Excercise: Angular perspective

 

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Excercise: Parallel Perspective

 

This excercise calls us to draw an interior view and find the receding lines and the vanishing point. I couldnt find a nice spot in my home to do this, the image on the right that I did in this exercise but I found it hard to find the receding parallel lines as there was no view of a perfect square.

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This following drawing is made in the city and was far more easier to find parallel receding lines and the vanishing point, though the horizontal and vertical parallel lines does not meet each other as the street was crooked and curvy it still gave the idea of the horizon line.

 

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Here is another picture that I was able to use for this excercise, the receding lines are quite obvious even though the horizontal and vertical does not meet each other at vanishing point. I think I may have drawn the ground parallel lines too high above and that is why they dont meet.

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Check and Log

 

-In what way did you simplify and select in your study ? Were you able to focus on simple shapes and patterns amid all the visual information available to you ?

When I was doing excercise where I needed to create foreground middle ground and background my attention was in informing each of the 3 layers in certain way which automatically took me away from the mode of recording everything I see  and rather only suggest the essentials. The thought of 3 different planes in distance made me to think of the landscape in groups or stripes of tones or hues, not so much of the details.

-How did you create a sense of distance and form in your sketches ?

The sense of distance was created by reducing the contrast between the tonal values and by midtones. Forms were simplified to their next closest geometrical values and sometimes things were grouped together in order to achieve this.

-How did you use light and shade? Was it successful?

I used the light and shade as I saw it, forinstance in the river ouse walk path that is how the light and shade areas were presented to me in the landscape, it was an interpretation of what I saw but I was true to it so I could not go wrong.

What additional preliminary work would have been helpful towards the larger study ?

Not sure what to say here.

Research point: Claude Lorrain and J M W Turner

 

CLAUDE LORRAIN

Here I have an opportunity to compare my own renditions of the landscapes to those of old masters, what did I do differently, how did they handle the foreground, middle ground and background ?

Im remembering my dilemma with depicting the dramatic sky without it clashing with the landscape, in this Lorrain’s painting above, the sky to me seems to be the main subject and is very dramatic and I can now see a clear difference to that of mine, I used very high contrasting values while in this Lorrain’s painting the tonal values are almost the same only the hues are very bright and strong.

The foreground is a stripe that continues out of the canvas from left and right outwards, its the darkest value with highest tonal contrasts, the ground graduating to the middle ground tying it all together.

The middle ground has the tonal contrasts toned down but there are still lot of details in them. The fore ground and middle ground consists approximately 40 percent of entire canvas and the back ground covers the rest.

The back ground is toned down a lot and the pink hue dominating it also bleeds all the way to the middle ground, what makes the back ground dramatic are the bright high key colour values. Both the background and foreground competes with the attention but on a different level and that is why there is no clashes, or so I think, the image still seems very calm and harmonical in its entireity.

In this painting the clean bright colours discribe the light and tonal contrasts the distance, in my river Ouse walkpath drawing I used the hues to discribe distance and tonal values only discribed the lights and shadows.

What solutions does this painting offer me in my dilemma of clashing of landscape with the dramatic sky ?

Solution 1. I need to make the sky dramatic by other means that Im using to depicting  the foreground landscape, in other words, if I use tonal contrast in landscape I should only use hue contrasts in the sky and this is the only way I can think of it to work. The point is, you dont need to have strong tonal contrast to depict the sky dramatic even if it appears so in real life.

Solution 2. Tie down the back ground level with the sky by toning it down  with unifying hue.

Solution 3. Fragmentate each side of the competing portions to each other. Ex. in the above painting, the background competes for your attention with bright hues, let is springle out to the foreground level such as in this painting the bright hues appear in the curves of the waves and in some pieces of clothings. Meanwhile the dark tonal contrasts also springles all the way to the background in the boats nearest to the sun, these all brings the image together in harmony.

 

JOSEPH MALLARD WILLIAM TURNER

 

When I think of Turners paintings the word to discribe them is drama, and the drama comes from the sky, the skies always seem overly dramatic full of liveliness and action and energy. However upon closer inspection I begin to realise that the drama is not coming from strong tonal contrasts neither in his paintings. It rather looks like ex. in the painting above that the entire landscape is swimming inside a sky, probably because of the yellowish hue dominating the entire canvas.

