Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Creative Process, Grids and Colouring Pencils

During my time away I was sketching and taking notes on paintings that spoke to me at the museums and galleries I visited in Paris and Madrid.

Before I had left for Europe I began studying and endeavoring to apply, if somewhat crudely, a classical gridding system to my work to aid its development and try something new!

I had been looking at the work of the Irish modernist painter Sean Keating again, (mostly in relation to my commissioned project for SEPIL) and was struck by how he used different forms of gridding in many of his compositions (mostly to aid enlargement from staged photos). Also, upon reading about many of the painting ateliers, none of which exist here in Ireland yet, I learnt that the study of  harmonic divisions developed in the studios of architects and painters, using pythagorean laws and theories during the renaissance where common practice and staple knowledge which was passed down.

At the Prado I saw first hand how some of these grids were used in both simple and complex ways. A great example was that of Ribera's painting, 'The Martyrdom of Saint Philip', 1639.

Here is a couple of images of a piece in process, and in which I have employed the grid at the outset to aid my composition.

This Still Life, lite by natural north light, depicts my jar of my colouring pencils and a postcard reproduction of Sorolla's painting 'Alberca del Alcazar de Sevilla' from the Museo Sorolla in Madrid. I used much of a whole harmonic pythagorean grid in the placement of the various objects, but most notably allowed the two pencils at far left and right to run in exact correlation with two of the major diagonals.

If you look closely here you can see those grid lines I mentioned above.
I'm looking forward to sharing this piece with you when it's completed, along with a group of other paintings I am currently working on.

- Richard

Above and image of Jusepe de Ribera's 'Martyrdom of Saint Philip', 1639.

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