'Ocean Dance 1' OE Alexander
Last week I was asked by a previous client to paint 2 paintings for her home. She wanted an 'Ocean' theme, Abstract in style with light greens and blues on canvas. She chose a 44x78cm deep canvas and also a small 30x30cm canvas.
I decided on a limited pallette; Yellow Hansa light, Ultramarine blue, white gesso and a black charcoal stick.
I often use a limited palette as I find the colours tie together so much better and I can create some beautiful greys from just 2 colours and black and white gesso.
Living on the coast I am often at the beach.When walking on the beach I love the way the waves travel up the sand before sweeping back into the ocean. It reminds me of a dance. The waves work their way through the sand creating rivelets and and intriguing patterns, like minature landscapes. This is what I hoped to capture.
DESIGN & COMPOSITION NOTES:
I worked in a diagonal manner across the canvas as this would create the movement & dynamics in the composition that I desired.
Using the charcoal stick I drew lines strongly on the canvas. I imitated the shapes of the waves, patterns in the sand and the movement of sand reacting with the water.
I put the focal point in the upper third (the Golden Mean) section. Most of my shapes in this section would be smaller and brighter in colour to draw the eye. Also keeping in mind the use of line to lead the eye through the painting I added and removed charcoal marks till I had a pleasing composition and design.
The painting contained the following: movement, rhythm and repitition, balance, unity, variation and space.
The importance of the Principles and Elements of composition and design really come into their own when painting abstracts. To abstract means; 'to remove from reality, not definable as something which actually exists'.(dictionary) So basically the 'bones' (composition) have to be right.
Using the yellow, blue and white I mixed a light, clear green leaning more towards the blue side of the colour wheel. I brushed this on quite thickly alternating brush directions to create a nice, thick cover with few brush marks. This was applied to the larger areas of the canvas to create some tranquile rest spots. Not only does this allow the viewer's eye some quiet areas but it also
helps the focal areas to 'pop'.
Use the 2 colours and white I mixed a variety of greens, blues and yellows. I also used the colours straight from the tube. In places the paint mixed with the charcoal to produce some lovely greys. Greys are wonderful, they give balance to a painting as well as interest.
I mixed, applied and applied some more till I was pleased with the result. Rotating the canvas often to check for balance from all aspects. The painting could be hung several different ways and still be balanced.
The client was very pleased with both paintings ( the 2nd smaller work was a compliment of the first using the same colour palette). Her and her husband live in a rental property with grey walls, the paintings looked great and really bring the room to life.
I hope this blog has been useful and informative to my fellow artists and blog readers.
Ciao for now
PS; my spell checker's not working, please forgive mistakes!
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