Thursday, 8 August 2013

Mustn't Forget about Composition!

Back in the studio after a lovely time at Edinburgh Printmakers. Keeping the painting going. It's a little difficult thinking about Wester Ross back in Musselburgh, but the sketchbook helps.  I decided to focus on the sketch I had made of the old fishing station at Ardaneaskan (just to the west of North Strome).
I had done a sketch in ink while sitting on the beach, and I re-drew this in charcoal and graphite.

 Then I decided to do some colour studies.  The day of sketching had been one of those overcast days - a bit threatening, with blinks of sun from time to time. I had been looking west, into the sun, and wanted to try and recapture that look - the colourless look of the shed and the dark tree shape.  I was also very keen on the fishing poles (where the nets used to dry). I've seen these poles in a few places (they're a bit sad, I think, reminiscient of ways of working that have disappeared - and they look a bit like dead trees), and at Ardaneaskan, these poles are intact (amazingly).  Anyway, my first effort, using acrylic and pencil marks, was a similar composition to the sketch, but I've cropped it a bit.

 The composition with the poles is a bit difficult. Also, I thought the palette was a bit red, so I tried again with a slightly different palette - introducing ultramarine.  Quite a different look - more far away, less brooding?
 In my earnestness to capture the beach, I may have overworked this version.  However, it has a nice 'coldness' about it (which was not really the look I was trying to achieve).  Anyway, undeterred, I've tried the motif again, in larger format, and (so far) without the poles.  Have gone back to the red brooding palette.
I decided to introduce an orange (corrugated iron) roof which seems to work quite well.  And I quite like the colour relationships relating to this.  I think the colour is close to what I'm seeking. However, I don't think this is finished yet.  Maybe the composition is not interesting enough without the poles. But I like the angle of the hut better. It's on different paper too, which affects the quality of the mark-making. (Actually, I don't like this paper - it's too rough and raggy.)

But the big decision is the poles - in or out? I'm still not sure.

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