The foreground is droplets of stronger valued appearances popping through a fog of sunrays. The image is dramatic because its so bright bathing in sun shine. If you look at the image through your eye lashes, the background buildings and boats are almost the same tonal values as the darker parts of the sky.

The distance between the planes are depicted with contrasting values becoming stronger towards us. The horizontal blue sky line and vertical sun ray, makes sure that the ultimate focal point is the sun, the queen of the whole show and means of drama.

 

THE FIGHTING TEMERAIRE

 

When I was searching for information on Turner I came accross Tom Keating’s videos on youtube : Tom Keating on Turner 

In the video Tom Keating creates The Fighting Temeraire painting in reverse, from behind the boat looking towards Turner’s point of view and let’s us into some of Turner’s painting methods.

In the above painting we have come back again to very bright high key colours in the background which is to be honoured for the dramatic effect the opposing colours cool violety blues and warm oranges and yellows next to each other, the brightness values are the same with the fighting Temeraire and foreground is depicted with strong tonal value contrasts of almost black of the steam engine boat in the foreground and the floating device on our right..

Excercise:Plotting space through composition and structure

 

We could have done this excercise from photos but since I had the experience of plain air drawing and it was such a beautiful weather last summer that I really wanted to draw outside in situ. That of course presented a new chain of things to find out and discover and seek and purchase, which of course is inevitable and learning curve that needs to be go through.

 

I like doing things myself as oppose to purchasing things, so I can custom make them to my own likings, unfortunately that taking another time away from drawing. What always presents a problem to me is my health issues, I get tired easily and had to start thinking how I could carry along with me some sort of easel and place to sit and where to put pencils etc that wont be too heavy to carry, this was something that I really needed to think well hence I will need to have this solution when I start painting as well. If I was well this would have not been a problem but my constant fatique attacks made things very slow.

For the sitting problem I eventually came accross this foldable army chair that is a bit heavy but very sturdy to carry my weight.

The second problem I came accross the unpredictable weather in Britain, first it is sun then of a sudden a rain and wind, I have tried several things but havent come accross a good enough solution yet, the problem is that it should be lightweight yet stand the wind, without blowing me away and shield my pencils and paper from all sides in case the wind changes to blow from another side…I also need a solution for super hot summer days that we experienced this summer, my solution was to carry with me a chinese parasol, this only works when its not windy.

For now Im using a small handluggage to carry all the stuff, it also serves as a table support.

I found coloured pencils and inktense pencils the best medium on the field, I can achieve enough colour variety that maybe will allow me to replicate in oils indoors.

The aim of this excercise is to establish a foreground, middle ground and background which will help to create a sense of depth in a landscape.

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This is the drawing I made in the city centre of Bedford, hence my focal point was the costa coffee shop, in the midground, I blurred the foreground and the background, I used coloured pencils and felt tip for the red parts.

 

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The upper image was a very beautiful scene of river Ouse In the foreground I had the vegetation on my side of the bank the middle ground being the water and the other side of the bank and background the field and sky, there was a lot going on in this image and what really attracted me the most was the brightness of the sun reflected in the water and peeking through the foliage, what I decided to aim for was the one entire organic living surface that is interconnected that will yet reveal the 3 different planes I achieved this by the muted down colours at first glance it appears there are only yellowish greens and blues and that is what helped to calm down the busy scenery along with chiaroscuro with tones and liming the amount of details and information. I really liked the grasses in the front breaking the vast area of water but was worried it will be too harsh breaking the harmony of the image, the solution came from avoiding continuous lines and rather treat each part of the stem as an individual cell. There is a good foundation in this image that if reworked to finer details with oilcolours especially giving more definition to the tree foliage that seems to blend too much to the middleground foliage on the other side of the river at the moment could be something even more than it is now.

Again I realised the tons of colour information that I left behind, its not easy to imitate nature, there are gazillion of hues existing that one cant even begin to imagine in some dark corner of studio space, that is why one really needs to go out there, for you may have to simplify in details but not in colours, the more colours you can get in, the better, at least so it seems to me right now….

