Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some more Research into Colour

The sky is the essence of a landscape painting, it is the guide, and the road I must follow to convey feeling and emotion. The sky is the mirror of the artist’s emotions, in the same way that the weather affects our moods and behaviours. The sky’s attitude, in conjunction with colours, is most of the time enough to convey the starter emotion in a painting. The sky defines the painting, especially when water is involved in the opposed half. I intend to show water in two of my pieces, and the water will reflect the general colour guide lines of the sky.

I want weather to dominate the painting, to be the soul of Malone, to reflect his urges, his fears, his hopes, etc. He is the final defining factor of my pieces, yet how can a specific weather be linked with a specific set of emotions and still be objective? It cannot, which is why I will base my knowledge on my own reactions to weather, time of day and in general the light present in that moment. The illustrations that I am showing where done in less than 15 minutes, as I just used them to try and set some of the final colours and see if they work together.

For the moment I have three different metrological settings I want to work with. The first is related to the forest scene. It will be a mild weather, with a bright sunlight, sparks of purple and orange specking it, as dusk is not far off. This kind of weather is quit neutral to me, yet with a tinge of excitement and expectation awaiting on the horizon, hence the Tepui seen in the distance and the excitement of the expedition. The reason why I am not going for all out excitement is because a few factors influence the negative side of the excitement, for as with everything, emotions have too sides, or else balance would be lost. The excitement of Challenger is countered by the scepticism of Summerlee and the slight fearful apprehension of Malone. This is still a positive scene, with high hopes and glory awaiting the expedition. The light of the sky will be countered by the deep shades of the trees, reflecting my happiness when the sun is out and yet I can lie under a tree and hear the birds sing. I think this is probably going to be the most traditional piece of all three, not as dramatic as the other two.

The second piece will be the moment Malone arrives at the lake and notices the fires present in the caves in front of him. His excitement is tangible, as he finally feels worthy enough, having done something alone, and possessing information that would be highly approved by the others. Yellow represents rashness and extreme excitement, and it will be the last highlight, that strong contrast that will show is all consuming ecstasy. Its harsh lines will portray his rashness of coming to the lake, and the red that dark and oh so human emotion of self-aggrandising satisfaction of being superior in some aspects to other members of your social clique. I am oscillating between the morning and sunset, though I believe the morning is brighter and a better precursor to bright light. Purple will be the balance, serving to show, through the initial red, the true failure of his soul. He is rash, and always looking for the approval of others, yet he does it in a quest of self-fulfilment. He is highly ego-centric in my opinion, though it is a deeper trait of character, present in most humans. Wind will be blowing, the yellow light giving the impression that he is being burned, by his own will to succeed and by the intense emotions he is experiencing.

The third and final piece will be the momentous peak of emotions and weather yet experienced by the viewer. I will mix in some of his later emotions especially those present during his interaction with the carnivorous dinosaur. The amazing excitement is partly replaced by bold ambition and extreme fear, their mingling creating a maelstrom of colour, dramatic and theatrical, with a central figure implied in its vortex of emotions, the majestic deer. The deer represents nobility and in Celtic legends the preservation of nature. He represents independence, purification and pride, a stark contrast to Malone’s failing soul. An interesting fact is that Celtic tribes and Native American tribes prayed to the spirits of the Stag to help them in their hunt. Malone sees the deer and then finds himself being hunted. What really comes out of the imagery of the Deer in my opinion is majesty and a protection of nature’s sacred areas. The Lost World was not meant to be found, its harmony and balance perfect before the Europeans came and worked their art of destruction. A fitting metaphor for the time, with the Industrial Revolution well underway, but even more actual today, for reasons which I will not explore here as they are all known to us. Back to the colours of the piece, I picture grey, turquoise, beige, vermillion and other lesser colours for contrast and detail. The piece will show raw emotion and the contest of wills going on between Malone and the “spirit” of the Lost World. Closely related to this idea of spirits is the name given to the plateau by the native Indians, the Pemons. Tepui, which means “House of the Gods”.

I want to show a storm in action, though I have a feeling it looks more like a cave, so I will need much more conceptual work on that piece. This is the first drawing I do of it, so it doesn't have as much backup and research as the others.


tutorphil said...

Paul - these are very beautiful - I love their freedom - and those red parrots just set your jungle singing! I find these pieces very exciting - but hey, isn't there a dinosaur around somewhere? :-)

Paul Lemarquis said...

Ah!! but dinosaurs will make it look so... superficial and too fantastical. I might try and imply one or two, mainly on the red/orange piece.

tutorphil said...

Don't lose sight of your source, Paul - it's a balancing act; there is a danger of now creating 'generic' scenes - however beautiful - that are generic, not in terms of style, but rather in terms of content... You have been commissioned to create concept art for a new cg adaptation of The Lost World... there is a next step for you, Paul - I encourage you to take it - and move your work forwards - again!

Paul Lemarquis said...

Ok I'll do my best, these where colour study sketches anyway. Thanks for the feedback.