Friday, 27 May 2011

Working into river monoprints

Remember the monoprints from the beginning of the month? Well following a suggestion from Vivien  (thank you :o) )I've been working back into them with soft pastel. Initially I was thinking of using watercolour with them as the prints were made with oil based paint and so would work as a resist. Pastel has given some really interesting results. I particularly like the way the pastel marks are broken up by the texture of the oil. I've got lots more prints to work with so will try the initial plan using watercolour next. (after getting all the exhibition work together I'm really enjoying having some time out to play with materials, these experiments are suggesting fresh new ways forward.)


Above are the original monoprints, the process I used to make them is  here

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Spring on the river

Spring on the River
acrylic on canvas 25x25cm
©Lisa Le Quelenec
I'm having a few problems getting online at the moment as my laptop is being temperamental in starting up and unfortunately big pooter is too. They have both been conspiring against me. I have been getting lots of work done though. Hopefully I'll be able to get the problem fixed soon and can get back to posting more regularly. I've really missed popping over to everyone elses blogs to see what they've been up to. I've not finished catching up yet but if you've a minute to spare have a look here to have a peek at Jeanette Jobson's latest painting. I love the way she's captured the silky smoothness of the flowing water.

In Spring on the River I've added darker areas to indicate the movement of the water. I've also played up the red/brown in the reeds (thanks Roger) which was much more subtle before. I'm really enjoying these river paintings as the nature and colour of the water is so different to painting seascapes, it's quite a different challenge.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The colour of river water?

This painting is turning out to be a bigger challenge than I anticipated. How to describe the colour of the water? It's blue with the reflection from the sky, green from the foliage and there is a definite warmth from the river bed. What do you think? Am I getting there? I'm in two minds as to whether I need some darker ripples in the foreground to add perspective.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Down by the riverside

I've squeezed a bit of time in to paint today before I go to Christchurch to help hang the Hayloft exhibition. This is the beginning of the next painting in my river series. All the beautiful fresh greens of the new growth are inspiring. Tomorrow I will have time to work on the water, I can't wait!

The painting is 10x10 inch and I'm using azure blue, cadmium yellow light, raw and burnt sienna and deep violet. There's a dash of burnt umber in the watermark of the reeds.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sketches of Hengistbury Head

There just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment, exhibitions are fast approaching and I'm sure the packing, labelling, mounting, framing.... etc takes as long as making the work. I've only a sketch of Hengistbury Head from the cliff top as I took a break to blow the cobwebs away.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A grand day out

On Friday I had the great fortune of meeting up with blogger buddy  Roger Seddon  for a sketching trip to Hengistbury Head. It was a beautiful day made even better by good company. Roger has posted his work from the day  here . Using a bank to shelter from the breeze we settled down to sketch the the view to Christchurch Priory across the reedbeds of Christchurch Bay.

I started a graphite sketch to loosely plot out some shapes and tones. The thing that caught my eye was the contrast of tone between the end of the shale and the dark shadow of the bank behind. I was sitting on the shingle and had a low viewpoint and so to accentuate this tried a portrait format for a pastel sketch. On reflection I think maybe a square format would have been better.

Aside from sketching, it was a really great day. It's so nice to meet a fellow blogger out of the confines of cyberspace. It seems Roger enjoyed it too so hopefully it will be the first in a series of sketching expeditions.

(This post is decidedly late due to blogger gremlins, which I hope have all been sorted now. I seem to have some weirdness in my tags still, has anyone else?)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Completed Reeds and reflections WIP

Reeds and Reflections
acrylic on board 34x37cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec

After resting my eyes from this painting for a few days I returned to it and can now call it finished. Edges have been softened and colours adjusted (especially in the two back reeds). My aim at the start was to paint the soft, golden light which I think I have achieved. The lightest areas still photograph as very white but have been glazed with raw sienna and so are more golden in the actual painting.

One of the things that attracts me to the reeds is the range of colours that they contain. In the painting there are many small passages of colour ranging from blue to green as well as magenta but with unifying glazes of siennas the overall impression is of the soft sandy ochre which is what you first see. Had I not used so many colours in painting this area I think it would look a lot flatter and lifeless. My palette is usually much more restricted and it has been an interesting process to use more colours whilst still trying to keep a harmony between them. (I think I have achieved this, I hope that you agree.) Nine colours were used overall; naples yellow, cadmium yellow, raw sienna, burnt sienna, quinacridone magenta, burnt umber, azure, indanthrene and zinc white.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

More monoprinting

 After the monoprinting I'd done my thoughts were full of reflections and ripples and I started to do some drawings. They were A4ish in size, just using pencil and graphite sticks; little explorations of the broken linear marks that I could make. I thought I'd make some more monoprints and prompted by  Caroline  I decided to post about how I made them.

