Archives for posts with tag: black and white

The other week, I went through the steps I took in making a painting with no source material. Using random marks and composition, I allowed my intuition and previous painting experience to guide whatever happened next. In a similar manner I have made another example to share with you here.

random brushmarks in black

I started with paper, two tubes of acrylic paint, and I think just one smallish brush. I hit the paper with some random marks in black.

I added some greys

I decided to go grisaille at this point. Grisaille is the method of painting in black and white… and greys. You can then glaze colours on top if you so choose. I will show this process next week.

subtlety added by painting in white

I lightened everything up again by brushing in a bit of white. This added some subtlety to the greys.

time for dark paint again

Then I took my black paint and worked in some darks again. I started to see something…

becoming flowers

Using some more watery-black, I painted in some stems, some shadows in petals. The painting was becoming flowers.

bit more detail and a background

I worked in another floral shape on the right, and then watered my paint down much more. I painted in a background. This added weight to the bottom of the composition, and complexity, as well as the suggestion of other things happening.

however, as part of the process…

However, as part of the process, I opted to white-out a lot of that background. More subtlety needed!

my next step was to re-introduce some greys

Once again, I mixed up a grey and added it in, bits and pieces.

again background!

Again, I worked in dark paint to suggest weight and some sort of background. By painting in the negative-space I also emphasized the objects. Note the fine edges of white here and there: those are not painted in, rather, those were left behind when I painted in the background.

finished! For now…

Finally, I painted in some more white/light grey. Again, note the dark edge I left here and there, that was the previous step’s background being left to show through.
I plan to glaze some colour into this composition, as I feel there is still something rough about it. Colour can help cure problems within a painting. So next week… see you then!
Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Today I spent several hours in waiting rooms. I got to have various bodily fluids taken for examination. I was mis-directed at the local hospital, so that I wasted almost an hour standing around waiting even more. I had two receptionists laugh at things I didn’t find particularly funny, which showed me that they were focussed on their role within their job, and not on the (possibly) frightened person before them who was seeking medical help.

To make a long story short… In the midst of all this fun, I let my subconscious guide my hands through making another cartoon! (This being something I’ve not taken the time to do for months and months! And months!)

click on cartoon to open bigger in a new window! then it's zoom-able, too!

I should be fine, health-wise. It is probably just a little blip. I might blog a bit about my experiences with whatever this is, or I might not. It is simply something that makes me a little different, like we all are.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Sunday is here again! And, as with every Sunday, it is time to paint.

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

This week, I would like to try painting from observation, rather than from memory. One thing that is usually available for observation, is a hand. As with all the paintings in this series, I started by rubbing a bit of white acrylic paint onto my paper in order to seal it.

model is comfortable

Now, I want my model to be comfortable. So it is important to not only be happy with the shape that your hand is making in space in regards to the painting, but it should be a pose that is not tiring. Tense poses are interesting, and you can try that later, but to start I’d suggest a relaxed pose.

something of the shape I saw in the middle of my palm

Start with the centre of the palm. Try to find a shape within the palm. This will act as a sort of map, a guide on which to gauge distances and markings of reference points later.

markings, points of reference...

Next, look closely at the distance of the fingertips from the palm. Try to mark the outer edge of each finger.

more painting in the reference points

Next mark where the little lines where the joints in the finger are, and paint around the edges of the fingers and hand.

working in some lights, darks again... thinking about the shape of the hand before me

After this, it is all a series of “back and forth”, similar to when we painted an egg. White, black, grey, wipe, mark, white overtop… all based on observation. If you find that one of the fingers maybe is too short or too long-looking, paint it as it should be, and “erase” any paint that is too dark with some white.

a bit more work...

When you think the hand looks pretty good, you can fill in the background. This situates the hand in space, and is also an opportunity to fix any weird bits and straggly edges to the hand. 

painted around the edges... I will probably let it dry, then touch up the edges again with a dark grey, then the purple.

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal
 

"Beyond" (copyright Natasha Henderson) There are eggs in this...

Perhaps this is a little late for Easter. Perhaps you don’t really want to paint an egg right now. That’s cool. However, if you paint an (uncracked, uncooked) egg, you will practice observation and the creative manipulation of representing form.

An egg has volume. An egg has a gentle gradation of shadow. An egg can be reflective (depending on the type of egg it is, and what sort of environment in which it is depicted). In any event, if you just read this and don’t paint, that’s fine too. You’ll learn about all these things, through observing the following images.

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

I am opting to paint from memory. I actually do not have any eggs in the house right now; it would be better to have one for a real observation. However, the basic egg-shape is a simple one, and all eggs are slightly different from one another anyhow. Therefore, whatever egg I paint could exist. That is an important question to reflect upon, when trying to be convincing in painting… Could This Exist?

just a simple shape, not perfect at all

To start, I painted my paper with a layer of white acrylic to seal it. This is like in all the exercises, as my paper is quite thin. Next, I simply painted a black oval, almost an egg shape. I just wanted to get some outside, rough darkness, leaving the inside white.

smudging with finger while paint is still wet

Then, while the paint was still wet, I smudged down the centre of the egg. I needed to blend in a bit of the darkness to the middle, too. After this, it is mostly all adding white, a bit of black… just tinkering.

I "drew" the negative space around the egg better with some white... and used the white in the egg too

To make the oval shape more egg-like, I worked some white paint around the edges, to sort of erase the black paint that didn’t contribute to its egginess. I then used a sweep of this white along the bottom of the egg, to create some mystery and subtlety in the shadow on the egg. Next up, I painted a great deal of white along the top part of the egg.

more white added... a little smudging with a finger, more white...

Honestly, I went back and forth a couple of times, adding white and then swiping with my finger, until I was happy enough with the result. After this, I painted in a bit of a shadow under the egg.

just mixed a medium grey to start...

I decided that I wanted to have a gradation or two in the shadow, as well as a bit more in the egg… so I added in some lighter and darker greys where it made sense.

a bit more grey

I finalised what I did today by painting in more white. If I’d wanted to colour the egg I would wait ’til it is dry, then glaze a colour onto it and dab a little bit of white “reflection” on the lightest part. (See last week for tips on glazing, and how this idea works!)

our friend, the egg.

You can see that I got rid of a great deal of the shadow under the egg, this is just what felt “right” to me about the image. It’s up to you how much light and shadow are in your image, and what sort of environment your egg exists within.

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

I use painted, imagined strands of lights as a sort of drawing tool in my paintings

Sunday! Sunday! If you can, and are so inclined, it is a great day to relax with a dash of painting. Last week we saw How To Paint a little light. This week we will add a bit of colour to it.

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

The very first thing to do is to choose your colour. In this case I selected red. If you have painted a strand of lights, you could opt to do them all in different colours using this same technique. Find the black and white painting that you made last week…

I chose red for this one...

 Next, paint the red onto the light.

just plain red

You might take note that I didn’t paint this red so thickly… it has a little water in it. This is so that the black paint from last week will show through. However, black and white will always have an effect on the colourful paint placed on top of it. I encourage you to just experiment with your paints.

Next, paint a little bit of the colour onto the cords.

the cords will be lit a bit by the red light

Now, water down the red paint in your palette a bit more. Use this watered-down paint to brush around the light-source. Leave a poetic amount of white space just around the bulb.

let this dry for a bit...

Once the paint is a bit dried, add a little blob of solid white into the middle of the light. You will see that I put two little blobs; it is more convincing as an electrical light source that way.

you could also add a little it of the white brushed around, close to the light source if you dont like the edge of your colour

Done! So next week we will try something that I mentioned in another article: we will paint an egg.

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal
 

so fascinated with light... he'd certainly paint if he could...

Artists who paint are often fascinated with light. Light allows us to see; light forms the subject matter that is painted. When we paint, we are painting light both as it hits objects, and as it filters through atmosphere. However… sometimes we might like to paint actual light sources. Here is a short example on how to paint a “Christmas Light”.

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

Just like last week, this time I started with a piece of paper that I’d smudged some white acrylic paint on. Again, it is not 100% necessary to add the acrylic. If I had thick paper, and I’d wanted to allow the paper’s texture and absorbancy affect the paint’s effect, I could have worked directly on the paper.

getting started

I made a simple shape, similar to an Xmas light bulb.

a simple shape, similar to an Xmas light bulb

Then, I made the “cords”. Most Xmas lights have a casement for the glass bulb, and then cords leading away from this. I opted to imagine a simple cord going each way, although in reality there are usually two twisted cords, per side, that lead away in both directions. Sometimes it is more poetic to rely on memory than observation. Who wants a painting of electrical cords?

bulb with simple cords

Next, I smudged a little watery black down the middle of the bulb.

swiped watery-black paint in the bulb...

Then I wiped some of this paint away, quickly, with my finger. It smudged the paint, giving it a bit of a hazy effect, just like staring into a real light…

smudged!

The most important thing right now was to let this DRY. After it had dried, I painted some watered-down black around the bulb area. I left the imagined-light to “glow” in a circle around the bulb.

painting the world that is not so affected by the light

Next, I added more black, solidly, onto the outside area. The light isn’t reaching there at all…

suddenly, the light seems a lot more "light"

The final, final step was to put a dab of pure white into the middle of the bulb.

final bit... unless I decide to go in colour...

If I wanted to create this image in colour, then I would glaze some colour into the image. Next week, I will do just that!

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Big Cheese -copyright Natasha Henderson

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