Thursday, 16 May 2013

Masters Project

We were tasked with looking to artists we considered to be masters of their field and drawing inspiration and techniques from their work to apply to our own in order to learn different ways of painting and understanding the structure of their work.

I instantly looked towards the impressionist art movement. I've found great inspiration in the likes of Edgar Payne, Hanson Puthuff, Turner and others for their use of colour and light, and their energetic brush strokes. I find it interesting how they capture a great sense of depth and atmosphere just with colour and light, and a lesser attention to detail which was not quite the norm in their day.

I began by doing some studies of Hanson Puthuff and Emile Gruppe, focusing on the larger forms and contrast. I made sure to stick to one layer and one brush to keep the feel of real painting, no undoing or rubbing out here!

The first thing I notice whilst painting is how much blue and purple they use for the distant landscape and cast shadows. This is something I was always concious of but have really adhered to strongly in my own work. They are quite liberal with colour aswell, not afraid to use strong reds and orange to compliment and draw interest. They also use a lot of very small, but fat brush strokes. I spent a while just layering the colours as though I was painting on a real canvas and it created a nice effect. 

I was really enjoying this method of painting so I did some studies taking what I'd done into account, but trying to add a little more detail and spend some time blending the colours a bit more. When I was home over easter I went on a walk and noticed the river was reflecting some really nice colours, the blues were really deep blue and glassy, and the oranges really vibrant so I took some pictures to study. (Didn't have any drawing equipment with me!!)

I was really pleased with how these turned out. I've never really painted rivers or water before, it's good fun.
An Edgar Payne study, I wanted to use this piece as practice run for my final, practicing the techniques and colours that I'd like to use. Again, he really pushes the blues of the background, and is using extremely simple strokes. Obviously I've probably only spent a fraction of the time on this to what he would have spent on the real thing.

This is the final I chose to do. It's Llyn y Fan Fach, back in Wales, based off a photo I took last year. The photo was super contrasted, but I wanted to recreate what I had learned from the studies I'd done, so I focused on keeping the dull blues, purples and washed out colours for the distant landscape and shadows and more vibrant colours for the foreground. I also tried to emulate Edgar Payne's technique of using small stubby brushstrokes.

I didn't spend an awful lot of time on this last piece, because it's pretty late, and I have plenty of other projects to get on with right now! (lame excuses D:) but I'm fairly pleased with how it came out. I'm pleased with myself for sticking to the rules I'd laid out for myself. The foreground is a little rushed, and the distant mountain could perhaps have less contrast. The sky is definitely my favourite part, aswell as the spurs of the mountain sweeping down, kinda looks like an elephants head with the tusks sweeping into the water. cool cool. Onto the next one.

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