Monday, 19 April 2010

Not Just Black and White

Black and White Cat Demonstration

Yesterday I was invited to demonstrate for the Yew Trees Studio in Hampshire. I arrived to meet a wonderful group of artists in an envious setting of a private studio with wonderful natural light. I started the day with an introduction into my technique and a few simple demonstrations leading to a simple exercise for everyone to follow. After lunch the group was then invited to paint a subject of their choice following a further demonstration.

A black and white cat  was chosen by several within the group and it was amazing to see how many different ways we all approach the same subject. The question of how to paint black arose and this leads me to explain I never use pure black in any of my paintings. I also never opt for Paynes Grey.

When I work I aim to create interesting colour combinations and capture light with every brushstroke. So my initial wash for the black and white cat included a variety of shades.

Whilst I always ask everyone in my sessions to simplify. things are not always simply " black and white" . It may seem straight forward to mix a very dark colour to give the illusion of a black animal but if we were to achieve this perfectly our results could end up looking very boring. The question arises as to how we can make black  sections in our work appear more fascinating and alive.

If you study my demonstration above you can gain an insight into how I approach painting a dark subject and which colours I would choose to make it more effective.

It really is rewarding to spend a few minutes working on scraps of paper mixing and achieving those darks in ways that really do add drama, intrique and excitement.

Painting Tip of the Day: Paint with unexpected colour combinations and stay away from the "expected" boring shades everyone else chooses!


Thank you very much to everyone at Yew Trees for the warm welcome and wonderful day yesterday. I look forward to meeting you all again in Summer.  Please don't forget your homework!


1 comment:

Cheryl said...

and thank you Jean again for the insight into how you create,it is amazing.Have you always thought in colour or has this developed as you have gained in experience.As I said in my comment on your facebook
I would have double-dipped my brush in Burnt Sienna and French Ultra and placed on a dry paper then softened with water to allow them to mingle,but it is basically blue and red/brown ,I wouldnt have seen the colours you have.Brilliant beautiful way of seeing the subject.Heres to practising.