Shoot it, Sketch it: Sunlight is green

Sunlight is green – acrylic on watercolour paper, 205 x 295 mm, 2013.
Sunlight is green – acrylic on watercolour paper, 205 x 295 mm, 2013.

Here, as promised, is my painting of the sunset in Hagley Park (taken from the same photo I sketched last week). If you’re wondering about the title, it was inspired by something I read in The Acrylic Artist’s Guide to Exceptional Colour by Lexi Sundell. Apparently there is research to suggest that sunlight is not yellow but pale green. Think about that for a minute. Green is a cool colour but sunlight is warm. Other research suggests it may be pale blue. Whatever it is, it seems sunlight is not a warm colour. I don’t know about you but that thought really messes with my head.

Sunlight is green – acrylic on watercolour paper, detail.
Sunlight is green – acrylic on watercolour paper, detail.

Shoot it, Sketch it: Last minute

Hagley Park sunset sketch – ink and watercolour, 205 x 290 mm, 2013.
Hagley Park sunset sketch – ink and watercolour, 205 x 290 mm, 2013.
Hagley Park sunset – Christchurch, 2010.

A last-minute sketch of the last minutes of a sunset in Hagley Park (because the acrylic painting I had planned to post today isn’t quite finished yet). I hope you’ll forgive the slightly blurry photo (my fault for not taking a tripod). Sunsets in the park can be spectacular at this time of year ― yes, we’re well and truly into autumn now in Christchurch.

Shoot it, Sketch it: Smartlea Street Bridge

Smartlea Street Bridge – Christchurch, 2012.

This week’s Shoot it, Sketch it photograph was taken around the corner from our house last autumn. You can just make out the curve of the little footbridge in the blurry distance. Is it just me or does the light shining through the willows look like fairylights?

Smartlea Street Bridge –  ink, watercolour and digital, 215 x 175 mm, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge – ink, watercolour and digital, 215 x 175 mm, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge, detail – ink, watercolour and digital, 2013.
Smartlea Street Bridge, detail – ink, watercolour and digital, 2013.

The short story ~ the sketch is an ink and watercolour painting that has been altered using a kind of digital-resist effect (a combination of Photoshop filters that mimic the wax-resist technique used in making batik).

The long story ~ I’m going through an experimental phase. I’m curious to see what happens when I venture out of my comfort zone (ink drawings with lots of fiddly details and carefully considered watercolour and acrylic paintings) — I want to explore different ways of seeing things and be less concerned about the end result. What if…? That’s what happened in A trip down memory lane and it’s what happened here. Smartlea Street Bridge began as an ink and watercolour sketch which I then drew over with a brush pen to thicken the lines and make some areas inky black. The final image was created in Photoshop by inverting a scanned copy of the painting and applying various filters. The batik effect was discovered through trial and error.

Being out of my comfort zone does have one little drawback — it’s not very comfortable. I’m having to resist the urge to edit the light and dark areas to make them look more like the original photo. But so far, so good…

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Today — monotype, 130 x 210 mm, 2010.
Today — monotype, 130 x 210 mm, 2010.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow — 2010.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow — 2010.

I wanted to post something a bit different for the holidays and this came to mind. It’s a printing project from an art course I did a few years ago. We had to make a series of monoprints to represent our past, present and future. I really could’ve used an extra week to get to grips with the materials and techniques. Still, I enjoyed the challenge… and there’s something about the Today print that I really like.

For those who are curious, Yesterday (a stormy sea) is a woodcut print, Today (a sunrise) was made using a light-field method and Tomorrow (clouds with a silver lining) was made using a dark-field method.

Happy Easter!