Pine trees

These are two water colour sketches of pine trees in Aylestone Hall gardens. I’ve tried to do this in Cézanne’s style, using small planes of colour and not painting wet in wet, but letting each coat dry.

pine trees 002 pine trees 004

Also this week I did a watercolour copied from a photo in the paper. It was of a bombed street in  Homs in Syria.

homs 01

 

 

Learning from Cézanne

copy from Cezanne's Group of Trees 1900 water colour

copy from Cezanne’s Group of Trees 1900
water colour

I’m immersing myself in Cézanne at the moment. This project started with a visit to an exhibition of the Pearlman Collection at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The exhibition included many Cézanne watercolours.  I love Cézanne anyway, and to be in a gallery with so many, and so close-up, was quite thrilling. The best exhibition experience I’ve had. I jotted a few notes about his watercolours:

  • he uses white space / unpainted ground as a positive part of the picture
  • he uses small patches of colour, overlaid, to build an effect; wet on dry
  • the colours are jewel-like and not muddy
  • these marks form undulations of cool and warm colours
  • he draws loosely in pencil and these lines are an integral part of the picture
  • he reinforces the form with loose outlines in paint, no hard edges
  • he suggests foliage but never paints individual leaves
  • he paints with vigour
  • composition is crucial, yet understated
copy of Large Pine Study 1890 watercolour

copy of Large Pine Study 1890
watercolour

I’ve found an excellent book called – Cézanne’s Composition by Erle Loran. He founded the Berkley Group and was a tutor to Diebenkorn.  The book is new to me, but it is well-known and well regarded. (Although Roy Lichtenstein sent it up, but that doesn’t put me off). It provides an analysis and explanation of Cézanne’s approach which is eye-opening.  I  am looking at an exhibition catalogue called Finished Unfinished Cézanne which is also excellent at explaining his technique. So –  now is time to put the theory into practice.

I’ve started with some sketches of a pear tree in our garden:

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I’ve just finished a still life in watercolour. It doesn’t look much like a Cézanne, but it different to anything I’ve done before.

still life sketch in water-colour

still life sketch in water-colour

I’ve done some studies of some pine trees in Aylestone  Hall gardens recently, so when the rain stops, I’ll go back out with my watercolours and give them the Cézanne treatment.

 

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Cote D’Azur

I liked this picture in the paper because of the play of light and shade and hot and cool colours, so I’ve had a go at painting it.

photo in paper

photo in paper

Stage one was to paint quickly and very loosely.

first effort in acrylics

first effort in acrylics

Then I added some more dark areas.

stage two

stage two

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think you need a lot of skill and dexterity and confidence  to make this free approach look interesting. This just looks clumsy to me.  Then I tried a watercolour version.

watercolour

watercolour

The final version, below, has more detail. I’ve worked over this painting about 5 times so now is the time to stop.

finished version

finished version

 

 

 

 

Sketchbook

I’ve just finished a sketchbook – here are some selected drawings from it.

project 9 – palettes

Sticking with the original composition / sketch I used for the warm-up exercise, (previous post) today I did two more sketches and focused on different combinations of warm / cool colours. I took my colour  inspiration from Ivon Hitchens and August Macke. Not pleased with the results because I haven’t really captured their colours, nor have I developed from the first lot of sketches. I think part of the problem is that I’m looking at abstract from the outside – in, rather than having an intention or specific problem to pursue.  I’ve been to the library to do a bit more research and I’ll give some more thought to how to develop. Here are today’s efforts:

palette 001

 

palette 002