Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dinner Party Work-in-Progress


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.


7 comments:

Sadami said...

Hi, Cathy,
The work looks fabulous! I know famous illustrators use the same methods like you're working on. Really great. Look forward to the next.
Kind regards, Sadami

Sadami said...

Hi, Cathy,
The work looks fabulous! I know famous illustrators use the same methods like you're working on. Really great. Look forward to the next.
Kind regards, Sadami

RH Carpenter said...

You've put a lot of thought and a lot of talent and skill into your set-up and clay people and the choices you've made! WOW! That must be some workshop - painting so much that your mind has to stop and you just become and paint and brush!!

Bridget Hunter said...

This is so intriguing - who are the people featured? Maybe I should know and if so I apologise - and that would not be the fault of your drawing just my ignorance. But I really like the steps you've shown. Thankyou

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Sadami - yes, in fact these techniques were also used by the Old Masters - obviously with very different results ;-) Thanks for your interest!

Thanks Rhonda, it was/is some workshop (still two sessions to go later in the year). You do get thoroughly involved in the work at that intense pace!

Bridget, they are the same artists (or representations of them) that were on my Valentine cards and place setting paintings a few posts ago - should have linked to them! Francis Bacon, Georgia O'Keeffe, Wayne Thiebaud, Alice Neel, Marc Chagall and moi. All have undergone drastic changes in the process!

Sue Pownall said...

How interesting. Thxs for sharing.

Nora MacPhail said...

Such rich lively characters! The sculpted figures are just magnificent!