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After undertaking the still life painting workshop, I was forced to think about an object that linked to my theme of the city. It took me a while, but I suddenly thought about how many people wear headphones when walking through the city. I started thinking about how if everyone around you in the city was wearing headphones to avoid its loneliness and to avoid facing the fact that you will interact with no one, then the people who don’t wear them must feel even more isolated.
I wanted to portray these ideas and experiment with firstly showing how common it is to see people wearing headphones in the city, and secondly how alone someone would feel in a city surrounded by “headphone beings”. I started sketching.
I was really happy with these quick sketches and felt as if they accurately portrayed a body wearing headphones that you do not interact with and just passes you by in the city. I wanted to work these beings into a piece and decided that using actual headphones within the work could be interesting
As an experiment, I think I have successfully explored the idea of being surrounded by people wearing headphones in the city. However, I think the concept of being surrounded by others but never conversing with them and the thought that they may as well just be silhouettes is more successful. I do not think this is a particularly successful piece and to me it looks quite amateur. I feel this might be too literal and is not an area that I am going to continue to experiment with. I am glad I experimented here however, I learnt that thinking about how people avoid loneliness makes others lonely is not a route that I want to take my project down. I will now start thinking about finalising final pieces and consolidating my project as a whole.
After attending a tutorial on Monday, I was glad that the tutor gave me some direction and new ideas and techniques to work with. After looking at my work, she suggested that I work with Monochrome and use the tones of grey to enhance the feeling of loneliness and make the individual coloured figure appear even more singled out and alone.
She also felt that my work was not really gelling as a whole and that I was working with three different realities and had to express the relationship between the figures, the single figure and the architecture. She said she thought the detailed buildings that were included in my work detracted from the figures and from the message within the pieces. She suggested that I experiment with contrasting colours, monochrome and full colour as well as contrasting languages, the gestural and the more realistic. I was encouraged to make marks and shapes that represent the buildings and to make them more gestural rather than focusing on every detail, window or door etc. I have experimented with making less detailed marks to create the city landscape with both brush and palette knife.
I feel that working with a palette knife definitely helped me be less controlled and more gestural but doesn’t really gel with the figures painted with a brush and therefore is unsuccessful so I have experimented with more gestural brush work.
I think this is far more successful and the monochrome definitely heightens the feeling of loneliness and the colours of the lone figure. After producing this piece, I decided to experiment with how much of the surrounding is seen within the painting, because even though the technique is successful, I feel that the buildings still are overwhelming the figures here.
This definitely puts emphasis on the lone figure and draws the viewer to wonder why they are the only one not painted as a white silhouette and consider their loneliness rather than being distracted by the buildings in the piece. These are highly valid experiments and have inspired me to create a final piece working with monochrome rather than the sepia alternative I have worked with previously. I feel this colour palette and deeper contrast portrays a more negative vibe and adds to the feeling of loneliness within the work.
I am very pleased with the body of work that I have been producing relating to the City. I feel like I have an interesting concept, exploring the Hidden Loneliness of the City and have experimented with this idea in depth. However, I felt like I needed to consolidate my findings and portray what I have learnt and think is working so far. I decided to make a piece reflecting on these findings.
In this piece, I have incorporated a variety of different medias including paint, ink, charcoal and gouache. I have portrayed the sepia tone influence that I have been working with inspired by an artist I came across in Berlin and user Shoe 18 on the deviantart forum. I started off with a dark brown ground here, influenced by my experimentation after undertaking the grounds workshop, I also painted an underpainting using a palette knife and worked on top of this employing Dry Brushing techniques that I learnt from attending the paint workshop sessions with James Green. I have worked with the concept of all of the people around you being insignificant and portrayed that they are just bodies and may as well just be white silhouettes because I believe it is particularly successful and left one person in colour to show they are lonely and singled out among all the others that they do not interact with.
I wanted to formulate a piece that includes all the experimentation and things that I have learnt that I believe have been positive and successful within this project. I believe this is an accurate reflection of this and a successful piece of work in itself. Now that I have consolidated and reflected, I feel that I can move on in my project with confidence and continue my experimentation.
After my tutorial on Monday, I realised that I haven’t experimented with monochrome because I was so inspired by the influences of the artists I mentioned, but this is what I will be working with next, I believe that the loneliness may be heightened by an empty monochrome background and the colours of the one person will appear more vibrant and therefore the person will stand out more. This seems like it will progress my work further and add to the portrayal of the Hidden Loneliness of Cities.
Today, I attended the paint workshop, where I started working on top of the Green underpainting that I have been working on this week. Prior to this workshop, I had a tutorial with one of our tutors – Susan Adams, who suggested that I worked in monochrome to highlight the one person that is in colour within my work. I think this is a great suggestion and I will experiment with this technique throughout the further stages of my project. In this session, based on the feedback I have been given, I decided to work with a monochrome layer on top of the Green underpainting, and I was interested to see how the green would shine through the greys.
I started to realise that I had already done a lot of the work by putting detail into the underpainting and that I could use it as a guide to work on top of. I focused on creating dimension and tone in the underlay and this definitely helped the success of the paint I was applying on top because I could follow the tones I have considered and thought out previously. I have employed dry brushing techniques here so that the glow of the green underlay is allowed to come through. I have been researching artists that use these techniques within their work and I came across the YouTube video’s of George Ayers, who incorporates much of the detail into a green underpainting and like me uses it more as a guide to work on top of.
I am really pleased with how this piece is turning out. Before these sessions, I never realised quite how useful an underpainting could be and how it really does inform the outcome. It is definitely something I will be condsidering a lot more in my future as an art student and an artist.
I will continue to work on this piece this week and finish it ready for next monday’s session where we will be exhibiting what we have created and presenting what we have learnt.
I have now finished the green under-painting I have been working on this week, ready to paint the shaped painting on Monday afternoon in the paint workshop.
I have linked my shaped painting into my Hidden loneliness project and painted all the people as white silhouettes apart from one, to show that the one person may as well be alone because there is no interaction with any of the other people around them, they may as well not exist. I feel this heightens loneliness, but this green under-painting has proved to me that colour is very important when portraying loneliness, because I would say this figure looks lonely than in the pieces I have painted in dark and sepia tones.
I am really pleased with the result, I focused on creating tone and highlights and shadows and I feel as if this is definitely evident and I am confident that this underlay with inform the final outcome greatly.