Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Charles Reid at Crantock - Day Four

On Tuesday, the fourth day of the course, the subject was `Still Lifes'. This is one of Charles specialities where he combines flowers with a variety of other objects. They aren't pure flower paintings but paintings with flowers in them.

The duck was added later and some rearrangement took place.

Initially Charles began with Schut Flamboyant 250gsm 50% cotton paper. This was at the request of his wife who particularly likes the effects created on this paper, which is extra rough. Charles started with a silhouette at top. Draw some and then paint, make sure white shapes are large enough. No details initially. Draw with brush, not over much pencil work. Be very careful with white flowers not to make the details too dark. Tonal values were explained once more. Charles considers them far more important than colour. If you get the tonal values right that's half the battle. Make more light and shade in lighter flowers but do the negative shapes first. This is the only way to get form in lighter flowers. Make the shading quite light otherwise it won't look right. He then began painting using Cadmium Yellow + blues for his greens. A little Raw Sienna added to warm them up. The brush was worked in an up and down motion using colour straight from the paint wells. By this time it was obvious he was not happy as the paper did not seem to be taking the paint very well. After a pause he decided to scrap it and start again! Fortunately Judy was absent at this time and only returned when the second attempt was well under way.

The Schut disaster - as Charles says `mistakes are part of it'! He actually progressed further than this and it wasn't looking good.

This time the paper was Schut Noblesse which he compares favourably to Fabriano. As time had been lost he really got a move on with this painting. After the drawing was completed he started using a No12 brush. This is the largest one I've seen him use and he did switch to smaller sizes later. While Charles was painting almost vertically he indicated this was not his normal preference, which is to have the board at 35/40 degrees. It was interesting to note how he dealt with the three groups of small coloured flowers by reducing the number and making the individual blooms larger. When he painted the pepper he used Alazarin Crimson + Cadmium Red plus Cobalt Blue for the dark areas. He said Cobalt is his favourite blue. The lemon was painted with the cast shadows Raw Umber. The duck was Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Viridian and Cerulean. After this he painted the sky followed by the background. He added an Avocado on the right hand side. He painted a yellow pepper on the left hand side and added another brush just touching the original one but at a different angle. Finally some small areas were overpainted. Then he stopped.

 Still Life - Schut Noblesse  300gsm 50 x 40cm Not

After lunch the students selected a still life arrangement of which there were several spread over the two rooms. I elected to attempt the one that Charles had done. Later at 6pm a critique took place.


RosJenke said...

Peter, thank you for your blog. I have been waiting for your post on the Charles Reid workshop. I am one of those who would love to be there but probably never will get the opportunity to attend.
You paint great word pictures of what happened.

Peter Ward said...

Thank you Roz. My aim is to give those who were not there, for a variety of reasons, at least a flavour of the course.