project 2 - light

light: stained glass digger

Today I’ve produced my last image for this project, ‘Light’. My starting point was the ‘abstract’ picture of the digger. Using a cut out view finder, I chose a composition from within the picture to enlarge.

This is the A1 sheet I’ve produced from the extract. I used tissue paper and indian ink. I’ve achieved what I intended to – which is to create something lively, luminous – a bit like a stained glass window effect.


life class, project 2 - light

light: luminosity two

I’ve made a collage based  on the twilight photo’s I took of the Leicester Royal Infirmary (see earlier blog, Light: Luminosity). I’ve achieved what I wanted – which is to capture the lights behind the hospital windows against a purple sky,  but with some big bare trees silhouetted in the foreground, and the lights of cars going by.



I’ve finished the life class course now. In the final two weeks we had one pose – 5 hours in all. I used acrylics on a canvas 3′ x 2′. I painted over the whole thing twice, and I’m still not happy with it. However, I’m going to treat this as  a starting point for an oil painting. I will treat it as a study by taking a painter I admire and I’ll copy their style. Not sure exactly who at this stage but I’ll have some fun researching. This is going to be a Christmas project.

project 2 - light

light: Caravaggio development

I’ve selected 3 ideas to develop a little bit further.

The first idea is to take a picture by Caravaggio (St John the Baptist 1595) and loosely translate the lights and darks in cut outs.

 Not sure where this is leading – but it’s been a great exercise at looking at his dramatic use of light and shadow. I’ll post work on the other two ideas early next week.

On the subject of light – here is a picture of our Christmas Tree. This year I’ve cut a branch from a pear tree in the garden and decorated it.


project 2 - light

light : luminosity

I’ve been exploring images of light shining through things. My starting points have been our local newsagent’s window, lit up in the early morning, light shining through a vase, kaleidoscope,  gemstones, and stained glass. For the newsagents images I created strong black lines by mono printing and then painted over in acrylic and watercolour.

water colour

Thinking about stained glass – and trying to get the feeling of luminosity – I’ve taken two  sketches (the first of a digger, the second is a vase) and improvised some colours around them:

I’m now going to review all the pictures I’ve made for this project and think about which ideas are worth developing. There’s one more which I might work on: I’ve taken some photos of the Royal Infirmary at twilight time – I like the contrast between the dark silhouettes of the trees in the foreground, and the illuminated building behind.

project 2 - light

light: diversion

This week I took a short detour from my current project theme (‘Light’).

St Livrade. France, holiday snap

Rather than continue to make exploratory sketches etc, I had an urge to do a painting from a holiday snap that my Dad took some years ago. The effect of light and shade is quite dramatic and makes for a strong composition.

St Livrade, charcoal sketch, 42 cm x 30 cm

Last year I did a couple of preliminary sketches from the photo – one in charcoal, and ….

St Livrade, acrylic on paper, 38 cm x 27 cm

…… a sketch using acrylic, which I like as it has a fresh feel.








Last week I did two more pictures. The first is another using acrylic. I took longer over it than the sketch above. I tried using a palette knife.  The result  is heavier than I was hoping for. The second image is a water-colour. I’ll draw a line under this little diversion for now, and return to collecting some more exploratory images next week.

St Livrade, acrylic on board, 53 cm x 43 cm
St Livrade water-colour


project 2 - light

start of project 2 ‘Light’: jumping in and getting wet

I’m now into project two – ‘light’. These project titles are just there to provide a hook. Although I chose ‘light’ deliberately, as it’s such a central element in painting and image-making.

The chart below is my mind-map that I did to get me started – and I’ve included a list of artists to draw upon during the project. This list could go on and on.


Themes for exploration are:

  • sources of light
  • reflections
  • light and shade
  • highlights / drama
  • luminosity
  • illumination

Here is a selection of the images I’ve made this week: