Friday, 22 May 2015

Work in progress

I was stewarding all day at Burton Agnes Hall Courtyard gallery yesterday, and although I worked on three different pieces of work whilst there, I forgot to take any photographs, so that will have to wait until Saturday or Sunday.

I thought it might be interesting to take some 'work in progress' photos as my work changes radically throughout it's progress.  I think it will be difficult to remember to take the photos, but I will do my best.  I remember I did post about using a video camera to record a paintings progress some time ago, but I haven't done anything about it as yet.

The pieces of work below are three different pieces, showing the different ways I might start a painting.  I now tend to work from chaos, gradually pulling the painting together, and hoping not to go past the point when I should stop.  This way of working is largely due to Neil Helyard, my tutor on Tuesday's.  He has always said that you can't start worrying about the details until the painting is nearly finished - "adding the jewels" is what he calls it.  I owe Neil a lot, as I would never have reached this stage without his help.

Canvas with dressmakers tissue, fluid acrylics & acrylic inks

The first one above, is a canvas which I hope will evolve into a harbour scene, there has been no forward planning other than blue at the bottom for water.  I love harbours, combining boats and buildings seems to work for me.  I used dressmakers tissue, crumpled up and then glued to the canvas with PVA.  When dry I added acrylic inks and some fluid acrylics.  I may go directly in and paint, or I may use a charcoal or white conte pencil to rough in the composition.

I use the dressmakers tissue to provide texture,  it's slightly stronger than normal white tissue.  I also like the serendipity of odd words and arrows peeking through the paint.

Harbour scene, collage, acrylic paint

The next 'beginning'  Harbour scene above is slightly different. In this piece I have planned the composition before I began.  I applied white tissue to the top area, then added a few pieces at the bottom, together with other collage papers.  There is a band of dressmakers tissue across the centre area, where the harbour wall and road will be. I have added some collage for the boats, and for the houses.  I then added a little acrylic paint to set the colour scheme.

No.2 Harbour Top. Acrylic mixed media

The last piece is different again.  I did apply dressmakers tissue, but also added gesso and some light molding paste in places.  When dry I blocked in the main areas, which look very crude at the moment.  I try to work from positive to negative and back again, altering and refining until I am happy with the result.

I should mention that I like to have several paintings on the go at once in the hope that I don't overwork any; when stuck I move onto the next painting rather than keep painting on one and ruin it.  I also like to work in series, the subject being whatever 'floats my boat' at the time.  Boats and harbours and also Venice canals seem to be my 'thing' at the moment.

Finally, I try to keep in mind that if it doesn't work, then I can just gesso over it and/or cover it with tissue and start again, everything under this layer will have been a learning experience, adding to my skills and knowledge.

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