S6 painting from 360s

Working up from the recent tree painting, I’m undertaking a series of paintings using as references 360s images. The spatial distortion is what I am interested in here and the woodland theme ties to folk horror and its preoccupation with the monstrosity. Exaggeration is what drives the process. Photographs on which these paintings are based, as well as early block-ins, can be found below as indicative of the early stages of the process.

360 based painting – the diagonal composition works well and hopefully so does the colour temperature management – using cools and warms to create that sense of movement forward through the picture frame.
Work in progress – underpainting – need more detail in the painting to be able to see the spatial distortion more clearly.
A little more detail, better value management hopefully retaining the spiral composition (darks/lights will be reinforced by glaze layers once dry). The distortion of the foreground reads less oddly than I expected. More detail would be required to make that more profound, but I don’t want to lose the looseness and brush marks. The subtle distortion also seems less gimmicky. I’ll take that to the other 360s inspired paintings that are now on the easel.

In order to improve my process here, I’ve included the photographs that I took as part of the project and I also did some research between painting focused on the task of introducing more varied brush marks as well as considerations around the composition. I looked painters’ work where larger more abstracted brush marks are used, such as that by Imogen Bone, as well as thinking more about the value of offset composition. The central composition for the treemouth image is a result of mirroring and perhaps I could usefully gone against that – something I should have done in the composition mapping phase – I had felt that work had gone on in photoshop but I realise I was working with that in a different medium and context. I will in the future try to build a cycle of research, experimentation, and making into my process more explicitly. More time spent on experimentation and research needed and less time on making a final painting (as was suggested in my SB1 feedback) This will be a takeaway that informs my sprint cycle for Study Block 2; a formula therefore for addressing issues of process.

Work-in-progess images:

Version one – composition issues and problems in reading what the image of here. Painted over….
In progress I’m not sure about the line running up through the centre of the image here but I like the tree shape and will play with breaking up that central line. The 360s distortion in mainly in the tree bend here – enough?

Moving these images along, I decided that the composition wasn’t working well for the ‘mouth’ image above and the mouth wasn’t reading as trees. I decided to take that back and start again with a different composition playing more on spirals.

In addition more texture was needed for the foreground across the whole series. This new version is more spiral in nature, cued from the spiral construction of one of the other paintings in the series. I think this creates an interesting distortion and a more magical feel that complements the flickering ‘tasching’ short broken brush strokes that have emerged from the series and which draw from Monet’s method of painting light as an animistic and lovely force (Monet meet Turner’s spiral compositions therefore.

The image above also benefits from some experiments that I conducted with different methods of rendering tree bark and documented this as part of the painting process. I also went out to photograph different barks to get a sense of how they figure particularly for oak trees which are the subject of most of these series of paintings.

Tree bark studies

I then took what I thought was working from these experiments and applied this to create more visual interest and to sustain the sense of light and shadow flickering off objects, suggesting both a breeze (an invisible force) and giving animistic vitality to the objects/space.

The spiral form developed for the paintings above is here used as an otherworldly, animated ‘force’ , entitled ‘Cornfield: Homage to Rapture’. Tree bark studies helping with the texture on the corn in the foreground

Plan forward is to complete the works that are here for an upcoming show and then start a new sprint for the start of SB2.

By tanyakrzywinskablog

After working in the computer industry and spending some years conducting research into cinema and digital media, I became convinced that the innovative qualities of videogames as participatory media required closer academic attention. As such I have spent most of my career championing the inclusion of games within the academy, and arguing for games as an art form, a role I continue as a Professor at Falmouth University. Alongside this, and my scholarly work on the Gothic, I also maintain, in various forms, a visual art practice. This blog comes out of enrolling on the MA Fine Art degree programme at Central Sr Martins. It is mainly a record of my reflections on the work that I have undertaken for the degree. After having written about folk horror in games and cinema as an academic, this blog will focus on folk horror as a focus for my art practice.

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