FINAL PIECE: Based on the Fine Art Painting Project

I have decided to submit my monochrome shaped painting that I started within the last fine art project session as a final piece. It communicates all of the material skills that I have learnt throughout the painting project and accurately consolidates my body of work surrounding the hidden loneliness of life in the City. Participating in the project has taught me a wide variety of skills, I had never explored the technique of underpainting before and I learnt how much an underpainting really can inform a final piece. I also acquired a knowledge of dry brushing and allowing an underpainting to come through the top layer of paint. Creating a shaped painting was a new and interesting concept for me as well as like many other painters, I tend to traditionally paint on square or rectangular surfaces. I wanted my final piece to convey all of the skills and knowledge that I have gained from attending these sessions and I feel that this monochrome shaped piece with a green sort of under glow definitely does.

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Previously, I experimented with making the people the focus in my work  rather than the architecture and making the buildings more gestural. Like I said, I do think that this was highly successful, but in this piece, I think the buildings really add to the feeling of loneliness within the work because of the eery and sort of uneasy green underglow that is coming through the monochrome overlay. I employed the technique of dry brushing within this piece so that the green underpainting is really a valued part of this final outcome. I feel this piece really consolidates my city project. It portrays everything I have learnt, the things I have progressed with, the things I have not taken any further but learnt from and the meaning and concept behind my take on the city itself. I have included a coloured figure surrounded by white silhouettes within this piece because it has been my most successful portrayal of being surrounded by others in the city but alone. You might as well be alone in the city because no one interacts with you or notices your existence. You may as well be surrounded by bodies with no defining features – white silhouettes. I definitely feel that it is worse being around people and being made to feel alone in the city than actually being around no one. This piece represents how you are alone in the city regardless of being surrounded by others and that if the only people you see all day are the passers-by of the city, then your time in the urban environment can be an incredibly lonely, with no interaction or conversation with others.

As this is a final piece, I thought about the fact that it should be able to be presented and hung on the wall as a final outcome and so fixed a block of wood to the back of the board so that it can be hung upon nails or screws.

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I definitely would not have made this piece without attending the painting project sessions, they have been extremely valuable to me and even though I have had to create a final piece based on what I have learnt in these sessions, I think I would have made a piece inspired by them anyway because of how many new techniques and methods  I have worked with. Underpainting is definitely something I am going to be considering in the future as I feel it has really informed and added to the outcome created here. I think this piece is highly successful in portraying what I have learnt in the sessions as well as highlighting the hidden loneliness of City life and how you are alone and a singular figure in the city even when you are surrounded by others. I am incredibly happy with and proud of this final piece. It is definitely not something I would have usually created but that has taught me that experimenting with new styles and techniques can make for highly successful outcomes.

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PAINT WORKSHOP: Shaped Painting Exhibition

In the first hour, we were given the task of putting the final touches to our shaped paintings in preparation to informally exhibit what we have created within these sessions to our peers that have been working in other discipline sessions within fine art.

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I am incredibly pleased with my shaped painting, so much so that I am thinking of presenting it as one of my final pieces. I think the green glow coming through the monochrome is quite eery and heightens the feeling of loneliness within the painting. I have spent a lot of time working on this and I feel it definitely shows, I was really excited to exhibit this piece along side the shaped paintings of the other members of my painting group.

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It was really interesting to see how each of us had approached the task of creating a shaped painting very differently. All of the pieces had our own stamp on them and were painted in completely different techniques. Some people had completely covered the green underlay, some had let it show through as I have. It was fascinating to me that we had all been given the same brief and interpreted in very varied ways. I think presenting all our work as a mini exhibition was a great way of consolidating all that we have learnt the past weeks and the perfect opportunity for each one of us to take a step back and look at what we have achieved. I have really enjoyed attending these painting sessions on a monday and I have learnt a massive amount. I had never experimented with green underpainting or dry brushing or creating a shaped painting before and I have acquired valuable skills that will continue to influence my work and that will stay with me through the rest of my artistic life.


PAINT WORKSHOP: Working on top of Green Underpainting

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.

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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.

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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.


SHAPED PAINTING: Finished Green Underpainting

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.

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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.

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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.

 


SHAPED PAINTING: Further Work into my Green Under-Painting

I have been working in the studio most evenings this week, painting my green under-painting ready for Monday’s workshop when we will start painting colour on top of it. I have been focusing on highlights and shadows and creating tone and dimension within this underlay. I find the colour mixing involved with this process really enjoyable, as you are only allowed to darken the green with red and blue and lighten it with yellow and white, and it is quite relaxing working on this in the studio.

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I am also really happy with how the shape of the board I cut out is bringing the whole painting together. The castle turrets, I feel are particularly successful and I think I have managed to create a sense of depth and dimension within this under-painting.

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Now that I have painted the tones, highlights and shadows into the under-painting, I will be confident when applying the next layer of paint.  I am pleased with how it looks so far and will continue working on it until it is finished and ready for the next stage. I have learnt so much making this piece and it has been such a valuable experience and now that I have learnt more in the workshops, I can see a progression already from the last green under-painting to this one.


Painting Workshop: Creating a Shaped Painting

Today, in the Monday paint workshop I have been attending, we started thinking about creating a shaped painting. We looked at artists to influence our pieces and to gain an idea of what a shaped painting was and how it might look. We looked at the works of Anthony Green mainly, David Hockney and loosely touched upon the work of Patrick Hughes.

Anthony Green

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I was highly drawn to the work of Anthony Green. I find it highly interesting that he uses shaped paintings to play with perspectives. He inspired me to think about creating an irregular shaped piece rather than a generic one like a circle or oval. He inspired me to think of a scene to do with my city project and map out an interesting outline of how it looked to cut out of board to create the canvas for my shaped painting. His work is incredibly clever and really made me want to work with an irregular shaped painting as I wasn’t really able to visualize what I might achieve before.

David Hockney (Tea Painting)

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We looked at David Hockney’s shaped painting  – “Tea painting in an illusionist way” as an idea of a more geometric shaped piece. The picture employed a shaped canvas, the first work by a Royal College student in which the stretcher departed from the traditional rectangle. Hockney made the stretcher himself. His intention was that, if the blank canvas was already illusionistic, he ‘could ignore the concept of illusionistic space and paint merrily in a flat style – people were always talking about flatness in painting in those days’ (Stangos, p.64).

Patrick Hughes

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Patrick Hughes’ work looks simply rectangular but when you look at it from a side view, it is actually incredibly shaped and 3D, his work inspired me to think about creating a relief effect within a shaped painting and maybe building more shapes on top of a shaped piece to create dimension, this is something I could certainly look into in the future.

We started by drawing out the shapes that we had decided to cut and went down to the woodwork area to cut out the pieces using a band-saw. I decided to paint a city scene from Cardiff with a view to painting loneliness within it and silhouettes of figures. I chose St Mary’s street with the castle at the back as I felt the turrets would make for an interesting shaped painting to be cut out. Then, I just started cutting. I am very happy with the shape I created and look forward to painting it very much. I started priming the surface of the shape today also, ready to produce an underpainting on top.

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I have never done this kind of thing before, and tend to always paint on rectangular or square shapes, so I feel I will be learning a lot when producing this work.  I spent the evening in the studio, drawing out my piece ready to paint it. I am keen to get stuck in and start painting my shaped piece. I will be working in the studio this week creating a green underpainting just like I did when creating my still life piece ready for next monday’s session.