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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Secluding A Lonely Figure In Oils

Simply painting a single figure on a canvas, is not enough to convey loneliness. How we use colour, line and shapes, all combine to tell the story the artist wishes to convey. Today's painting is a lovely conversation piece as it certainly has a story to tell. My friend and I had different interpretations to the same painting. See who you agree with, or perhaps you see something completely different?


I do this painting on a sheet of Prime Art Canvas Pad.


The pad contains sheets of canvas that can be torn out to be painted on.


I draw a rough sketch in charcoal on the canvas. The figure is much smaller than the canvas, allowing me to create the idea of someone lost in space.


I use a brush to brush away the loose charcoal particles from the canvas.


I use Indian Red on the hair and then mix it with Titanium White to achieve a flesh tint. I use a palette knife in this painting.


I then add the shadow areas of the figure in Phthalo Blue and Titanium White.


Highlights are painted in Deep Cadmium Yellow.


I then cover the background with Liquin.


I blend Phthalo Blue into the Liquin. Note how the lines cocoon the figure inside the picture, almost like an embryo. On the right hand, the blue can not be kept at a distance any longer, but invades the space occupied by the figure. This is also the area in the picture that the figure is focused on, helping to create the sense of moody blue thoughts.


Some yellow is added to the background. This colour brings hope and relief to the picture. It allows the viewer reprieve. All is not lost for the figure in the painting.


The center background is painted white. some of the colour of the figure is picked up by the brush and blended into the background. This helps to create the impression that the figure runs the risk of disappearing into the gloom of the picture. It is for this same reason that I kept the lines of the figure undefined and soft.


An accent colour is added with some purple to create a more somber mood. Adding a second moody colour, adds complexity to the emotions and issues that the figure needs to deal with.


These are the colours and equipment I used to create this picture.


My friend asked me why the face was obscured, and I explained that as it is turned down it would necessarily be engulfed in shadows. However, I would not have defined it, even if it were illuminated, as I prefer to paint anonymous subjects. I enjoy forcing my viewers to find the identities of my figures in their body language and in the colours and lines I choose to depict them in, rather than simply on face value. Louise then commented that she considered this a reflection of someone who has lost their own voice and identity in society. I rather liked this observation. What are your own observations on painting figures without faces?


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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