Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A new year and a new WIP

stage 1
stage 2

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a lovely time this holiday season. I've had a lovely break and feel raring to go. 

With no pressing deadlines coming up in January I have decided to take a little time out for experimenting and play. During December and most of November I had so many ideas flitting around my head and not enough time to explore so I'm rather looking forward to this month. January is still so cold and dark and feels decidedly flat after the glitz, sparkle and excitement of December what better way to cheer up the month than to hole up in the studio and play.

In the spirit of experimentation I thought I'd start this years posts by sharing a wip. This piece has been inspired by a walk in the New Forest, I wanted to capture the feeling of walking through the dense trees, their thick canopy overhead, into the bright light of a clearing. The word that kept coming to mind on this particular day was 'gloaming'. Whilst not strictly correct the lack of light in the thick of the forest can often feel like dusk.

Stage 1 - I began with a quick pencil drawing lightly plotting the shapes of the trunks and then adding oil pastel to this which would act as a resist to the watercolour layer that was to come. I scratched back into the oil pastel with a sharp pencil adding in the markings on the birch trunks. The watercolour stage was rather fun, soaking the paper and adding lots of dilute paint, tilting the board and letting gravity have it's way, encouraging back runs. Whilst the paper was still very wet I added some trunks very lightly with the side of a pencil. The extra pressure on the paper was sufficient to give a subtle tone indicating but not over stating the trees presence against the brightest light.

Stage 2 - Building up the trunks with a mixture of coloured pencil and acrylic. I scratched into wet and dry paint enjoying making marks and building up the darker tones, adding in highlights here and there. Then I took stock - the painting felt a little too warm and didn't have the cool and damp feeling that I associate with the forest, I need to shift the colour temperature. Also the left hand side needed more trees to counterbalance the weight on the right.

Stage 3 - More trunks but with less detail on the left, I made these darker in tone to balance the weight on the right. I added light glazes of a phthalo turquoise mix to cool down the temperature which got progressively stronger towards the right away from the light source into the denser trees. With a dry brush and acrylic paint I've added the suggestion of foliage from the forest floor. Finally to contrast against the cool blue greens I've added light touches of cadmium orange (I was feeling reckless, I wouldn't normally use this colour but it felt 'right' in this painting.) I'm leaving this piece here and will return to it next week with fresh eyes.

Stage 3 Forest Gloaming 21x28cm mixed media on paper  ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec


Lydie said...

Compared to step 1 you have gained enormously in depth, the atmosphere of this forest is very special, very deep almost scary. The light background gives it a light of hope. I love it.

Vandy said...

I love this painting. Definitely a worthwhile departure for you. My problem is that I love all three stages. Even the first stage has a misty beauty about it.


Bruce Sherman said...

Happy New Year Lisa!... What a great start for 2013!

Surely does catch the spirit of a song that I sang with my Scottish Grandparents....
"Roamin'... in the gloamin"
With a Lassie by my side.... " etc

Beautiful light and tone in this one... A sure winner!

Good Painting and rich blessings in 2013!

Let there be... (more) Light!
Warmest regards,

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Lydie, it's funny that you you used the word scary. The forest can make me feel that way sometimes. Although I haven't seen one yet I always expect to meet a Gruffalo or some other wild beastie ;o)

Thank you Vandy, it's nice to do different and mix the media up a bit. I want to do more of that this year.

Happy New Year Bruce! I can almost here the lilting tune of your song :o)
Wishing you a creative and successful 2013.