Still Life with Colour Used to Evoke Mood
- Attempt to give a smoky, “club room” feel, dusty, oppressive, dark yet comforting and enveloping.
- Dark, rich colours – exaggerated darks
- Ground Colour; Rich, nicotine/whiskey/claret – evoke cigars, pipes and musty books – clandestine.
We were to use the same arrangement for both exercises. On the right is the group of objects set up. As you can see it was a fairly bright day with multiple light sources from the open doors to the left and window to the right. Using the same tonal sketch as for the previous exercise helped me focus in on the objects to remove superfluous surroundings and try to create the atmosphere described above.
Assessment of how well my aims have been achieved:
- Used dark plummy brown as the ground colour so that I had to “draw out” the objects from the dark.
- Started by using fairly realistic colours and gradually introduced more earthy, rich colours for different tones.
- Painted in the cloth in muted greys and washed over with tones of burnt sienna to give a nicotine stained effect.
I lost my way a little with pre-mixed colours so just went with the flow and used the atmosphere I wanted to create dictate the colours.
- Made a nice dusty grey with burnt sienna, ultramarine and Naples yellow which was useful to give a dust-like bloom on objects.
- Mid-painting I switched from using a white to lighten colour to Naples yellow which made the colours more muted.
At the end of day one, I was very disappointed and had decided to start again the next day. However, coming back to it and introducing the dusty greys and Naples yellow made me more satisfied with the end result.
Set out your completed colour still life studies side by side and make notes in your learning log about the different effects you’ve been able to create using the same group of objects.
Effects created in:
1. Colour Accuracy study
- Sparkle in the glass
- Cleaner, sharper colours as were pre-mixed
- Light – more like daylight even though over head spots were on too
- Transparency of the glass
- Crispness of the cloth
- Bottle and glass are clearly empty
2. Colour for Mood study
- Dimly lit
- Enclosed, curtained and private
- Increased opacity of the glass
- A sense of waiting
- Bottle and glass appear to more related to each other as colours are more reflective of each other
Overall, looking at the points I’ve made for each study, 1) has more factual and specific effects and 2) has more inference, suggestibility and interpretation. Whatever, the merit of the paintings themselves, I feel that these exercises were successful in achieving their objectives: Observation contrasting with mood.