Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nocturne - Waiting for Day Break

I couldn't sleep too well last night and ended giving up at about 5:30am. So I went down to my studio and finished this one. I have been studying Whistler's nocturne paintings, (some of the best I have ever seen) and I decided to do these two to see what I had learned. I am rather satisfied with this small 5"x7" (waiting for Day Break). The little one 3.5"x2.5" (Night Fishing) was a warm-up. It has a bit too much colour and no subtlety. Sort of how one feels when one stumbles out of bed too early in the morning!

Nocturne - Waiting for Day Break, Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 5"x7".

Nocturne - Night Fishing, Acrylic on Canvas, 3.5"x2.5".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Edge Of Urban

I don't know what to make of this knife painting. I like it. I really enjoyed doing it, but no one around me seems to agree. So I guess I will leave it to you all to tell me what you think. I have put this one on eBay as well. Perhaps because I struggled with it so much I care so much about it? Perhaps it is the theme?

On my way to work each morning, on Hwy401 between Mississauga Rd and Mavis, there is a stretch of farm land on both sides of a bridge that stand there defying the urban spread. At the edge of this farm, the houses from the most recent development stand atop a small cliff eyeing the farm with malice. This is the first of a series that I intend to do of that farm and the urban siege that is around it. For what it is worth, here it is. Enjoy!

Edge of Urban, Acrylic on Canvas Board 5"x7"


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sailing; closing out the summer

Summer is drawing to a close up here and soon the colours of the leaves will start changing. That will herald another phase of painting and the colours in the palette will shift ever so subtly to the warm fall ones. For now though, one more painting to celebrate the summer with all its yellows and blues.

Whenever I can, I am enjoying knife painting. It keeps you honest and incapable of fussing with the details. Something I really enjoy avoiding and love when my viewers can see more details than I know I have put in there. That is when you know that the painting works because the viewer has engaged actively in viewing it.

Sailing, 9"x7" Acrylic on Canvas board. © Fawzan Barrage 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Studying with Claude Monet

I have been searching for a good teacher or book to help me explore the many secrets of colour in art. There are many worth while books to review. Some are very good, but for the past week I have been learning from one of the best.

I am a big fan of Athenaeum. The site is a virtual museum of fine arts with thousands of paintings in generous size available for download to study and learn from. For the past week I have been spending time with Claude, and he has taken me on an incredible journey through colour. I can't explain it all... rather it would take me a book to do so, but let me just share with you what I have been studying and you, I am sure will draw your own lessons if you take the time to learn.

Here is one set of paintings done by Claude Monet of the Rouen Cathedral. Everyone is a masterpiece, and everyone is a book about colour Harmony all by itself. Enjoy the ride!

Here is what I do with these: Take each painting into your Photoshop and pick-up the eye dropper tool. Now pass that tool over the painting and see all the colours that make up the painting.

Now: What is the harmony? What are the dominant colours? How did Monet use them? How can you use them? Why do they work? Are they all true to colour harmony theory???

The most interesting thing that I got from these lessons is that blue may be the opposite of orange, and most people would tell you to put them together to get a vivid contrast, but blue and yellow make a much more vivid and vibrant contrast than blue and orange. Purple and yellow are opposites, and they should be strongest at pulling each other out, but purple and orange have a much stronger pull together than purple and yellow. What can you see? What lessons can you add?