Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Koi painting in oil.

I finally completed one koi painting in oil.

Although I'm happy that I stuck to it and completed at least one painting of the koi, I definitely plan to go to the koi farm in summer, where I can seat myself for a day and really get to work on some series. Studying the koi here in January/February, felt a bit like eating strawberries in the midst of winter.

..koi, oil on linen, 61x37cm

In step 1, using terpentine, I put down thin washes of burnt sienna for the fish shapes and a thin wash of paynes gray and french ultramarine for the background/water.

....step 1...


In step 2 I added some colour to the fish, cadmium red and yellow to the fish in the foreground and prussian blue to the back fish, to form the shadows. I started using liquin as a medium to have the oi dry quicker, but still have an oil shine.

...step 2...

In step 3 I darkened the water with a mixture of paynes gray and french ultramarine and softened the shadow marks I made on the yellow fish. this was my first mistake, because I made mud. I left it to dry completely, so I could rework it...the oil was still thin enough to redo without removing the paint.

...step 3...

the last stages was all about adding colour and depth to the fish bodies and depth to the water , while using the same colours I've used in the previous steps, with the addition of ochre, raw umber and white.

...koi completed...

When doing the studies for this koi project, I worked mostly from photographs, using about 20 different photos, building my own scenes. I really found it difficult to render the koi in an interesting way. I feel I can do better, which is why I will patiently wait for the koi season to open and I can go and study them in real life.

I also felt that they ask for something a little more abstract or expressive than mere realistic rendering. In the following studies I tried to present them on the page in a little more interesting way. I found it quite exciting and I think I can even push the envelope even further in the expressive domain, which makes me more excited about the series of koi than I was when I started out.

In the meantime, I have a lobster and crab and mussels and oysters and several other shellfish in my freezer, waiting to be sketched and painted and studied. Maybe a new series of sea creatures? So hang around if you're interested in seeing what will surface - it will be a surprise for me too.

...koi study in charcoal on paper, 22x15cm...


...koi study in graphite on paper, 22x15cm...

...koi study in oil pastel on paper, 22x15cm...

..à bientôt...

Ronelle

Africantapestry

5 comments:

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Nice to see your koi theme developing.

I love the movement and composition of the pencil one a LOT! It reminds me of a particular pool where I see them

Sarah Wimperis said...

Lovely Koi, arnt they beautiful, I really like the charcoal drawing they look very submerged!

vivien said...

I agree

this is an interesting series, developing ideas and media as you go

Jeanette said...

Great pieces Ronell. The movement is good and you're right, koi have lots of room for experimentation.

I really like the drawings too with that strong sense of being under the surface of the water. And the last composition is well worth exploring. I like it.

Its good to see them in a natural environment, supplemented with photos. It really helps provide a good visual in your mind of how things should look.

Sounds like your freezer is starting to resemble mine. Stocked to the brim with frozen fish and crustaceans!

Laureline said...

Your koi studies remind me a lot of the koi studies I did last year, some of which I posted here. I tried and tried to make the subject happen for me, but, in the end, I got so frustrated trying to paint from photographs this most dynamic and almost ethereal of subjects, that I stopped. I was starting to paint in a literal, tight, and niggling way, which didn't suit me OR the subject! I wish you better luck with your series---I especially like your charcoal and pencil pieces. They really capture something of the nature of this subject.
Bonne chance, mon amie!