The 2nd painting has a strange tension between looking like a stage and looking natural that makes it interesting. The 1st we are not sure why these people are sitting in the dark in what looks like a basement. It could almost look like the aftermath of a murder scene except for the peaceful way she is sleeping.
Hi Joan, sorry I took some time to write this but here are my thoughts on the first experimental painting for last semester!
For my first experimental painting, I honestly didn’t know what to expect because it was the first live painting that I’d ever done in that size so I was mostly taking it in as I was going. But I did have something in mind for me to build on at the beginning.
I wanted to try to change the space that the models were in a little. I started doing that by filling in the cloth frame at the back and then drawing in the bamboo partition. I drew the partition in at a slant, thinking that maybe that would alter the reality that the forms would be in later.
I regretted doing that later because I think that might’ve upset the balance of the painting quite a lot but I was okay with that since I was experimenting. Why I wanted to do that was because I wanted to learn how to change the visual experience of a space and make it slightly more surreal that would add to the intrigue of the mood that I wanted to express. This I followed through in my second painting which I felt was more successful.
After that, I filled in the shapes of the models. In class, I liked the whole idea of how Kim looked sinister and the female model (so sorry I’ve forgotten her name), looked like she could be dead. As much as that was something that some of us were joking about, I liked it.
Thinking back about how I was feeling while I painted this painting, I must’ve been subconsciously influenced by the baroque style of lighting in how they had dramatic lighting to their forms against a really dark background – my favourite baroque painter being Caravaggio and Jacque Louis David (although he’s considered neo-classical, I still like how he works with chiaroscuro in some of his paintings, especially in the Death of Marat).
I had some other problems with the process of this painting. For one, I wasn’t sure where I should put the reds, I’ve never included elements in my paintings like this before. Eventually I placed them in a triangle form but that had left the top right of my composition quite dead. So I painted some green on the window that contrasted with the reds in a subtle way and I included a shadow to give the light on the window a more irregular shape.
I like the idea of light and dark, good and evil. This painting was definitely leaning more towards the sinister side and I think that might’ve been a reflection of what I felt was inside me, or it reflected feelings that I had developed from my history.
I had told myself on that night that I’d capture the set-up for what I saw it to be. It didn’t turn out to be a realistic kind of painting, but I think for me, the impression that I had of the set-up was a form of truth in itself and that’s what I feel I had captured.
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