Monthly Archives: March 2011

Composing In Acrylic



I’ve enjoyed reading Serge Hollerbach’s book Composing In Acrylic.  It’s a very different style from anything I’ve done but it definitely got me thinking differently about acrylic.  He emphasizes big shapes, fairly simple but definite brushwork and working quickly.  This painting started with a little study  exploring the use  of pure colours surrounded by neutrals (see post February 20, 2011).  This makes the pure colours ‘sing’.  From that little study through an organic process came the idea of the street scene.  Adding some simple figures gave the whole image a story.  This painting was both fun and a learning experience.


Verona Street
acrylic
18″ X 18″

Currie Barracks



I’ll be sorry when the Currie Barracks area is redeveloped and I’m in the process of documenting some of it.  This is my third small plein air sketch that I’ve done and the second one of Currie Barracks.  It was overcast again and there was not a lot of contrast.  This particular subject also had little contrast which I took as a challenge to create some movement in the image when there isn’t really a lot going on.  I was definitely trying to focus on the big shapes and I think the design is OK.  Still it was fun to give it a shot.


Currie Barracks
acrylic
6″ X 8″

Basic Drawing Skills – Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker was someone who blazed like a shooting star for a time and while he was at the top of his form he  changed the face of jazz music and had an impact world wide.  Unfortunately, he was heavily fueled by heroin and died way too young because of his addiction.  This image seems to portray the focus and passion that he brought to his music.  In the Basic Drawing Skills class this is the last of our 6 portraits and it is, I feel, a fitting end.  The improvement and development of the drawing skills of the students has been inspirational to see.  One of the skills that seems to take longer to develop is value, having a full range of values from light to very dark.  This portrait is all about value with extensive areas that are basically black juxtaposed with areas of white.  It makes for a dramatic portrait and forces all of us to push our concept of dark to a new level.  I think one of the reasons for our reluctance to go really dark is that a dark stroke can’t be taken back.  It’s a bold and definitive mark that is unequivocal.  Often our comfort level is with lighter less assertive marks that we can change and modify or simply take back.  Not so with these bold values.  So this portrait challenges us in a slightly new direction and since everyone has demonstrated such high levels of drawing ability it’s neat to face this particular challenge.