 

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I went to the nearby dog park come sporting field on a windy cloudy day, my intentions were to draw clouds but I ended up sitting in front of this tree drawing it and then I realised I had produced a spatial composition without intending to do so as was told, tree being the foreground with bold pencil strokes, fence being the middle ground with more subtle strokes and the hardly visible background. I really like this image, the tree bark had so much going on and this image is a true depiction of the colours that were there yet look how different this turned out, but not in a bad way, I feel like there was that strange element of somnampulism in this process, I looked at one thing, worked on second and produced third image that was not quite what I looked nor what I had in mind, or did I even have anything in mind ? Yet if I was looking to depic what I saw why did it become so different ? = Somnambulism in art !

 

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Another beautiful summer day at the river Ouse walk path. In this image I consieously wanted to establish the fore, middle and background but this time by means of tonal and hue values rather than details, the foreground is layed in with pure hues and strong dark values as the shade and sunny sides showed up as such in turns, the middle ground is achieved by midtones mixing opposite colours of the colour wheel to tone it down in hue value the back ground again is different darker value as it appeared to be in shade, really loved this excersise, yet another one that proofed I could never achieve this in dark studio space indoors I really had to be there to capture the joy of summer. I also tried something new, I tried the Eugene Delacroix optical illusion in the skyholes, it didnt quite succeed in this image but probably would in a larger image which I will certainly try again. Looking at it now, it also serves another purpose, it gives the sky a solid feel to it which helps to flatten this image down, as if I had drawn the negative space with substance of their own.

Excercise:Drawing cloud formations

 

I was surprised how much time it took to complete this excercise. I really wanted to be there in front of the subject to capture that which I saw in its all impressiveness but then I realised that Im under mercy of nature, for many days they seem to be no clouds at all, or when I suddenly noticed awesome cloud formations I was busy doing something else or my drawing materials or even camera werent along with me to capture it. The panic that I started to accumulate in fear of not meeting my deadlines did put a perspective to art making itself or the study of it, its not the destination but the journey, if I could not be able to stop and see what is around me what was the point of trying to draw it, if I didnt notice it why express it at all, so truly the experience was the main part of it and translating that strong impression for others to see. If I will gain a degree at expense of the true experience and joy of discovery then the degree would have no value anymore to me. I really would like to experience that what other great masters did in making art that spoke to future generations, even more than to meet the curriculum which of course are in line of the same sentiment but with unfriendly view of….meeting the deadlines.

Come whatever may, I cant go against my own nature, I must continue what is true to me in order to not loose my soul, if that makes any sense to anybody at all.

That being said, Im happy how my studies are progressing, I want to enjoy the studies, not stress them out like a waitress in a busy bar trying to hear out the crowd shouting their orders and cope up with the upbeat seasoned moneymaking machine next to me who is waiting to push me aside and make space for her comrade in crime. Be my quest I quit, you whore of babylon !

 

Anyways, here are some sketches I made, I feel sad that I have produced so few  a images that are not in line at all to the trouble, difficulties and time consumption that went into them, I wonder if anybody else had as much hard time as I did. I tried different methods and media and I came accross a dilemma, plain sky looks boring on its own, but if I had very impressive sky it seemed to clash with the background. These problems caused me to spend lot of time experimenting and discarding many of the images.

On a hindsight, maybe applying Patrick Caulfield in marrying the two planes together will solve this problem, but thats  perhaps another study.

 

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Research point: Facing the challenges

 

Camille Pissarro who was part of the impressionistic movement or rather a father figure and even influenced Post-Impressionists like Vincent can Gogh and Paul Cezanne. He struggled with the art establishment like the others who smelled the changing winds and supported each other to overcome any bouts of selfdoubt. What Eugene Delacroix started with his optical illusion of depicting transparent waterdrops with dots of pure colour needed to be reconfirmed over and over again to help dissidents of their time to continue against Goliath standing their way. Many impressionists were re –established more securely in their minds, after having seen the same line of thoughts they had in the works of John Constable and J.M.W. Turner.

Among spiritual challenges Pissarro in his old age was suffering from eye infections that bound him indoors in cold weathers, his solution to this hindrance was to start painting from hotel room windows, this of course limited his scenes to urban settings.

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