Hazel Soan’s exercise

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Hazel Soan’s exercise

Attempting Hazel’s exercise from the August issue of “The Artist" magazine

If you haven’t seen the magazine yet, Hazel’s exercise was to paint two similar subjects using three colours - brown, yellow and blue - but switching the temperature bias by using warm blue/cool yellow in one painting, cool blue/warm yellow in the other. I had a go this morning, and really would encourage people to try it; I think I’m a fairly experienced artist by now but I was surprised at what happened. I used two of my photographs of sanderlings - small wading shorebirds - taken at the same time in the same conditions: light cloud so fairly neutral but clear. I used Winsor blue, light red and yellow ochre (cool blue/warm yellow) for one, French ultramarine, light red and aureolin (warm blue/cool yellow) for the other. They’re quick, loose paintings and neither of great artistic merit, (apologies that the collage didn’t work to well, but you’ll get the idea) but the difference in atmosphere is quite striking: the ‘cool blue’ painting has created a calm, sunny feeling, while the ‘warm blue’ has come out much more stormy and dramatic. Perhaps I was subconsciously influenced by the poses of the birds and would have got different results if I’d swapped the colours….maybe that’d be an experiment for another day. Please do have a go , it’s fun and a good learning exercise. Thanks Hazel!


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