocopy).
I really like the way the pieces randomly lay on the surface, the image being gently broken apart.
|One red, one blue picture cut up into 1cm square|
I rebuilt the picture using 1 column from the blue picture, 1 from the red.
|Rebuilding the picture in both colourways|
I really like the sample I created using these mosaic pieces, it allowed the differences in the colours used in the two original samples to be shown together. It was a happy accident that both the red and the blue pictures were almost identical in size.
It was interesting to see the colours in the shadows change with the different backgrounds, and although I emphasized the shadow by drawing with a pencil into the wet paint, black paint was not used in the making of these works.
This was my favourite of the four exercises in stage 3.
With careful observation I was able to produce two very different paintings from the same source material.
It also makes you realise how important each component of a picture is, placing one colour next to another can dramatically change the feel of a picture.
|With a red background|
|With a blue background|
|Mosaic in warm & cool colours|