Looking back to Project 3 on Tone and Composition, I can recall what a challenge it was! The first exercise was on the composition of an interior space.  I chose a corner of my study when the sun was shining and the strong light was streaming though the curtains and falling on the settee and cushions. The strong sun behind the linen curtain was presenting beautiful shapes and shadows.

The focus on TONE made it easy to select what to put in and what to leave out and because these  exercises were very hesitant steps into Watercolour as a technique I needed to keep everything very simple.  I felt quite confident about ‘reading’ the tonal values of the image BUT controlling the washes was another thing!  I spent some time studying interior paintings from some of my favourite artists – Susan Ryder, Ivon Hitchens, Edward Seago – and this did help to inspire me with the possibilities of painting interior spaces. The greatest inspiration came from studying Turner’s ‘Interior at Petworth’.  This is a painting I just love, filled with atmosphere  and appealing to the imagination!

I worked through each of the exercises in this topic of Interior spaces – dramatic interiors and imaginary rooms – but I never seemed to be able to relate to it. My final thoughts on this topic are:

1. At the present time I don’t have any interest in painting interiors. Despite struggling over several weeks with the exercises, I never found a ‘way in’ to this genre.

2. I found it very difficult to paint hard edges and found that interior spaces seemed to need structure and edges.

3. The skills involved in building up washes in watercolour are fundamental and I did see some improvement during this module.  But I still had such a long way to go and controlling the paint was a continual challenge.

4. I was disappointed with every exercise I did.  I felt that the whole area of Interior Spaces was a major genre to explore and I just didn’t even scratch the surface.  Perhaps this is an item I place on the list for future study.  I’m sure it would have proved less of a challenge if I had had the basic watercolour skills.  In fact, thinking about this as I am now at the end of the Watercolour Course , I can appreciate how I would approach it with all the skills and confidence I have acquired.





About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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