Monday, May 17, 2010

Colored rice

A reader asked me;
"Interesting how you did the brushstrokes. I didn't quite understand when you were describing putting down each stroke of the same color near each other. Do you mean you didn't overlap them..so they would be separate grains of rice? For movement-the purpose?"

I mentioned this in passing a few days ago. I said that I laid the strokes separately from one another when I was doing this kind of impressionist painting. Now, a few may overlap but I try to keep most of them separate. If I have a brush loaded with a color, I try to place each of those colors discreetly, in a mark surrounded by first white canvas and then a different note. I describe these paintings as looking like they are made from colored rice. If you run the brush strokes together you lose the effect.

I am using optical mixing of the hues here. This is not really divisionist color like some of the French impressionist used, I am not putting down a blue note next to a yellow note to get my greens, but I am allowing the colors separately placed to assemble in the viewers eye. It gives a fluttering, lively and happy look. Below is a Childe Hassam from the athenaeum.com

Hassam and Metcalf, good friends, were the primary exponents of this kind of handling. I learned it from them. Do you see how the little highly colored strokes are placed? Here is a Hibbard doing a similar thing.

This painting is a little broader but the technique is the same.The rice grains are more planar and follow the form more, but the notes are laid side by side and separate from one another. Below is a lovely Hassam.This is also from the Athenaeum.org.

This should be a large file and if you click on it should give you good detail to examine his handling.

Here is a detail showing the separate marks he has made. If you were to pull the marks together the vibration would cease and it would be a tonal painting. If you add this method to your bag of tricks there are times when it will be extremely useful, even as an area with in a larger painting that is not handled in this way.

I am getting requests from readers to tell them where within this blog they can reread certain things they remember my saying. I can't find anything in it either. I may have to come up with a table of contents of some kind now, it is so huge that it is becoming impossible even for me to remember what is where. The archive descriptions have way to many posts. I am scratching my head for a solution to this and I will let you know when I figure one out.

Also I have a few slots open in the workshop at the Sunset Hill Inn. I talked to two people today and they were interested. I told them I could save them a year of screwing around. I believe I can......for you too. The information is here.

20 comments:

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Hi, Stape - Readers looking for certain posts can simply type in a few words in the search field at the top of the blog page. If they are clever about their choices, they'll probably find what they want. Hope this helps.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

For example, if they type in "rice," they'll see all the posts in which you talk about rice. Most of these have to do with brush strokes and not Uncle Ben's.

mariandioguardi.com said...

Good Morning Stapleton. The little strokes, brush marks, of rice here are very different from the square and broad brush work of many of your other works. The effect is very different and nearly looks like another hand. Would you be willing to discuss here your decision making process as to when ,what and why you consider changing up the brush work. I think the readers would find this interesting and give them a whole new dimension to consider while painting. I have noticed that the rice brush work shows up more in the summer and spring paintings heavy with lush atmosphere. Thanks.

Jo-Ann Sanborn said...

Thanks especially for the large file close-up, it really shows the brushstrokes well.

I've searched for past posts on your blog many times using the method Michael suggests. Mostly it works if you persevere.

Mary Bullock said...

I am one of the people that has been searching for a particular post in the archives. I just did what Michael suggested and found what I was looking for!! Thanks Michael!!

Scale said...

There's the search box at the top left of the blog main page for finding stuff, it searches the whole text of the posts so they can find anything with it. It doesn't search the comments, but Google can search the comments too (except it will not see the most recent ones). They just need to enter this in the Google search box:

site:stapletonkearns.blogspot.com XXXXX

where XXXXX are the keywords they want to search.

barbara b. land of boz said...

I not sure I would have the patience to do this all over a painting. However for a small area
to give an extra punch to my painting I will try it out. I figure if i don't try some of the "tricks in my bag" (that I have learned from you) I am wasting
my time reading this blog.

I'm in Corpus Christi painting some breakers. Just using a few of the "tricks" I have learned.
Thank you Stapleton for the time you spend on this blog.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Michael:
I should have mentioned that. It is only so good though. It takes some persistence because of the amount of material on the blog.
................Stape

Deb said...

There's a lovely fluttery feeling from this treatment.. perfect for spring foliage, which I find extremely difficult. I might have to try it.

what's wrong with Uncle Ben's?

the verification word is: "Tofula"
Noun: toe FUL uh. Real meat disguised as tofu.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Michael:
I typed in Rice and came up with a sordid affair involving Gary Hart and Donna Rice.I can't even remember writing about that.
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian:
That is the answer, the rice like brushstroke handles leaves and grass and field subjects very well. I often return to it in the spring and summer.
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jo-Ann;
Did you find the one on Donna?
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary;
Good, I should have suggested that myself!
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Scale:
When I search for XXXX I keep getting Donna Rice there too.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Barbara:
Thank you. I wish I were down there painting those breakers with you.
...............Stape

Gregory Becker said...

With this kind of handling I'm seeing that value distribution is closely related to this technique.
What I mean is on a ten value scale; 2 brushstrokes of a #3 value plus 2 brushstrokes of a #5 value equals an overall #4 value. Is this a safe way to look at it?

Ginger said...

Hi Stape, I didn't want to bother you again with my request for help finding your entry on painting over old panels. However I bothered everyone else. Willek found it for me by using by using the search field. I hadn't been thorough enough to read into the comments - it was in an answer to a question from Mick.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deb:
Its actually pretty easy, just keep your strokes separated.
..Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gregory:
I don't think about it that way. I lay my values the same as if I were working tonally, but I suppose some of that goes on.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Ginger:
Good, I knew it was in there somewhere, but I didn't have a clue where. I need to install a table of contents or an index page,although I don't know when I will find the time.I am maxed out.
..............Stape