Saturday, 15 October 2011

Studio Planning

Yesterday was a studio day, and I was a bit unsure about this - I've been struggling with studio work recently.  I think my sketches are not bad, but when I get into the studio and try to take something forward from a sketch, I seem to lose focus - haven't really worked out properly how to do this on my own (without help from a tutor on a course at Leith).  I've been having a real think about this and so yesterday (with my head still up in Lochcarron) I decided to use my recent photos and select some scenes which had a bit of interest - something to work on - and do thumbnails of these as a starting point.  So that's exactly what I did....

Lochcarron thumbnails copyright Aileen Grant
It was interesting doing this.  It allowed me to get a feel for these views.  Although they are so familiar to me, it's a different matter to try and paint them, and paint them in a meaningful way.  It's so much easier if I have done a sketch, and even easier if I've done a colour sketch.  Doing a sketch allows me to look at the scene with greater concentration and intensity and I can recapture some of this in the studio.  (I think I need to do more colour sketches.)
Anyway, I had to decide which thumbnails I should run with first, and I thought I would have a go at the view I did the colour sketch of - the view over to Raasay and Rhona (posted in my previous blog).
So I re-drew it in charcoal to start with.
Charcoal of Raasay View copyright Aileen Grant
I used charcoal to map out this picture as I thought this would allow me to keep loose, and hang on to the emotion of the view.  There is some oilbar in this too.  Then I got the acrylics out - first white, then some blues, purples and a little lemon yellow, and more charcoal.  I was trying to keep that intensity of light on the sea. And I felt that little bit of roadway (the route in front) was important to the picture. I finished with this.
Raasay View copyright Aileen Grant
It needs more work - another picture.  For another day. (Maybe I should call it the road to the isles..haha.)
So then I had a go at another thumbnail image - the view of Attadale.  My start to this was this
Attadale - quick sketch copyright Aileen Grnat
Again I used oilbar to keep the treatment loose. (Interesting to look at this again).
The next step was to introduce some colour and some painting i.e. using brushes.  I got as far as this.
Over to Attadale copyright Aileen Grant
I was trying to capture something of the view of the trees, the glade behind them and the mystery of the topography behind the trees. And capture the feel of the light.  And also the feel of the sea in the foreground.  This is the view from the cottage at Lochcarron and I have sketched it so often, but seldom tried to paint it.

So, a couple of thumbnails done, several more to do.  I must ty and keep focused on these. I've decided to make the end of the year a target - to come up with one big picture in oils by then - one of these images.  And work towards this with a number of smaller studies. I think setting a target like this will allow me to settle  down into the work and stop me being too impatient...hopefully....I certainly feel happier about this approach.

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