Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another Experiment

I've been intrigued by the way the artist Alvaro Castagnet works and was fortunate to borrow a DVD of his and having tried something from a book before (posted a little while ago) was keen to have another go. The thing that interests me is the way many of his pictures are backlit and create a sense of drama in the scene while using the value extremes to get light into his images.

Having watched the DVD I selected an image to attempt an exploration of his technique. The resultant painting is below.

What did I learn? Well the exercise reinforced my belief in the importance of value range in providing impact, a hangover from my days as a monochrome photographer. The other important lessons are to do with the notion of leaving lots of work for the viewer. Detail is largely unnecessary and my own tendency to overwork is probably a hurdle to the viewers of my work.

Another day having fun.

Nice Street Scene (after Castagnet) - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 9"

12 comments:

Ray said...

Very dramatic, very simple and very good effort, Mick. The hard part comes when one has to see a scene through Alvaro's eyes. Remember CR's mantra - "Squint".

Peter Ward said...

A nice effort Mick I like it. You've made a good stab at Castagnets style, although it is one he shares with several others. One word of caution though. Don't go overboard on trying different styles. I did once and regard it as my `lost' period. (grin) Still trying hard to regain it.

Mick Carney said...

Ray - Cheers. Yes it is difficult to see through the eyes of another but 'Squint' is one of the best bits of advice you can get. It ensures you both simplify and resect value changes.

Mick Carney said...

Peter - Thanks. It seems it's too late. Lost period in progress.

RH Carpenter said...

Yes, that dramatic light is very stunning - I think your version is very nice :)

Mick Carney said...

Rhonda - Thanks a lot.

Caroline said...

Great to see your painting practise piece Mick. It really is beautiful it has a lovely loose wash style and I agree that the strong contrasts with the light and shade are important to the overall look and feel to the painting. Do you think you might now try a similar scene from a photograph or in your own village? How do you find working from photographs they can give an overall flat feel to the image?

Mick Carney said...

Caroline - You are a mind reader. My little list of 'to do' things is exactly what you suggest. You make a good point about working from photographs. It's very easy to create flat pictures unless one deliberately takes steps to ensure a sense of depth. One of the problems with photographs these days is that they are often taken with cameras that try to ensure the widest depth of field. If photographers switch off the automatic function and manually decrease the depth of field they could make photographs that would prompt them to pay regard to recession. i find photographs useful to supplement on site sketches when drawing or painting can not be completed in front of the subject.

Nora MacPhail said...

Wonderful. You did a great job. I took a workshop with Alvaro through the Toronto Watercolour Society. He was lovely and quite funny. You did a better job than most of us capturing his style!!
Have a great week,
Nora

Mick Carney said...

Nora - Lucky lady, I tried to get on one of his courses a couple of weeks ago, yes you guessed it FULL with waiting list. Thanks for the kind comment.

Dan Corey said...

I like it Mick! The value masses read from far away and in my humble opinion that's worth it's weight in genuine manganese blue or gold. Which ever you value more :))

Mick Carney said...

Dan - Manganese blue every time.