We then decided on a source photograph for our main work and began to make decisions as to how we might tackle the subject. We had to make our own decisions about composition and support them with sketches, first of all in graphite then after making decisions about colour to produce a small oil sketch as preparation. However, before commiting to the oil sketch we had to decide what tonal range to adopt and most difficult of all which artist's work we would look to for inspiration. This gives me the excuse to gratuitously insert a few of my favourite images at the end of the piece. (Apologies for splitting the infinitive).
The first picture is the current state of the piece I returned home with. My source had been a photograph of some of the creeks on the North Norfolk coast, my inspiration quite clearly the great Turner. Having decided on an approach that would seek to produce a dramatic work with wide tonal range whilst incorporating layers of subtle sky colour I had to take time to build up layers of transparent colour, hence the work is still in progress.
Work in Progress - Oil on stretched canvas 40" x 30"
There is much work left to do. I intend making use of Turner's tendency to produce vortices as a compositional device by bringing the cloud across and down the left of the picture, then working over the water to produce appropriate light and shade. The introduction of crepuscular rays and highlights in the sky should complete the work. I will post the results when complete.
The following pictures all demonstrate the vortex compositional device that tends to produce violent and vibrant life to these works.
Shade and Darkness - the Evening of the Deluge - J. M. W. Turner
Light and Colour (Goethe's Theory) - the Morning after the Deluge - Moses writing the Book of Genesis - J. M. W. Turner
By the way, Goethe's Theory plays an important part in a special Turner exhibit at Tate Britain with interesting 'hands on' experiments. Go see it if you can.
Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Armey crossing the Alps - J. M. W. Turner
Snow Storm - Steam -boat off a Harbour's Mouth making Signals in shallow water, and going by the Lead. The Author was in this Storm on the night the Ariel left Harwich -
J. M. W. Turner
All of the above pictures are part of the Tate collection.
Whilst Turner was a genius with the brush it is evident from his titles that he found it a little more difficult to distill his thoughts in words.
Norfolk Painting school can be found at www.norfolkpaintingschool.com and Martin's paintings at www.makinnear.com