29 – 31/10/14
Exercise: Aerial Perspective
Using tonal media such as charcoal, soft graphite, conte crayon, soft pastel, oil pastel or watercolour, make several tonal studies that analyse receding features of the landscape from foreground to middle and far distance… You can work in colour or monochrome at this stage or work with colour purely as a tonal medium without attempting to replicate the actual colours before you…
Monochrome Study in Charcoal and Black Conte Stick
In order for me to begin to understand the aerial perspective in my view, I chose to use a monochrome method to illustrate the tonal range. Using the off-white of the paper for the lightest to black conte for the darkest tones.
Limited Palette Study in Soft Pastel
In this study, I tested out four pastel colours to represent the tonal range, and chose dark green for the darkest, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and a pale blue for the lightest tone. As is often the case with pastel, I struggled to obtain the darkest darks, so had to improvise with a black pastel to intensify these areas.
As with all my studies as I am working on a project, I stuck this up on the window (or wall if room) and was struck by the luminosity of the light coming through the thin paper – it made quite a different image.
Colour Study in Watercolour, Soft Pastel and Pen on Watercolour Paper – approximately A3
With no initial drawing, the paper was dampened completely so that watercolour washes could be laid in wet-in-wet. This was to block in the main tonal areas to denote distance, middle and foregrounds. Again the darkest darks were difficult to establish with the intensity required, after many attempts at layering washes resulting in various shades of mud, I fell back on soft pastel and stated the sluice gate features loosely in pen.
Colour Study in Watercolour on Watercolour Paper – approximately A3
Another watercolour study with no pre-drawing. Again, laying down washes wet-in-wet, but using stronger colours. Once again I was remiss in not photographing work in progress as the initial washes were very vibrant and interesting to see – and, again, the main problem was creating the intense darks. This time, I used tube watercolour paint rather than student pans, this made it easier to obtain a larger quantity of stronger pigment on my brush, I also found some indigo which produced the required level of strength in the dark tones. I felt no need to add other media because of this and did not add all the features of the view as I was purely attempting to produce the aerial perspective and generate distance rather than a faithful reproduction.
- Much easier to produce the tonal variations required for successful aerial perspective with monochrome media
- Choice of coloured media will be a major factor in producing effective results in the final piece of work. Whereas the watercolour was fun to use wet-in-wet, the intensity of colour was difficult to reach without muddying the colours. Before attempting the final work, I will experiment with acrylic ink as they have a transparent quality, yet are intensely coloured and vibrant and do not shift as more layers are added – maybe a combination of the two?
- I noticed that as I worked on more studies, the main features of the views ie the sluice gates and their accoutrements, were less and less prominent both in size and definition. I will need to decide the main focal points when working out the composition.
- Although, I thoroughly enjoy using watercolour wet-in-wet and tipping the paper in different directions (a lot of the time the watercolour study was painted upside down), my skill in actual watercolour painting is sadly lacking. So will utilise other media and drawing techniques to produce the subjects of the painting and look to watercolour/inks to create the mood and atmosphere.