My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Capturing colour




As a painter I have spent a lifetime trying to capture colour.  In particular, I have endeavored to define the colours that are to be found in the skin tones of my models.  

My struggles with paint are equaled with my struggles in verse.  If you dip back into the archives of these diary pages to August 11th 2011, you will find my poem “The Colour Black”.  I wrote the poem in homage to Denise, my wife and model.  It contains the lines:

From the dark areola of her breast
Brown madder and yellow ochre merge. 
While sienna reds and blues subdued
In deep purple shadows converge…

More recently, a poem dedicated to Jessica, my current model, begins:

In mellow tones my muse awakes,
With subtle shades of amber glow

As a sculptor, I have tried patinating bronze to suggest the rich skin tones of my models but with limited success.  The sheen of the clay comes closer.  Sculptors from earlier times, referring to work in progress, had a saying that: clay is the life, plaster the death and bronze the resurrection.

I confess to a liking for the white purity of the plaster cast but alas, it cannot portray the dark areola or the amber glow.  Or can it?  By applying experimental washes to the cast, just as I apply washes to a sheet of virgin watercolour paper, I cry EURIKA!

Today’s picture shows the result.

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