The range of colours in a Jake Winkle painting always astonish. In this film, his wildlife subjects are generally monochrome, their brown colouring designed to make them blend into, rather than stand out from, their background. Jake’s method of working is designed to make you look again, and yet there’s nothing forced or unnatural about it. By blending juxtaposed warm and cool colours, he creates shape and adds vitality that give a flat painting a three-dimensional appearance.
Jake is an excellent and generous demonstrator and he explains not only what he doing, but why. “Warm against cool gives luminosity”, “If you put too much detail in, you end up painting by numbers” and “If I think about it too much, I’m going to get repetitive shapes”. He works quickly, often aiming to have the first brushstrokes still wet as the last ones go down. Much of it is done by instinct, the build-up of colour defining the shape of the painting as much as it does the subject. It’s also interesting to see just what a limited range of equipment Jake uses: a total of four brushes and a very small paintbox that he says contains only primary and secondary – no tertiary colours. It all helps with the simplicity he’s aiming for, as few decisions have to be made and everything is readily to hand.
The practice looks simple because, of course, Jake is a master of what he does. In reality, it takes a lot of confidence and practice, but you do feel at the end of this that you could make at least a decent stab.
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