Advanced painting at the City Lit – Week 2

We were set off to do a series of five paintings. I had spent all week prevaricating about what to use as my base information. I settled on a simple photo of the backs of the family looking out to sea. I’d been planning to paint it for a while and it seemed a good image for a exercise – interesting enough, but not too complex with scope for realism or abstraction. I had three 40cm by 30cm canvases so I used those and two pieces of paper. We were told to work in acrylics. I started feeling pretty cross and was still disgruntled at coffee time. nothing seemed to be happening, I felt under time pressure and didn’t feel I wanted to commit to the image. I was cross with the paint which was all wet and the paper was soggy and falling off. However, drawing calmed me – drawing always does – drawing directs my attention, my brain has to focus and then I can lock into what I’m doing.

This is orginal photo above.

By lunchtime things were looking up and I’d completed these five acrylic pictures. I was feeling quite pleased with them. I enjoy simple realistic pictures in strong colours so maybe I need to stay with that for a while. After lunch we moved on to oil painting. I worked over three of these, then ran out of time. The oil painting added much depth to the work. I forgot to photograph them so they’ll have to wait until next week.
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2 Responses to Advanced painting at the City Lit – Week 2

  1. Helen Nettleship says:

    Jenny , I like the series. I’m enjoying the difference between the paintings, particularly in terms of the styles of paint application – some more tanslucent; other more chunky. I wonder as a way forward compositionally you could play with the diffences in space between the three figures as this will change the narrative, perhaps in unexpected ways; what would happen if there were only two figures? With the photo I am intrigued as to why the figure on the right is slightly futher away than the other two and has an effect (to my eye at least) of putting some tension into the frame.

  2. Thanks for your comments: I hadn’t paid much attention to the composition as I was focussing on the paint. I was uncomfortable with the right hand figure being slightly distanced so in my pictures I moved it closer – but this is about my feelings about the subjects rather than an artistic decision. I shall continue with this subject in future exercises and will think more about composition.

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