Sunday, 16 September 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Pastel on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, 19 x 27 inches

I was trying to think of a snappy title for this one...morning read, good read, lost in a book, etc., but none had the snappiness I was looking for...then I hit it...Fifty Shades of Grey, borrowing the title of the novel in vogue that has captured a lot of women's hearts currently.  Is that the book she's reading, is it a nod to the silky underwear she's wearing, or to all the subtle pastel shades of grey in the bed linen and cushions?  Clever eh?  

As far as the painting is concerned, I felt the composition would suit the softness of Pastel and I enjoyed crafting all the folds of material radiating around the model and on her silky top, and then concentrating on the subtle twists and turns of flesh colour of the model herself.  There's no short cut to getting the colours and tones of the human form right.  It's a patient trial and error, placing each stroke and slab of colour down, then comparing it to the colour and tone immediately surrounding it and the colour and tone surrounding that, and so on.  That's why you must never concentrate too long on one part of the painting, because if you isolate one part, then place the background next to it, the passage you've just spent valuable time on and are happy with, will immediately change.  It's all about comparing and balancing, until you reach the whole.  Have you got the subtle nuances of colour and tone right?  And with a relatively big painting like this, I always paint standing up, so that I can constantly keep stepping back, squinting and assessing.  If you sit down and never step back, you're too close to see the whole, and it's odds on that you will have made several errors of drawing and colour that you just can't see so close to the painting.  

Why I hand out these tips so freely without monetary recompense is beyond me.  Sometimes I'm just TOO nice for my own good.  If this rambling has touched you, please send cheques made payable to Peter Barker, at.......

14 comments:

  1. Stunning painting Peter.
    I like the sense of old decor and modern clothing. I haven't read the book, but all the ladies it seems are very knowledgeable of its content.
    Regards

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    1. Cheers, thanks a lot Trevor. I don't think the book's for our delicate sensitivities....

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  2. Beautiful painting and if I had money I would send bucketfuls for your musings, which always remind me of stuff I know but forget at the most significant times!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Sharon, that's very sweet of you! I find it quite cathartic too, to write down and remember what I should always be doing, but sometimes forget!

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  3. Not ALL women Peter, I haven't read it and have no interest in it either (I'm told by a friend who has read all three, that they are shockingly badly written with errors all over the place).....but I do like your latest, very beautifully done....good title too :-)

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    1. Fair point Bev - I'll alter my prose acccordingly! Thanks for the compliment!

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  4. Peter you are very nice and your tips are a treasure to a novice like me. Another wonderful painting . Ve

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    1. Thanks very much Ve - I'm glad my ramblings are of some use!

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  5. As I have said elsewhere, you mastery of pastel is both impressive and inspiring. Truly stunning work, Peter.

    Terry

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    1. Thank you terry, you're very kind - I can't play the guitar like you though!

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  6. Peter, there are days when even I can't play the guitar like me! As I often say: "I'd give my right arm to play guitar like Eric Clapton."

    Terry

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    1. Ha ha - you wouldn't be a lot of good without your right arm though Terry!

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  7. True but it's quite a subtle comment to make, don't you think? I sometimes drop the comment in during a conversation and watch peoples' reaction - doesn't click with everyone, I have noted.

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  8. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.i cant wait for releasing date of Fifty Shades

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