After an intense four days of painting on two 1200x800mm canvases last week, there is still a way to go on both of them. Here's what's happened since the clay figures I made... the six figures were arranged around a table and put in a setting. I put plain cardboard walls around them after failing to make a convincing stage set and afraid the whole thing would crash down and further destroy my crumbling people, then lit the scene in various ways to take as many interesting photos as possible (the possibilities were endless!) I digitally cut some of my figure arrangements out and pasted them onto photo backgrounds, finally settling on one of a ruined cathedral in Lisbon that my husband took when I was busy with the Urban Sketchers Symposium last year, and he and our son were sight-seeing. We were to draw up this design onto one canvas and leave the other blank.
On Monday morning our painting group gathered excitedly, nervously, or both - we knew we were in for a week of hard work and plenty of surprises. Greg informed us that we would be painting two large paintings in the four days, immediately creating a sense of urgency/disbelief/panic. The drawn up canvas was to be glazed with primary colours, randomly in sections, then glazed again with the primaries to create secondary colours. While that was drying, the other canvas was covered with a glaze in a colour of our choice, lifting out areas freehand where we wanted lighter or back to a previous colour, using our photos. Both methods similiar to what we did last year in the Dark Cloud workshops. The glazing and lifting on both paintings continued, building tones and secondary, tertiary and strangely indescribable other colours.
They're not finished yet - mine are extremely weird, not your average portrait group but so interesting to me in subject, process and unexpected results - I will forge on with them and see where we end up. I wish I could show you all the paintings that were produced, each so different and with their own unique qualities, a real credit to the teaching to produce such a range of individual responses to the project.