Make a study of packaging or rubbish from something you’ve bought or rubbish that you’ve found near your house. … Make three oil or acrylic studies of some packaging or rubbish. It would be tonally interesting to choose something of fairly neutral colour like Alex Hanna’s pill packets and bubble wrap or Giorgio Morandi’s bottles and ceramics. Place the packaging or rubbish onto a piece of white paper in strong light. An anglepoise-type lamp is good for this but you could use strong natural light too.
Before you start, make three quick tonal studies with a soft pencil: 2B, 3B or softer would be good. Remember to squint when you look at the tones to work out which is lightest and darkest. Try to identify at least ten different tones. Next, using a fairly limited palette, make three paintings of at least A5 size. Consider your surface. You’ll need something quite sturdy for this like board, canvas, card or metal. You could prime the surface first with emulsion, gesso or primer. Alternatively, you could paint the surface with a coloured background that you then paint out. Paint this coloured background with acrylic paint if you’re painting on top with acrylic paint or with oil paint if you’re painting on top with oil paint. Remember, you may need to wait a while for oil paint to dry. The under-painting can give the finished painting a glow, especially if the under-painting is in a warm colour. Try not to draw the image out on the surface first, but start painting straight away. This will give the painting a fresher, more fluid look and, because acrylics and oil paints can be impasto, you can paint any mistakes out.
During a day in my studio I drink a lot of bottled water, so I didn’t have far to go to find subject material for this exercise.
I lightened the ground before drawing in paint with a size 8 filbert brush. Capturing the crumpled-ness of the packaging and with the bottle showing through was quite a challenge. However, I believe I have managed to capture the essence of what I saw before me.
An even more difficult challenge this time with the packaging really crumpled up and beginning to spring apart again.
I scraped off some of the ground oil covering to let bits of lettering and design of the placemat peek through – “Hot Diggity Dog!” – and I again lightened the foreground before using a size 8 brush to capture the squashed up empty bottle. I am pleased with the result and the image sits well below the HDD heading.
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
27 June 2017