Archive for category Author: Jake Winkle
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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Jake Winkle’s paintings are all about colour. These can frequently be surprising as, for example, in the front cover image of the boxing hares, where reds, blues and greens are used to give shade and depth as well as to impart vitality and movement.
It takes a little practice to get your eye accustomed to his style, which at first sight appears very loose. Well, it is very loose, but there’s more detail in there than you first realise and you’ll eventually begin to appreciate the way in which carefully placed and graduated blocks and splashes of colour are used to define shape and depth. The trick is in the juxtaposition of advancing and receding hues that give an almost 3-dimensional appearance. Look again at those hares: if they were done any other way, they’d be a magnificent image, but they’d be static and flat.
Not all Jake’s work is quite as avant-garde as this, but the sense of colour is always there, even if it’s sometimes more subtle, as in his more tranquil landscapes as well as interiors and flowers. The book is mostly about how Jake paints, although there are four demonstrations included so that you can have a go at a guided attempt at his style for yourself – and I’d certainly recommend that you try this.
This is without doubt a challenging book, but it’s also a rewarding one. As ever with a highly individualistic style, you wouldn’t want to copy it completely, but it’s certainly worth considering the way Jake uses colour and seeing if you can’t incorporate at least a few of his ideas.
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