Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Holiday continued...

Well now, Adam left such a lot of questions on his comment on my last post A Holiday to remember - that I thought I'd reply with another post about the same painting in case anyone else wants to know too. His questions are in blue...
did you put a fine wash of transparent yellow down first that gives that wonderful warm timbre to the light?
I put a light wash of W&N Yellow Ochre down first, preserving some whites on the brightly sunlit areas - umbrella, hat, shoulder etc. When that was dry I used masking fluid to sketch in the long grasses and the small highlights on the umbrella.
i guess not being a in rush whilst out in the field 'plein-air', allows for a cooler, more deliberate & more planned approach. to lay a violet-based shadow wash over a bright, pure yellow .... (the shadow did go over the yellow stripes or visa versa? difficult to tell from a jpeg of a painting - though i can see that the greens are classic 'dark over light')
One of course has more time to plan how to go about portraying an object from a photo - which would hopefully help next time one is in a plein-air situation. On the umbrella I first put down my familiar, if predictable 'shadow' wash of ultramarine mixed with burnt sienna (which probably looks a bit violet against the yellow) and when dry added another wash of that on the underside, then added the yellow stripes afterwards.
great that you resisted the urge to fill-in the little empty 'gaps' in some of the washes such as on the back-side of the easel ...
I'm learning, slowly, when painting from photos, to leave well enough alone, to try to keep a freshness about the strokes!

Vivienne is a trooper to hold so many oil brushes in her hand & her posture is so strong & in the shoulders. very concentrated!
Think I added a few extra brushes, trying to keep my brushstrokes light and quick! I was quite careful to keep those little wrinkles around the shoulders to describe the posture.
i never expected that a palette lay-out diagram could have such a funny 'insert' image (see enlarged image at top of post) posed inside the middle of it!! (do you know pissaro's pallete with the painting inside it?)
That was such a quick sketchy-sketch, also from a photo, that I did for a 'value' study, just on layout paper, and decided to stick in my journal as it did remind me so much of the time, place and people - and the middle of the palette diagram was the only space left! Is this Pissaro's painting you were thinking of? I found it here....
but just a pedantic word here, if i may... what are the sizes of these two paintings? it's terribly difficult to have a real appreciation if one hasn't the sizes written underneath the jpeg...( you had to have one piece of negative criticism, didn't you?;)
A teacher is allowed to have a pedantic word! I know I'm very bad at recording sizes, supports and mediums - sorry sir! Vivienne painting is on Fabriano - 398mm x 250mm and the bench one is about 160mm x 105mm, stuck in my A5 - ish journal.


Adam Cope said...

thanks for the replies. i will keep it short in the future!

i thought that Vivienne was holding a few too many brushes.

yellow ochre underlay - that works very well. (and being a non staining colour can be lifted off if needs be).

your shadow recipe ('le duo de grisaille') is low key & harmonises very well with the yellow ochre( also low key palette choice).

interesting that you can also do a sketchy-sketch loose style from a photo as well. maybe i've been missing something about working from photos? personally i always tend to get too exact about unimportant details.

Cathy Gatland said...

Oh no, I really appreciate your thoughtful, in-depth and very kind comment Adam! I am honoured that you took the time, and quite gobsmacked at your interest in how I went about this painting - didn't know I knew that much to impart!
Working from photos is something That I would really prefer not to do - I do like to paint from life, but it just sometimes seems necessary - especially here with safety issues. I usually work from quite rough digital printouts, especially so I don't get too caught up in reproducing minute detail, and try to work quickly with a biggish brush, for the same reason.
Thanks so much for all your input -and all the best with your project, hope you get a good response!

africantapestry said...

Ok, so here is some nice to see. Love the monochrome bench!