Part 4: Assignment 4 – a circular or oval painting


Make a circular or oval painting of an area in your house, either from life or from a photograph. Refer to the work you produced in the exercises to choose a subject and composition that works well. Use heavyweight paper, card or board as a surface to paint onto.

Again, you’ll find it helpful to cut out a circular shape to frame your image so you know how you’ll paint it on the circle. Think about the following while you’re planning your painting.

• How would you like the painting to look?
• What it is about the image that appeals to you and how can you represent this visually?
• What types of brushes will you use to create your painting?
• What textures/density/hues will you use?
• Will you use gloss?
• Thin/thick paint?
• Will you paint a coloured or a white ground?


For this assignment I decided to return to a practice piece that resonated with me. I wanted to expand the original idea and image to create a larger interpretation of our front porch jumble!

Boots & basket in front porch (thinned oil paint on black gessoed card – 10cm diameter)

I made a quick sketch of the scene using pencil and InkTense block ink and water brush:

Assignment 4 – idea sketch


Assignment 4 – porch scene – thinned oil paint

Using a 30.5×40.6cm canvas board I prepared an acrylic wash as a background for my tondo. The light comes in through glass window on the left of the scene and for this larger picture of stuff I included walking sticks, the top shelf, with the boots sitting on newspaper, the basket, blankets, and the barometer. This was painted with oil paint thinned with Reeves Painting Medium using a size 1 and a size 4 round brush. The colours used were Cerulean Blue and Ultramarine; Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre; Brilliant Red and Medium Yellow; along with Titanium White, Lamp Black and Payne’s Grey.


Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay

I wasn’t very happy with the way my acrylic brush strokes had petered out at the top and bottom of the canvas board and I had thought of cutting them off. However, I wanted to experiment with something a bit more unusual to add another dimension to this image of a domestic interior. So, using a cut-to-size piece of white foam board, I overlaid the canvas board image and added painted extensions to the barometer, the boot laces and the blankets – hanging, dripping and overflowing the picture.


Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay – bound and opened

Like a book, telling a story, I used Gorilla Tape to attach the foam board to the canvas board. Let’s open the book and see what’s inside.

Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay – bound and closed

This is my closed book on my front porch adventure.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
25 April 2017


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Open College of the Arts (OCA) student currently studying Drawing 2

2 thoughts on “Part 4: Assignment 4 – a circular or oval painting”

  1. Hi Jane, Many thanks for the feedback. My tutor seems to quite like this one as well, although I have been having some challenges regarding size of tondo and choice of brushes (small sizes). This one makes the grade but some of my other exercise work raises some questions. Anyway, I am about to try out using some larger brushes (size 8 – 10, or maybe bigger) to see what kind of effects I turn up with. Also using both some larger and smaller tondo sizes. Good to hear from you and I will take time out to have a look at your online learning log. Best regards, Stuart.


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