Archive for category Subject: Interiors
Although the main purpose of art demonstration films is to be instructive, a degree of entertainment helps as it retains the viewer’s interest and makes watching a pleasure much more than a chore. APV have always been good at this, but here have an added bonus in the presenter. Haidee-Jo is not just informative and entertaining, she is also highly engaging and time spent in her company is a joy that seems to pass all too quickly. Perhaps her greatest quality is to be able to keep up a running commentary as she works that is not just a description of what she is doing (we can see that), but why, and how decisions are made and directions taken. Some artists paint in almost complete silence, dropping the odd bon mot from time to time and we should not criticise that – the ability to keep up a patter is something you either have or you don’t. All of which is to say that this is a thumpingly good film you’ll probably get a great deal from, even if you never have the intention of touching oil paint.
There are four demonstrations. The first is a boatyard filled with possibilities, prompting a discussion of subject selection and simplification. We are also introduced to the relationship between colour and light, as well as how to deal with shadow. This is developed further in the second section, a garden view seen through a dark barn, where the final addition of a dash of bright red to the handles of a half-seen wheelbarrow brings things not just together, but to life. It’s perhaps one of the shortest and simplest lessons I’ve seen in any film.
The third demonstration is at Whitstable harbour and includes buildings, boats, sea and sky. It’s instructive to observe how Haidee-Jo omits much of the latter two elements because they don’t contribute to “the story”. This is a theme that recurs throughout the film, the idea of a narrative being central to her work and contributing to composition, colour choice and perspective.
The final painting is an interior filled with dappled light that changes as the work progresses. It’s here that the importance of an initial reference photograph comes to the fore and Haidee-Jo explains how to use it to ensure consistency as the work progresses. It’s a difficult painting that leaves her physically exhausted, but an intriguing exercise to watch – you’re rooting for her just as you would the hero of a thriller.
My notes are full of quotations and I seem not to have included any here, but let’s sum up: “It’s only paint, I can change my mind”; “If you get into a muddle mixing colours, just think of the three primaries”; “What people respond to is the way you feel”; “I don’t want it to be the same colour – it’s OK to be the same value”.
Click the picture to view on Amazon
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be a manual of technical drawing and hard-edged perspective, but it’s a million miles from that.
If you need to produce architectural drawings that form part of a design brief, then you’re probably best looking elsewhere, but if you want something that will give a client (or even yourself) a feeling of what your ideas will look like in the flesh, then Gilles’ freehand sketches are just the thing.
Actually, to call them freehand sketches suggests something altogether looser than the actual result, which is a fine balance between technical drawing and a simple impression. These drawings have just enough of a soft edge to make them feel lived and liveable in and, if you’re looking for a commission, could be what swings the balance and gets you the gig.
Posted by Henry in Author: Benedict Rubbra, Author: Charles Stephen, Author: David Brown, Author: John Raynes, Author: Mary Seymour, Author: Norman Battershill, Author: Roy Spencer, Medium: Drawing, Publisher: A&C Black, Series: Draw, Subject: Birds, Subject: Flowers, Subject: Horses, Subject: Interiors, Subject: Landscape, Subject: Techniques on April 30, 2007
Looking at this series, which has just been reissued, it comes as a surprise to realise that it was first published in 1981, making most of the volumes over 25 years old. All too often, publishers look at their backlist with an uncritical eye that seems to overlook developments in style and design that they themselves have done much to push forward and eagerly reissue titles that just look tired and do their list no favours at all. However, the initial impression here is of a freshness and clarity that many more recent books would do well to emulate.
Each book is a mere 48 pages but, at £4.99, very competitively priced and covers a remarkable amount of ground. By sticking to a single subject, the general preamble is kept short and the authors are able to get stuck straight in, covering all the main areas right from the start. Text is kept to a minimum, giving the greatest prominence to the artwork itself and it is this, as much as anything else, that contributes to the longevity of the series as art instruction books have moved away from lengthy discursive text to shorter descriptions which mainly take the form of extended captions. This, in itself, has been driven by advances in printing technology which has provided illustrations which are nearly as good as the original itself.
These books are excellent primers for the novice and will encourage as well as educate.
£4.99 per volume
You are currently browsing the archives for the Subject: Interiors category.