Back to School

Well its back to school now.  I go to art school two mornings a week.  It’s good to go to school so that someone can keep an eye on what you are doing ;).  Everyone needs a little guidance now and then and someone to give you a good critique and get you back to basics if you are straying in the wrong direction.

This week my teacher wanted me to get back to basics again and make sure I knew what was dark and light, making sure I wasn’t being wowed by the colours and getting in a muddle about what was the darkest object and the lightest.  I was only allowed to use charcoal and I brought in with me a pear, apple and a plum.

Pear, apple and plum

Charcoal pear, apple and plum.  I was quite pleased with my charcoal handling which can often be a nightmare!

You can easily get in a muddle when you paint with colour because colours can be so vivid and saturated that you can often be tricked into thinking they are light.  One of the ways to make sure you have the light and dark correct is by using your phone.  Take a picture of the objects in black and white and you will soon realise that a lot of these colours that we see as bright colours we automatically think are light but actually they can be quite dark.  A great example of this is to take a photo of a lemon and an orange.

The other lesson on Wednesday was to decide on edges. Which ones should be blurred and which should be sharp.  Our eyes think we see everything very sharply but actually there is a lot our eyes make up.  As I’ve said before this is something that Singer Sargent does really well.  I love soft edges.

 

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Animal House

rabbits web

I was styling this week for a big UK magazine in London.  It was my first experience of a beautiful interior with just so many animals around.  The family had two dogs, a cat and two rabbits that all got on with each other extremely well.  The house was incredibly well designed with some wonderful touches.  There were angles everywhere to photograph with fabulous textures and colours to add to it.  One of the surprises I found was that the rabbits were let out around the sitting room.  My first reaction was NO – what a mess!  After a bit of time I realised just how much they added to the room.  Cuteness, warmth and something a little different.  I’m not sure I’d ever thought about adding a rabbit to interiors, but I think it works!