40 x 50cm; 16 x 20"
acrylic and sand on canvas
This is another class exercise. We have been looking at Degas - particularly the way he caught a moment/movement, use of 'empty' space, working from photos, blurred edges and lack of detail. I made a trip to the local glassworks to find some interesting subject matter. From photos, I did a charcoal value study - rather more 'finished' than was necessary. Before painting, we created a rough surface by gluing a fine layer of sand on the canvas. The value study was roughly reworked in charcoal on the canvas and fixed. Then we were instructed to build up the paint layers with a soft, dry-paint brush, gently stroked over the canvas. I found it difficult to get the composition working well as the kiln opening pushed to be the focal point and behaved like an eye, small changes in shape shifting the way it 'stared' and diverting the viewer's eye out of the picture.
I like the idea of painting people at work. I recently discovered English painter Kate Lynch who paints studies of traditional crafts people at work.
After posting this blog entry, and seeing both pictures together on the screen, it looks as if I should knock back the intensity of the coloured kiln opening so it doesn't dominate quite so much - as in the value study.