Monday, January 28, 2008

Exploring Composition in Pastel

Link
Pastel on tinted paper 13.5 x 27.5cm

I'm closely following Katherine Tyrrell's study of Composition on Making a Mark.

Katherine posted a treasure of a link which gave me access to a pdf version of Arthur Wesley Dow's book Composition. It's a wonderful read.

Inspired by all this study I went back to my last oil painting, photographed it and imported it into Photoshop where I turned it into a greyscale image. I then looked for a more interesting crop within the painting.

This study is on a sand coloured ground, and I limited myself to a grey, black & white pastel pencil. I'm considering giving my pastels away, as I seem to be incapable of making clean, elegant marks with them.

I went back to my original photograph for this sketch and I think that was a mistake because I preferred the proportions of the cropped painting where I eliminated that corner of another building on the left. Photos always seduce me with detail.

Anyway, I think I will now try this composition in watercolour and then maybe later in acrylic on a coloured ground inspired by David Hockney's The Bradford Exchange (also found on the official Hockney website kindly posted by Katherine.)

11 comments:

Lin said...

Robyn! What magnificent results!!! Beautiful!!!! From oils, to watercolors to pastel -- your work is growing leaps and become so professional!!!! Gorgeous, cara!

Katherine said...

I love seeing what people are making of all this information!

DO NOT THROW YOUR PASTELS AWAY - that's an order! You will regret it when somebody shows you 'hot to' use them properly. It comes slowly - leave them be for now - it's probably something to do with how you are holding them. Can you do a video or show us photos?

Rose Welty said...

Robyn, this is lovely. You always seem dissatisfied with your results and move on to a new medium, but honestly, you are good with them all!

Joan said...

Robyn, I scrolled dow to see the original painting again. I like the cropped version in the pastel. I think it's a good idea that you're reworking the same subject. (Will I listen and do this myself?) It will be interesting to see what other changes you make.

Robyn said...

Lin - Thank you:) I always draw energy from your wonderful, generous comments.

Katherine - Okay, I'll hang on to the pastels until you get here to help :) This was actually pastel pencil, I thought they would be easier to handle - but alas.
How about a tutorial on your blog? I don't think it would be too far off topic because it seems pastels are a great way to explore values and colour.

Joan - I think it is a worthwhile exercise, but it is easy to become careless after working the subject a few times. I made a terrible mess of a charcoal version yesterday by not taking care with proportions.

Rose - Such a lovely encouraging comment. I do hope I don't sound like a moaner - but I need to be candid about my work because everyone else is far too generous.

Wendy said...

Isn't that interesting. It's FAR more dramatic than the oil painting. That means you've done something to improve the tonal values (a lot.) So when you go back into colour, don't lose the improvement to the tones. 10.30pm and thirty degrees here in Sydney I think.

Rose Welty said...

Robyn, you aren't a moaner, just hard on yourself, apparently most artists are. Seriously, the way you pick up mediums is very humbling to me. I don't think any are that intuitive to me.

Thanks for your comments on my blog. My email is rose dot welty at gmail dot com, if that makes sense.

Donn said...

This is one outstanding use of pastel pencils. Your 3 chosen colors are really remarkable.
Don't throw the pastel pencils away! That's what I use mostly besides the new PanPastels that have just come on the market.
This is a perfect piece of art!

Anita said...

I really like the graphic quality of this - rather like an old print. Very nice use of colour. Don't give up on the pastels!

laureline said...

This is just exquisite. And unusual. Robyn, you are a bundle of surprises!

africantapestry said...

No no...hang on to those pastels, you have both have done a great job in this painting!I love the composition and it is a beautiful archtectural rendering, accentuated by the grey scale.
ronell

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