Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lesson 9, "100 Drawings"

The Jane Davies on-line class I am taking continues with Lesson 9.  We were asked to make a minimum of six (ideally ten) examples of compositions that used 80% or more of an interesting monochromatic mix of colours, and 20% or less of "something else".

That "something else" could be anything: a bit of collage, a scribble, a dab of bright colour, an area of high contrast. We were encouraged to make the "something else" as small as possible, to see just how even the smallest smidgen of variety/contrast can enliven a painting.

#1. The "something else" here is a bit larger than the 20% allowed.

It sounds simple enough, but my brain has become an echo chamber of earlier lessons, especially the previous Lesson 8. Its approach of making a very busy collage and then overlaying most of it with paint, isolating a small area of activity amidst a quieter "breathing space", has much to offer. I wanted to revisit this approach, as I had such trouble executing it. That may have been a mistake. In terms of results.

In the example above, you can see how some of the textures of collaged material peek through the blue paint. This enriches the quiet space with visual and physical texture. There is no pre-planning with this approach. The artist learns to capitalize on happy surprises. And the active area emerges through an opening in the paint, well-integrated into the piece as a whole.

As I continued with the assignment, I decided to simplify a bit, and began the following pieces with a background  of reds and orange-reds and pinks, various hues and tints. I added visual texture by printing, and making marks with water-soluble crayon and paint markers.

#2. The "something else" is awkwardly placed, but does
meet the parameters of the lesson.

#3. This one is similar to the one above, though I like it more.

#4. This began with the red background, but then I covered most of it
with grey paint and added some texture. It is so boring.
The grey could be more interesting with more variety of value and hue.

#5. Again, this began with an interesting red background and then 
was partially covered with large, textured shapes in greys and celadon.

#6. This began with a large black mass, which was covered with small shapes
in neutral colours, including a few bits of cloth and text. It is surrounded
by shapes in lighter, neutral grey. The red patch is the "something else".
It could be reduced by half and might have even more impact.
The black is competing with some of the impact of the red, but
I do quite like the piece as a whole.

The comments I received from the other participants and from the teacher were very supportive, so I will just take a deep breath and forge ahead with Lesson 10. I am learning so much!

No comments: