Corinne maakt

My drawing and painting life

Day 21 Colorful ladies – mixing up the natural and imaginary

On day 21 I turned to my Gelatos again. I am playing with two things: light and darks and what colors do to a face. Last year when I took a real life painting class studying the French Fauvist painters of the early 20th Century, we experimented with colors. We looked into the use of bright vibrant color, and into which colors enhance the effect of each other.

For instance if I use red, it will seem brighter and more alive when I add green in another place on a painting. We were inspired by the work of Matisse to name one artist.We studied the painting, Woman in a hat, that fueled a lot of debate at the time. It was deemed outrageous.

Woman with a Hat, by Matisse.

Woman with a Hat, by Matisse.

An example of how I tried to work like that, is found in this painting of a man’s face (below). We had an example of a face with the same divide between left and right – yellows and greens on the left, a more normal color on the right. I used a reference photo – and edited it (as it were)Β  into a vibrantly colored face. [All of this was part of a class at Knockart Studio in Vianen, with teacher and painter Mieke Siemons.]

2014-10-07 22.04.03 Portret les 2 fauvism

Acrylic, appr. 40x 60 cm on paper.

So this week I am playing with color in a similar fashion. How bright and juicy can I make it? What does it do to my experience of the face? Do I like looking at it for a longer time? Which colors can make it look natural and healthy even though they are clearly not the real colors on faces? This kind of question is coming up.

I started out using a photo from a book cover and translating it into a drawing with lots of yellow and green. Does it still look like a human face? I wondered whether so much yellow and green wouldn’t make it look sickly, like a zombie? But it doesn’t. At least not to my eyes. πŸ™‚

I also drew a face from imagination using more reds and blues. For some reason that one looks sickly to me. Interesting isn’t it? The red is a warm color. But why does it look sickly? Perhaps the amount of white on the face, the cheeks? I thought about adding more orange and warm yellow, but I won’t. It’s an interesting experiment I’d like to continue. I also did another face like the woman I did earlier this week, imaginary head and hairstyle, bold background. I love that. This one is inspired by the art of Iris Fritschi Cussens, especially the head shape and hair.

Please let me know what you think and feel when seeing these faces. You may find it wonderful, or you may be horrified. Anything goes. In fact I find one of these quite horrible. So really, every response as to how this makes you feel is allowed and welcome even! πŸ™‚

But keep it nice, please. I know at the time of the Fauvist painters there was outrage on those weird paintings. And one of Picasso’s first paintings that was displayed in a shop window led to someone throwing bricks through the window of the shop. You know where the line is between a description of what the painting makes you see and feel, and being nasty, don’t you?

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One comment on “Day 21 Colorful ladies – mixing up the natural and imaginary

  1. Jill Kuhn
    September 25, 2015

    I really enjoyed this post Corinne! It is really interesting the way color evokes feelings. Your acrylic face with the red and green is really fabulous! I like the subtle color changes and how you placed the colors throughout the piece. I agree with you on the red one, it does look a bit sickly and yet it captures a feeling. Perhaps tiredness or aging? The green and blue one is interesting to look at – enjoy your patterns and how you drew it. Not sure what emotion comes up for me – reminds me a little of pop art (I think this is how you say it). And your last one is very colorful which I love! I like its playful spirit! πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ¨πŸ’œ

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