Sunday, February 08, 2009

Yellow anyone?

Let’s talk about van Gogh, shall we?

More specifically, let’s continue with the discussion from earlier about works that can cause grief. I debated doing this one... extensively. Despite being one of his most famous works, I am really not a fan of this one. I look at it and say ‘blah’. Even for me, who likes simple composition and uncluttered images, it’s about as exciting as a loaf of bread.

Also, there’s a lot of yellow. And not even a nice kind of yellow. It’s the kind of yellow that makes you uncomfortable. However, I shoved my dislike for this piece aside and decided that I wanted to tackle it.

Normally an ACEO takes me a couple of hours to do. This one took me 4 days working on it on and off. It's progress can be seen below:

van Gogh, "Sunflowers", Part 1

van Gogh, "Sunflowers", Part 2

"After van Gogh, "Sunflowers" " ACEO
Coloured pencil on Mi-Teintes
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Let's just say I can understand now why van Gogh went off his rocker. Yellow. Orange- yellow. Yellow ochre. Canary yellow. Goldenrod. Deep cadmium. I mean, really, how much yellow can one person tolerate?

About half way through this one I almost tossed it into the fireplace but I'm glad I didn't. I knew I needed to persevere and get this one done... even if it meant that I was going to go crazy and eat my cp's.

Thankfully that didn't happen and this ACEO has found a new home. Doing this ACEO reminded me of a lesson I learned when I was seriously starting out with cp's and that is that coloured pencil pieces can have a very long "ugly" stage. I had forgotten this because I've been working on ACEO's for so long and they are generally done very quickly so if there is an ugly stage it's very brief.

This one was educational and I'm glad it's done.

This week is shaping up to be a very busy one for me so I don't know that I'll get to do another post until next week-end. Hopefully I'll be able to sneak one in but if I can't, until next week-end keep on art-ing!


Ann said...

This is very beautifully done. And I like all those yellows :) You really got this one to glow!

Regina said...

Yellow is SO challenging because its value scale is so darn shallow. I was working with it a bunch the last couple days & it was a struggle for me, too. I see the genius in van Gogh's work in that he used it so successfully.
I really like what you did & kudo's to you for seeing it thru.

Rita said...

Thanks Ann! I like yellow but there was something about this one that was a bit "much" for me... I'm glad it turned out well though! :)

Thanks Regina! This one was definitely a challenge not just in making myself get through it but exactly for the reason you gave about the value scale. Trying to work with all those yellows and not make it look flat was a task in and of itself. I may try another "yellow" piece... but I need a break from this one first. :)

Anonymous said...

Rita, great job persevering on something you weren't "feeling." That's when you learn the most, I think!

Rita said...

I'm with you on that one, Meg. Sometimes pushing through the painful pieces yields the most results... and this one was the mother-load! :p