I started off by using a sheet of perspex as the plate. As it's so warm at the moment I used water mixable oil paint so I didn't have to worry about it drying too quickly and being water mixable it's nice and quick to clean up. I could have used a roller to apply the paint onto the perspex, but for these I brushed it on as I wanted to explore linear marks. I used mixtures of burnt sienna, raw sienna and naples yellow. (The previous time I'd added paynes grey.)

Next I started to remove the paint using a brush, cotton bud and twigs, making the same kind of marks as I had done in the sketches. The paint is quite a thick layer in places and ridged up on either sides of the marks I've made. Some of these ridges I kept and others were thinned out with a brush. Once I was happy with the mesh of marks that I had made I was ready to print it off. Not having a press I printed them by hand. I also dampened the paper which helped to give a smoother print, dry paper can give a different kind of effect which is sometimes useful.

This was the first impression that I got from the plate. It looks quite rough and ready as a print but will be something that I will work back into later. Where the paint made ridges it has printed much thicker and there are some blots where it has balled up, other areas are much thinner so there are subtle depths of tone too. When I work back into it with different mediums these surface textures will, I hope, enhance the end result.
The plate still had quite a lot of paint left on it and feeling lucky I thought I'd try making another impression. I could have added more paint to the plate and redrawn back in but thought I'd see what happened. It's the unpredictability and the chance of happy accidents that I enjoy about this process. This time the thinness of the paint has given a much more subtle print.
I pushed my luck and went for a third impression. I'd dampened the paper much more and not having a baren to help apply more pressure I picked up the nearest thing to hand which happened to be a roll of masking tape. Making circular motions and pressing very hard all over the back of the paper worked better than if I'd just done it with hand pressure but as there was so little paint left on the perspex I've ended up with a very feint print. It could be with a wash of watercolour paint over the top that the oil paint will resist and the colour will pop back out but we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

River monoprint experiments


I needed to 'get away' from looking at the painting I've been working on so I've had a day of monoprinting and working through a couple of ideas. These two prints are on quarter sheet HOT PRESS watercolour paper using Winsor & Newton's water mixable oil paint. My plan is to work back into them with watercolour and maybe some oil pastel as soon as they are dry (at least a week). Working in this way sparks off lots of ideas for me I like the unpredictable results and surface texture the process creates. It's also a great way to loosen up which was much needed after working intensely on the current painting.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

WIP and my moment of madness...

I added in some more reeds and messed up! Can you see that claw-like shape on the top left side? Yuk! As soon as I'd done it I wanted to paint it out. It made me think of a Gruffalo type beastie.

I went ahead with the quin violet and cadmium yellow in the reeds but also added a naples/azure mix into the shadows. Over the top is a glaze of raw sienna bringing back the warm light which continues into the water.

 Areas had been softened in the reeds but it was still too hard edged for my liking and so I had my moment of madness.. I needed slightly more textural broken marks in the bottom reeds so using a side of card I printed in additional stalks. I think it 'works' but I'm not sure if I should bring it up higher on the left, the problem being that it would be very easy to get carried away. I going to live with it for a while, hide it in a drawer for a week and then sneak up on it.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry's Blush
acrylic on paper 12x12cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec
Evening, Southbourne
acrylic on paper 12x12cm
©2011 Lisa Le Quelenec

Above are two of the paintings currently on exhibition at Priory House in Christchurch.

Work continues on reflections and reeds at a slow pace, more on that tomorrow....

Monday, 2 May 2011

More reeds and reflections WIP

I've been working on the main reeds today, trying to keep in mind that it isn't about the details in them but about the light. When I was out sketching I couldn't help noticing just how many different colours they contain. At first glance they are a pale ochre/sand but as you look closer there is a lot of purple, blue grey and even magenta at this time of year and many differences in tone.

The colours I've been using so far to build up the tones are raw and burnt sienna, naples yellow and burnt umber. In the next stage I'm thinking of using quinacridone violet and cadmium yellow but I will make some test pieces first. I need to soften the reed stalks and build up more on the left and will add ripples in the top right to show the recession in the reflection of the opposite bank.