Painting Painting is traditionally the act of making a two- dimensional artwork with pigments. It differs from drawing in that it is more concerned with the use of tone and colour to convey form, light and space. In order to be a good painter you need to get to know your materials and test out what they can do. During these three weeks you will be experimenting with paint in order to: Find out how to make paint more transparent and more opaque. Find out how to make an interesting surface with the paint, using a variety of techniques. Find out how to mix and use colour to convey emotion, depth, form and light. Transparent/Opaque. In order to make a colour more transparent add more medium. Medium - You mix water with acrylics and thin oil paint with white spirit. You can make oil paint more transparent by adding ‘mediums’ such as linseed oil or dammar varnish. There are also John Bratby The Kitchen Table different mediums and gels for acrylic painting that will make the paint shiny, thicker, take longer to dry and give it texture. Watercolour and oil paint are transparent and translucent (partly transparent) painting media. Oil paint as well as acrylic paint can be used thick or thin but oil paint is good when you want to use thin glazes. Look at the old Masters for good examples. Glazes - A transparent or translucent layer of colour. A glaze can be put on top of another layer of dry colour to create depth or even mix another colour. A glaze can also be applied on top of a rough under painted surface for depth and form – look at how Rembrandt used glazes dribbled on top of impasto. Rothko used glazes to build up powerful abstract paintings. Impasto is thick opaque (not see-through) paint – look at Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach or Rembrandt. Thick paint can convey a sense of heaviness, importance or speed. Surface and Texture Mixed Media - Mix paint with other materials to make a more interesting surface or paint, for example Georges Braque and Anthony Whishaw mixed paint with sand to give the paint texture. Anselm Kiefer paints on top of ‘found’ materials and uses a lot of different textures and surfaces to create a sense of heaviness and importance. Scraffito - scratch into wet paint with the end of a brush. Use different tools - Apply paint with different materials e.g a sponge, palette knife or rollers etc. Press patterned or textured materials into wet or half dry paint to also create marks – Francis Bacon pressed his socks or shoes into his wet paintings in order to break up the surface. Gerhard Richter uses a squeegee to build up the surfaces of his paintings. Excess paint can be removed by pressing newspaper onto the wet surface. This technique was used a lot by Willem De Kooning. The newspaper sometimes left newsprint on his paintings and the paint on the newspaper sparked off another painting idea. Look at the work of De Stael for examples of good palette knife work. Brush marks - You can apply the paint with a brush in a variety of ways to get different marks – try stippling (applying dry paint in quick dab with a short haired brush), ‘scumbling’ (scuffing on a little dry paint onto an already worked surface to create a broken colour effect – look at Degas). Look at the Impressionists, Expressionists or Van Gogh for great examples of vigorous and exciting brushwork. Broken Brush marks – experiment by applying one colour on top of another in a broken manner so that the colour comes through underneath. Look at the Impressionists or Degas for great examples of this technique. Wet into Wet - Experiment by working wet paint into wet paint. Colour Colour is a very broad topic and takes years to master. Here are a few tips when using colour. Limited palette - When you first start try not to use too many different colours – experiment with a limited palette – look at Cubism and Frans Hals for excellent examples – you can mix a variety of tones with just three colours and white. Avoid using too much black - Try to avoid using black because it tends to drown out other colours and make them look muddy. Use other colours for shadows and dark areas such as dark blue, purple, dark green or brown. The Impressionists did not think black was a colour and banned it from their palette. Basic colour theory - There are three primary colours (blue, yellow and red). Secondary Colours are created by mixing two primaries together. Red and yellow = orange Blue and yellow = green Red and Blue = violet (purple) Tertiary Colours are formed by mixing primary and secondary colour. e.g Red and Orange = orangey red. Browns and greys can be created by mixing secondary colours together – experiment with small amounts of paint. Shades and Tints - A Shade is produced by the addition of black to a colour. A Tint is produced by the addition of white to a colour, e.g red plus white makes different shades of light red, or pink. Look at Bonnard, Gwen John and Lucien Freud for a beautiful use of tints and shades. Some famous painters The Fauves – a group of artists who freed colour from being just representational. Look at Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Vlaminck. German Expressionists – like the Fauves they also used ‘wild’ colour and exciting brush marks to express emotion. Look at Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Marianne Von Werefkin, Macke, Meidner, Otto Dix, Kandinsky. Abstract Expressionism – mainly American artists working in New York during the 1950’s – they pushed the boundaries of painting through their application of paint, free use of colour and abstract imagery. Pollock , De Kooning, Hoffman, Rothko, Krasner. Post – Impressionism – Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Bonnard, Walter Sickert, Matthew Smith. Cubists and Futurists– Picasso, Braque,Juan Gris, Balla plus loads of others.
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