Development- Painting (Reflection)

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I chose this photograph to work from for my development painting, experimenting with my ideas, and I included the wider background and door like I had planned and sketched around the image in my sketchbook. My piece was on a fairly small scale, and with the inclusion of the wider background, the protagonists were even smaller and consequently I found painting them quite difficult, especially their faces, so I wasn’t as happy with them as I had hoped, feeling I had not successfully communicated their expressions and emotions through this. I do think that I still managed to communicate their body language though and was pleased with their contrasting positions and execution of this in the painting. I used oil paint which was good for blending colours and creating textures and shadows, however it was difficult to use when painting the tiny faces, to portray the defining lines and finer details, creating a messier effect than i would have liked. This medium is what I intend to use for my Final Piece, but I will make the piece on a much larger scale as I think this will be much more successful, as well as creating much more of an impact.

I think adding a more static quality may have changed the look of this background and could have been more successful which I could still consider trying in my further work. Luckily I had good quality photographs to work from as through my preliminary photos I learnt that borrowing a better quality camera from college was the best option. I will however try to work from a bigger image for my Final piece, especially to work on a larger scale, to help me to show the small details in the face and expression more successfully.

The picture that I have chosen was what I felt to be the most interesting out of the set, due to the different emotions, expressions and interactions between the protagonists, as shown through their body language. Their range of positions leave lots of room for interpretation but I think that one appears to be gazing into the distance, perhaps in anticipation of what is to come, focused on this and not looking to see what the others are doing. Meanwhile the other two show further interaction, with one looking towards the other, apparently very interested in what she is doing and is concerned with, who is on her phone, showing further connection to the world around and not just this ‘waiting room’ and moment that they are in.

In my next set of photos I’ll consider initially having a plain background with wider space like I had first planned, rather than having to improvise the background using several photo references as I did in this piece, which I feel will be more successful and fit together better overall. My main problem with this development is that despite being my plan and idea, I feel that in the execution of the painting I have discovered that my inclusion of the room in this way and the larger door at the side, almost takes the focus away from my protagonists which is not what I wanted, the people being the most important element to this project.

The piece has made me consider whether the room and setting I created in this case was perhaps too mysterious and unable to place, which discussions with my tutors helped me to evaluate. It could be due to this placement of the large door and improvised space, however I had wanted to communicate this large white void of the unknown with has think does come through. This provoked me to consider whether it may have been better to have left the other objects in the background of the room, such as the piles of boards for easels, as this may have placed them somewhere, putting them in their present as students at art college, which could have helped add more character and suggested more about the personalities of the protagonists. This would create a different atmosphere inevitably.

I did like the composition of the subjects in my photographs and still feel that the range of positions was a successful element to my painting. Talking with my tutor allowed me gain a further perspective on my development work and I think really helped me to evaluate the work myself, through discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this first painting, visualising my ideas, which I will now consider when moving on to my next set of photographs and plans for my final piece.

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