The tondo got me looking for simple compositions with interesting contrasts of tones and objects reflecting the nature of working in circular frames. In the exercise I painted the ac control in oil on a smooth paper plate where removing paint was just as important as adding paint. This lead me to focus on oil and smooth surfaces to enable me to sculpt. Despite this being what attracted me to it I also wondered if there was a better medium to represent it. My research into atmosphere created by artists such as Marlene Dumas led me to trying watercolour to produce some atmospheric 3D representations. However when compared to the original it still didn’t have the impact. I couldn’t see how I would combine watercolour with impasto paint, they just seemed too far apart. This helped me focus more on oil and acrylic.
The glowing fuzzy feeling from the sofa painted with layers of acrylic was a nice quality considered for the final tondo because it created a soft warm feeling you get when relaxing at home. I found this initial experiment to be too dark which is why I didn’t progress it.
The eye is drawn to the control and moves freely around and down and slows around the base of the sofa and the mat. The control sits prominently on top in a relaxed manor. Form and structure is implied by the brush direction. I was able to use a large brush to move the paint around and respond to the tactile feeling of the sofa and ac control as well as how it looks. The sofa looks a little stretched and squashed perhaps more than intended. Despite using bright colours the overall feeling is muted.
The tondo does reflect many of the intended qualities such as a AC control which is relaxing on the sofa and also draws your attention. I did miss making the buttons explicit and more obvious like a child would play with it although I wasn’t sure it would help and it was not essential. The mat below the sofa is soft and doesn’t distract from the main focus even though I used thick impasto paint. The colours seem to tie it all together unlike the earlier attempt at trying complementary colours which didn’t enhance the contrast as intended. There is a level of depth to the sofa where the back is less sharp through heavier strokes and the AC control and base of the sofa seem more in focus and closer through lighter thicker marks.
I still had difficulty deciding on the final tondo because the qualities of the painting were not all that clear and did not form a clear story or idea. I was under the belief oil would be the right medium to use but for various reasons I keep returning to the familiar acrylic. I do need to try finding an additive for oil which supports impasto work in a similar fashion to acrylic gel.
With the intention to use impasto paint and add and remove paint I felt that applying the blind drawing I’d learnt in the previous assignment would help with depth and relevant qualities. Given it is such a simple object it did help to add more features which is not easily seen when looking.
Experimenting with watercolour was helpful to compare against the work in oil and acrylic. I can see its possible to paint blurred out of focus areas and sharper in focus areas to add depth and draw the focus. I haven’t yet worked out how to control the atmosphere and will be an ongoing area to research.
Oil on enamel provides a mat against gloss contrast where the oil stands out over the gloss and felt like it was working despite the colour problem. Adding a layer of resin on top can create interesting depth where in this case shadows were cast by the layer of white oil onto the layer below. I also considered creating a layer of resin to make it feel like it was covered in plastic like that on the peppa pig tondo. I didn’t include in the final because I thought it would obscure the brushwork on the sofa.
Iain Andrews use of impasto paint influenced how I painted the sofa and AC control and the background. Whilst my final tondo seems balanced the bright paint in the sofa is not as bright as I’d hoped. Returning to Iain Andrews technique I realise that maybe the dark parts of the sofa should have been formed from a dark thin wash rather than thick paint. I therefore need to return to this technique look at how I can make the paint appear brighter. Also he responded more to the way the paint dried which leads to more unpredictable results and could help my process.
I should continue looking more into atmosphere and emotion and how both Marlene Dumas and Turner carry this out given how it seems to play a part throughout my work so far.