Archive for October, 2009


Ideas for Autumn project

October 26, 2009

Autumn in the General CemeteryMore Autumn colour in the cemeteryMulling over the theme I have decided upon for my set of four seasons paintings: Adam and or Eve in a landscape setting corresponding to the seasons. Planned to start with Autumn since this is where we are, but how quickly the leaves fall from the trees! I
took a couple of pictures of colourful trees in the cemetery this afternoon and plan to go into the cemetery to do some sketching to get started. Here are a couple of the Autumn scenes from the  cemetery:I’ve also been looking for paintings of Autumnal scenes that I like. I found a few on the Bridgeman Education Library site, and will use these for reference.

Autumn by Brabazon, from Bridgeman Art LibraryI did find one painting that reminded me of a view in the cemetery, below, and I love the treatment in this watercolour of Autumn by Brabazon © The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris, so loose, vibrant and expressive.

DSCF2467Looking for images of Autumn, I found several I really liked, and most of
those were ones full of energy and expressiveness….like this one below:

Autumn at May Banks Karen Armitage, 2000, © The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris.

autumn at may banks armitage karen 2000

landscape with cross Makowski Tadeusz

I especially like the colours in the Makowski painting (above right: © The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris) and the way light plays on the trees. The shawillseden junction autumn afternoon 1971ft of blue on the ground seems to pull it  all together.  I’m always looking at and for colour but the tonal painting of Autumn light on the right by Kossof © The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris captures that special feeling of the sun low in the sky so well, its impressive.

I want to create a feeling for Autumn, rather than a figurative Autumnal landscape, and also want to insert a figure or figures into it, so then I looked for examples like this that inspired me…  Chagall’s
figure sits within the frame as part of the landscape design on the
right, as do the groups of figures on the left.

I like the way they melt into their environment, not separate but in harmony with the colours and the compositions in both images. Finally I found this sketch, © The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris that manages to integrate a portrait figure into an Autumn landscape by evoking the swirl of leaves in the girl’s Autumn hair, beautiful.


Cyclists are a joy to draw!

October 12, 2009

What fun.  I watched the Monsal Hill climb yesterday in the October sun, then drizzle and wind.  This is a ‘sprint’ for serious cyclists on a 1:6 hill.  I sat at the top clapping and sketching the spectators.  The hats, funny shoes and multi-coloured tops, combined with the muscular legs of the cyclists were good fun to look at and to note down.  I might do some more from photos too.

Monsal Climb spectators: ink and feltpen

Monsal Climb spectators: ink and feltpen

After this drawing, I gave up because the pages were getting smudged in the rain.

More Monsal Climb spectators

More Monsal Climb spectators

Once home Porridge felt he’d had enough of sitting still in the wind chill and rain and splayed himself out on the sofa …..

porridge splayed


Painting detail .. or not

October 10, 2009

I am impatient about most things but when it comes to painting the discipline of drawing and painting detail defeats me, but this is what I am supposed to do for this unit of my course.  First I started with tomatoes….


but got bored with the amount of cross hatching I needed to do.  I thought the contrast of untampered-with tomatoes might work, but I think its dull.  I set up another still life:

Bamboo pen and coloured inks

Bamboo pen and coloured inks

I much prefer this, but it only took 20 minutes.  I love working fast and getting the feeling of speed in my pics.  Its got much more energy in it.


Ideas Chagall, Eden and Autumn

October 10, 2009

Hmmm, four linked projects based on the seasons…. something that will get me going, and make me zing with enthusiasm and keep me going for a W-H-O-L-E year, and motivated enough to keep my eyes open and wanting to paint in the winter evenings after work…..

Well, I figure if I do the things I like best then I stand a chance.  That’s painting people, preferably with no clothes on, and landscapes.  Combine the two and what have you got?  Possibly the Garden of Eden, complete with Adam and Eve, or at the very least Eve, or maybe various classical scenes, with Jupiter prancing around as in the closest the late Renaissance got to erotica.  That gets me thinking….  I think Chagall’s dreamy, fairy tale pictures with rich colour contrasts and classical lovers in Greek landscapes will get me started…. or maybe the lush heavy landscapes of Giorgione.

What about Cranach’s almost comical Venus standing wantonly with an apple in the ‘Shall I shan’t I?’ pose, coquettishly, encouragingly in a carefully designed landscape with the funky apple tree behind her. (National Gallery, London copyright).  I like the stylised nature of this image, with the rings of Saturn round her head.   It is such a jolly image, I find it hard to imagine the artist had his mind anything but the creation of a rather a magical landscape complete with nubile decorative young woman.