I used this image of the interior of Kirbuster farm museum in Orkney as my 'beginning' because I felt that it had a lot of possibilities for abstraction. I took it with my camera phone on an open day at the museum when the peat fire was lit which added to the wonderful atmosphere there on the day. I like the photo because there are a lot of different shapes, textures and tonal qualities within the image that I felt would help me create the final artworks. I particularly like the sweeping form of the straw rope which hangs from the roof and the sunlight shining through the open flag stones above which along with the smoke from the fire created lots of dark and light shade.
Taking a large A2 sheet of white cartridge paper I began by drawing the picture in a fairly realistic way using soft pastels, taking care to leave the paper white for the white areas and using lighter colours of pastels for the light tones in the picture. I then gradually built up the colour and shade with other colours, rubbing the pastels together with my finger and using a putty rubber to lift out any areas that I felt were turning too dark. I didn't over do the image and I stopped when I felt I had enough form and colour laid down.
I then turned my board/drawing upside down and I discarded the photograph, never to be looked at again! and I started to work into the image again, building up the colours and tones along with shapes, taking time to continually stand back and half close my eyes to enable me to see the image more tonally in lights and darks. See image below.
Now I took several close up photos of parts of the drawing, all the time looking for interesting shapes, colours and textures that I could utilise in further work. Here are a few of the images below, altogether I took fifteen. These images are the starting point for my abstract paintings.
Watch out for the next blog explaining how I continue to create the finished artwork!