This is in response to tutor feedback on assignment 5.
I have been researching the work of David Bomberg in particular his charcoal sketches and his use of an eraser. I also have Turner’s dramatic skies and use of light in mind, having revisited his ‘Dolbadern Castle’.
Today is a rare stormy day here in Spain and I have been up on the terrace trying to catch a dramatic sky with charcoal and eraser. The wind turbines were added from my photographs afterwards. All in my A3 sketchbook with the pages divided into A4 and A5.
With #5 & 6 I was trying to convey the movement and slicing of the blades; the ‘whump’ as they turn. #1 I caught the sunlight coming down through the clouds and these turbines are actually in the distance from my terrace. I think it looks a little like a crucifixion scene. #2 I am pleased with the composition and sky, I think it describes the sheer scale of these machines. #3 shows the distant mountains well, and also it describes the rain in the sky, a wind cutting through. #4 I tried to portray the clouds around the blades: I am not sure this would work well in a colour study as the lower clouds tend to be more mist like.
I think I would use #2 to paint, this composition works best with the emphasis on the sky and the turbines. I would really work on that sky, using a lot of dark grey with some lighter colours breaking through; swirling the paint and maybe also showing some circular movement of the blades as in #5. The mountains beyond would blend into that sky, and just some detail on the hill in front; all very loose with a lot of dry brush strokes dragged in there as well.
Using charcoal worked well for these studies. I found a range of depth in just using black on white and it worked well to blend lightly with my finger and then lift with an eraser or darken with another swipe of the charcoal. It also enables one to work quickly and capture a sky as it is moving above you.
I have now decided that I would like to experiment using colour and so I tried some greys and pinks for the sky in my sketch book and then worked on a piece of A3 cardboard that I coated with 2 layers of white acrylic. A sponge worked well for blending the sky, which I used quite dry. I tried to keep it very like #2 and also to add in some of the movement from #4. I used a hb 6 pencil to straighten the turbines slightly as well. This blended it quite well. I brought some of the pink down into the hint of a town on the hill. With perspective, looking up more at the turbine, it gives a sense of the scale of the thing and the feeling of being slightly overwhelmed.
It was just a quick study but I can see how a more dramatic and dominant sky works well for this painting, giving it more drama and menace and movement. I think it perhaps better reflects my original intentions for this painting.