Monday, March 28, 2011

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang WIP3

 I have finally managed to take a decent WIP photo of this painting so I thought this would be a good stage to share my progress with you all.

I'm still keeping to the very limited palette with this painting so far because I don't want the child to be the main focus. I am however increasing the tonal ranges when I paint him compared to his reflection. I still obviously have lots of hair to paint, some reflective shadowing in the corner of his face and another couple layers on his sleeve before I can move onto the car. but it's beginning to come together.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang WIP2

I can't decide whether I am happy with this so far or not. I guess I'll just press on and see how it turns out.

 I have used the same sequence of glazes to create the table top as I used for the background. The 7 or so layers of glazing were applied wet on wet over the reflection detail. This helped to soften the reflections, flatten them slightly and unify them with the table.

Because of the amount of glazing its very hard to get an accurate photo. As usual the camera just seems to latch onto one of the colours used and a lot of photoshopping is needed to get the photo looking even remotely like what the painting looks like in real life. This is the best I can do at this stage. The background is more like the photo in my last post and there is a little more warmth in the table.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It`s an upside down world!

With the background completed I began painting the  car reflections on the table today working upsidedown (the painting that is not me). It was easier this way to see where and what everything was. It`s a weird angle but makes much more sense especially when I havent yet painted the real car to put the reflection into some sort of perspective. In fact both Alex and the car are hidden under layers of making tape and fluid to keep the paper clean while I finish the reflections and then paint the table.

I thought, for some fun, I`d show you my progress on the painting as I have been staring at it all day.  Yes...Upsidedown!!!

I will paint in Alexander`s reflection next and then use glazing to finish the table while helping to soften the reflections. Then I can turn the painting the right way up again.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

...and all because I had this spare frame...

If you remember I had to buy a frame locally for the MEH!! painting because the one I had ordered over the web had not been shipped in time. It has now arrived so, with a spare frame to hand I thought carefully about what I could paint to fit it. I wanted to choose a subject for the painting that not only fitted the frame colour scheme and size wise but also one in which I could have the opportunity to experiment with glazing to create different effects again.

My inspiration for this painting came from an old photo of my son playing with a bright yellow car that he fondly named 'Chitty' after seeing the stage musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This is a quick snap shot of me adding the final details to the drawing on the watercolour paper. The paper is flat on the table hence the slightly strange persective but it gives you an idea of the size of the painting which is about 24 by 15 inches.

In my reference photo I loved how both the car and Alexander were reflected in our coffee table and it was this that gave me the idea for the title of this painting to be... as both Alex and his reflection stare dreamingly at the car I can almost hear them thinking  'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we love you!'


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Finished Painting

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull this one off this morning. I had a drastic change of thought regarding the composition. I wasn't happy with the man in the painting. It just felt too cluttered having him there. It also meant that that lovely shaft of smoky light falling onto the chair and surrounding area was partly hidden so I decided to remove him. I'm much happier with the overall effect now and VERY glad that my experiment is finished.

I've made a couple of close ups so you can see the effect created more easily. Firstly the smoky upper section of the painting where I used mostly blues to help accentuate that feeling of height and distance.

secondly the woman crouching by the fire, enjoying its warmth while quietly waiting for the men to return.

I haven't a clue what to call this one. Any ideas?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Long House WIP 6

  It's been slow going over the last few days but the painting is beginning to take shape. I have a little more work to do on the basket next to the chair but other than this I just have the fireplace and people left to paint. Its so hard to get a true reflection of the painting on the screen. Some of the smoky atmosphere is lost in the photo above and the colours are slightly off but I hope you get the idea. Multiple glazes really help to create distance and atmosphere but its so hard to photograph.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Long House WIP 5

After a few days rest from this while I was sorting out the frame for the NWWS exhibition painting it was good to be able to pick up the brushes again.

I've now finished the background of the long house. Missionaries who visited these long houses often wrote about how dark and smoky the interior of these dwellings were. I wanted to capture that smoky, dimly lit atmosphere so the painting is much darker and more smoky than my reference photo. These traditional buildings were windowless structures between 25 and 30 metres long and six to nine metres wide and high. They were made of poles bent over to form an arbour, which was then covered with bark and saplings. There were low doors at each end and holes in the roof which let smoke out and light in. There were usually three fires in each long house so they would often get extremely smoky. Indeed the smoke often caused eye disease among the old.

I think I am going to paint in the floor of the building next.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Framed and Ready!

I thought you would like to see the painting "MEH!!" now that it is framed and ready to be sent to the NWWS 71st Annual Open Exhibition.

It has been a stressful week as the frame I had originally ordered had not arrived. I phoned the company and discovered that it had not even been shipped! So yesterday I found a very helpful local supplier Framing Depot who cut the frame to size as I waited. Thank you Framing Depot.

Tomorrow the painting will be packaged up and shipped to Mercer Island WA. The exhibition opens on March 21st and runs through to May 12th.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Long House WIP 4

Working on this is so exciting. As I add in the grasses and furs and then wash over with the final couple of glazes I am loving the effect that is being created. It's so difficult to capture on the screen the really musty smoky feel that is appearing on the paper. I think this is because on the screen the light is shining from behind which seems to sharpen the image rather than blur it but I hope you get the idea from the photo above.

I am so pleased with how effective glazing is for creating smoky atmospheres and receeding objects further into the background. If you look closely on the left hand side of the photo, you can see that I have completed the furs and grasses in this section. However, I have only laid down the first wash of two on the hanging curved reed. As a result the rope-like reed looks far further forward than the hanging grass, where in reality it is behind it. A couple more washes on this section should do the trick.

I am making the whole scene duskier than in my ref photo because I am planning to not have the extra light shining through the doorway so the light shining through the ceiling and upper window is accentuated thus increasing the smoky atmosphere of the painting...well thats my plan. Fingers crossed I can put the idea I can see in my head onto the paper.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long House WIP 3

 The background of this scene is now basically finished. I will need to do a couple more washes in certain areas to bring some of the furs and grasses into the smokey haze once they are painted, especially around the top grasses which will darken the mid top section a little more but other than this the basic atmosphere is created.

 As a whole the process went quite smoothly. There are some things I would do differently if I painted it again (more in the creation rather than altering the final effect) but thats all part of the learning experience isn't it. Glazing certainly works well for creating a smoky atmosphere. I'm really pleased with the effect. I need to do a bit of tidying up now before I begin to put in the grasses, furs, pillars and curtained doorway.