Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Charcoal value study
Hot-Glass Polka
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.


Penny said...

Alison these look wonderful, actually I like the opening of the furnace door and dont think it dominates, how wonderful to go to classes like this.

Anonymous said...

This is really fantastic. I think the technique, composition and values work perfectly for the subject. I don't think the furnace dominates and you have wonderful lines that draw the eye around the picture. I go right to the guy and his work first and then to the furnace and then back to the guy.

annie said...

I agree with the others, Alison:My eye goes in a full circle from the kiln to the worker to the background and back toward the kiln.
I also love any kind of pictures of people at work--paintings, sketches, photos, videos and on & on...Thanks for sharing the process and your class-- a mini-demo and I just love what you are doing.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

This is a lovely painting, shapes, colours, subject matter. Way to go!

Kerry Mosley said...

These are great Alison

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work!!

Tami said...

Alison looking at your value study, I agree bringing the values down of the furnace would make it less dominant. both works are STUNNING by the way!

ElizT said...

What a good class!
I don't see need for change but a different version might be interesting.