Thursday, July 19, 2007

Colour: It's good for you

"Three Cherries Down" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Welcome back, dear reader!

So I don’t know of you recall aaalllll the way back to Friday but I mentioned that I would be sharing with you some of my artistic exploration/ development that I’ve been going through lately.

I’ll start off by explaining that this came about due to my own inability to break out of a rut. I found myself doing the same type of subject matter and, what was worse, it was all starting to look the same. It was safe and it was easy for me to do and ultimately I was disappointing myself and I knew I needed to do something about it.
With that in mind, I wasn’t planning anything wildly dramatic like switching subject matter completely or to change from realism to abstract or anything of that nature. Simply put, I knew I needed to work on my values (it keeps repeating in my head like “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” from the Brady’s horrible) and I also wanted to add more colour to my work, which I felt would help with my value issue as well.

Colour, and what it’s capable of, is obviously nothing new to a lot of artists. However, for me in general it’s something that I’ve never really explored thoroughly. It was getting to the point where part of me wanted to slap down a big ol’ blob of sky blue and pale vermillion somewhere the viewer wouldn’t expect.

In order to not scare myself silly I decided that horses would make an ideal subject for the yet unnamed series since I’m quite comfortable with drawing them and, let’s face it, they’re just plain gorgeous to look at. I stuck with my paper of choice, Colourfix, but decided that I wanted to use not only my beloved Prisma’s but also some pastel because they apply vibrant colour like nobody’s business and that was really the whole point of this exercise-in-progress.
The pieces I’ve done so far were fast as I wanted to rely more on instict rather than a calculated placing of colour and understanding of value. I used darker colour supports (dark grey and dark brown Colourfix) to help the colours pop more and have, so far, done 8x10's and 5x7's. I also did these as “play” pieces, that is to say, I didn’t set out in creating them with the intention of them being saleable although I may wind up listing these on my eBay depending on how many of them I amass. Here are a few samples of the pieces I’ve been working on:

Copyright Rita Woodburne

Copyright Rita Woodburne

I won’t say which one came before the other, although you’re more than welcome to guess, but I’d love to hear anyone’s comments about them. I’m very much experimenting with these so any feedback/ ideas are more than welcome to help me along. I'm trying to keep these pieces within the confines of my style but I'm hoping that this will help define my style more and give me more confidence in the experimentation department. I don't know yet how this will translate to my larger pieces but, of course, that's half the fun of doing this!

Anyhoo, I’d love to hear what anyone has to say about the pieces above or about the use of colour in general as it really is a subject unto itself. I’m no expert and as I trek along with this project I’ll post updates on any new (for me) things I find or insights that strike me as being interesting.

Back on Friday with recipes, one of which includes both chocolate and tomato for those of you with a surplus of tomatoes and a hankering for chocolate!


Jennifer Rose said...

You did a wonderful job adding colour to both of those horses, but the white horse stands out more. Possibly due to the light colour and that the added colours are brighter.

Lisa B. said...

I adore the color punch of pastels, and you've done them justice! Yummy "whites" on that horse! ;) The strong warms with the smidgen of cool tones work very well on the brown horse, too. Both are just wonderful!

Rita said...

Jennifer & Lisa- Thanks for the comments! They both work for me on some level and at the same time there are things that I can see now that I would've changed.
That said, this is an experiment for me so I'll chalk them up to learning!

Kristina said...

Hey Rita,

I love that your experimenting! I must say that the brown horse drew my attention right away. I think it may be that you used the colour strongly in areas instead of blending them in. The mouth of the horse looks stunning! I like the white horse too, I think when I look at that one the colour brings a mystical movement to the picture. Bravo on both and I can't wait to see more!

Rita said...

Thanks Kristina!
I like both in terms of what I learned from them. I think the "white" horse fits in more with my current style but I can still see things that I'd tweak. There's many more of these to come, believe me! :D