getting colour to work

Previously, I’ve sloshed on water and acrylic ink to create my initial drawing and underpainting of tones.  I redefined the forms by  overpainting.  I changed the tonal balance with opaque white.   On this inked sketch, I placed colour with gouache or watercolour.  Sometimes this worked but often no shapes emerged and it was a mess.  I posted the better ones of course.

However, at the end of last year, I tried to work more systematically, with a pencil sketch setting out the forms and then layering in the watercolour.  But I have no system, no sense of direction.  What happens is more by accident than judgement.  I have perhaps lost spontaneity but not yet gained better control of the medium.

This week I restart life drawing classes (actually last week but I had a deadline to hit, defending a grant that supports us developing a cancer vaccine).   If anyone has comments or advice, it is really most welcome.

12 responses to “getting colour to work

    • Thank you Hannah. I realise I was too vain to post all the other attempts and these two look better with hindsight and as digital images, as if I’d intended them to work this way. Still, no learning without doing! I love the fluidity of your own art by the way.

  1. I find these two pieces quite stunning. The top one is particularly so because of the minimalist approach to the colouration of the reclining figure and the restricted use of grey alone for the fabric. This gives the fabric the appearance of satin, while allowing the eye to go directly to the subject. There’s a classical look to both. I prefer the first simply because the flesh tones are so understated and blend into the fabric which makes it all hold well together.

    and thank you for visiting my site and your comments were very welcome indeed.

    • Thank you.
      I’m a little embarrassed because I meant genuinely that I feel I am struggling to get the colours to work. The background remained grey because I ran out of time. But your warm (and knowledgeable) comments are very helpful, as is just the exercise of posting this – sometimes I must just stop painting before I overwork a piece!

  2. Sometimes its the hardest thing to know when to stop. Its easy to get carried off into the process of painting. Your figurative work is very good.

    • Thank you. This is appreciated. I like your work very much too. And anyway, truth is I am very much learning and experimenting. Last week’s life drawing charcoal and gouache – garish colours! I’m going to try the same approach again this Saturday but with different paper (less tooth) and with a more planned approach to the colour. However, it turns out, I’ll post both attempts.

  3. Thank you for checking out my blog. I have just seen this post so far but like the idea of showing your progress in painting. In May I plan to do a project for three weeks hopefully posting every day – uglies included. I may lose followers 🙂

  4. Beautiful life drawings. I think the colour on the second is fantastic. Thank you for visiting my blog. As you could see from my review of the last few years of my life drawing, I consider it a constant challenge, of learning and experimenting, and this is why it is so useful. Draw, review, appreciate and plow forward I say 🙂

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