Tuesday, 4 March 2008

White light

Whilst painting dj kirkbys erotic landscape I've been thinking about the use of light and dark in a painting. For me, a painting is far more interesting if it has deep darks and bright lights. But sometimes that can detract from the subject matter, and the painting just becomes a study in sunshine and shadows, and whilst that is exciting, it probably wasn't the best way of painting this particular erotic landscape. So, I needed to work out where the light source is coming from (the sun in this instance) and brighten the parts where the weak sunshine is hiding the geography of the landscape, and darken the weak shadows to create the form of the land. The sky has scudding clouds in it which makes it look more interesting than a flat blueness, and that in itself shows why the sunshine is weak in the painting. So, on to the choice of tonal value, and by definition the bulk of it has to be mid-tones, with just a few bright lights and deep darks to add interest. And that got me on to thinking about the best way to show bright lights in the painting. Because you can't get brighter than the white of the canvas (although I was covering it in paint) so then, you can't get brighter than the white paint you have, but what you can do, to make the light seem lighter than it is, is to darken the colour around it, and by definition the white will seem brighter, will shine and glow more.

And this got me to thinking, along with another conversation with my spiritual healer friend, that life is mostly mid tones, alot of it can be grey and dull coloured, but occasionally we get bursts of colour in our greyness, some bright bold, vibrant and exciting colour that makes us feel good, and whatever those bursts of vibrant colour are depends on the type of person we are, and the way we measure excitement, it could be the joy of seeing a good friend, a special day out, a long awaited holiday, or just a favourite film on the telly. And amongst the mid-tones we also get bursts of bright white light that fills our existence and brings great joy and deep personal fulfilment. But to experience it, we have to have the darks. We might not like the darks. We may not want the darks. We may fear the darks. But... they have to exist. They must. Because without them, the vibrant colours won't be vibrant. And the bright whites can't exist.

So, to follow on with my thoughts on the erotic landscape, have I put enough bright lights in it? Should I put some more in it? And are the darks dark enough? And, as it's mostly a green landscape, should I put a dash of bright red in it? Because red is the exact opposite of green on the colour-wheel, (as green is made of the other primary colours, blue and yellow) and that dash of red will add a huge piquancy to the picture, it will make the overall picture far more vibrant. And that's what we're searching for in life, isn't it?

12 comments:

Vi said...

Yep, we all want a bit of brightness in our lives.

Jackie Adshead said...

Vi - Certainly do!

Spiky Zora Jones said...

jackie...you take me back to when I was in my art classes. You make me want to pick up my brush. You excite me with the talk of colors and shades, Where te light is coming from...a splash of red. It sosunds lovely...will you be showing us?

Me and niece did water colors. She is coming along nicely for an almost 4 year old. she has talent. I told her to put it on the refrigerater...She said...auntie, It's in the refrigerter. Ha. She is a laugh a minute.

Ciao babes.

DJ Kirkby said...

The painting is just gorgeous, that sky! So alive and powerful, so sexy...can a sky be sexy? In one of your paintings it can be. Yes a dash of red somewhere wouldn't go amis, I sent you an email this morning with some questions. xo

Jackie Adshead said...

Spiky zora jones - I'm glad my talk excites you! I'm always excited about art, so I'm delighted it's infectious.

You'll have to wait a bit longer to see the painting - it's a surprise and dj kirkby doesn't want anyone seeing it before the birthday boy!

Jackie Adshead said...

dj kirkby - Mmmm.... I'm still contemplating about that dash of red. And also thinking about your questions and how I'm going to achieve them....

Wow! Sexy sky eh!!! That's great to hear!!!

Vi's Biggest Fan!!! said...

I love your passion!!! You think about your art so deeply! I just LOVE it! :-) No wonder your work is so amazing! xx

Jackie Adshead said...

Vi's biggest fan - Aw, thank you! Yeh, I do think deeply about it cos I love it so much!

Willsibob said...

I love the deepness of your thoughts, life is indeed full of those ups and downs, troughs and peaks, and indeed often it is the only way to feel alive.

I spend much of my day dealing with problems, but adversely it's only when a crisis occurs that I really feel alive and enjoy work.

All the great works of yours I see (I'm having trouble with words here) give that quality look on the outside / far view, but then the view changes as you either realise what you are looking at or spot something in the painting that peaks an interest and suddenly that nice painting turns into great art.

Keep up the great work :)

Indigo said...

I saw a bright light in the sky once, was convinced it was a UFO, thought E.T had come home.. was an aeroplane!! But on a more serious note, I see where you're coming from and that is why your art blows me away..

Jackie Adshead said...

Willsibob - Mmm... I know my deep thoughts and art are interconnected, which is probably why I like difficult subjects like erotic art! And like you, feel it's the difficult and challenging stuff that makes us feel alive and grow within ourselves as people.

Turning a nice painting into great art, is what I strive towards and am delighted you see it in my work. Thankyou, your words as ever are uplifting!

Jackie Adshead said...

Indigo - Thanks, I really appreciate your continuing support over what I do.