Creating mood and atmosphere
The first three exercises in this module have so far produced rather sombre, brooding results (unintentional!!!) and so I wanted to create for this exercise an atmosphere of joy and laughter. My models for this are my daughter and my granddaughter enjoying a day at a park. I have always loved the paintings of Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt – they capture all of the beauty of tenderness expressed in motherhood. I looked particularly at Sleepy by Mary Cassatt and also the painting, Breakfast. Berthe Morisot’s ‘Julie Writing’ also expresses this tenderness and is a powerful example for me of mark making. I enjoy seeing the pencil strokes so prominent and the transitory sense of the activity is enhanced with this method. I feel at any moment Julie will stop writing, get up and move out of view. It’s all about capturing a moment!
The first study was in pencil – trying to move the pencil quickly over the page to capture a liveliness. The picture was continually moving with Katie wanting to slide off her mother’s lap and laughing and shrieking all the time.
Expressing this then in paint proved interesting! I used the paint quickly, just blocking in the areas…simply couldn’t get the head so finished by just scrubbing it out. It was worth keeping the study because I was learning all the time.
I liked the second study better and felt the benefit of where I had failed in the last one. The first outline was done with the dropper out of the acrylic ink bottle – great freedom of line as in the pencil sketch. I kept this approach throughout especially in the application of the paint – just strokes, no detail! Although there are things which are not right about the drawing, I really like the atmosphere of lightness and joy!
Still not satisfied with the image particularly in what I felt was an absence of depth in the picture, I painted another image from the last one. In this fourth study there are parts which have now come right eg the faces of the two figures but I feel it has lost the spontaneity of the previous image. I wanted depth but feel I have sacrificed the immediacy of a moment of joy!!! Very difficult! How to achieve both…………..