Monday, 9 June 2014

The Wet Ballerina

So, still trying hard with my wet in wet and have had a desire to paint a ballerina as I feel this method really lends itself to that subject and of course there are some wonderful Chinese painters who do some superb ballerina studies and who I am guessing also use this method (not that this is remotely like theirs!!)

This image is loosely taken from a photo by Bronwyn Chelius on PMP and I loved the compostion and unusual position of the ballerina... I did try this without drawing and though it was close, the paper had had enough!! Here is the first attempt..... one or two at the all day workshop at Sunshine House preferred this to the second piece, so who knows!!! Used mainly Prussian Blue add Aliz Crimson on this


The next one had a few pencil lines to give me a bit more guidance....I wanted to use some soft colours so experimented with my planets and used

Alizarin Crimson
Raw sienna

I did add some burnt sienna at the start but didn't like how that was looking and in the end used mainly Aliz Crimson and UB adding a touch of raw sienna for the skin areas. Again this was just an experiment (all my paintings start as experiments and if they turn out great and if not it was just an experiment!!) but I like it even though that wonderful husband of mine asked the dreaded question "What is it?!?!?" Arrgghhhh. Then he said "Ahh it's a flower!" I didn't have the inclination to continue this guessing game any further so irritably pointed out the head to which he said "Oh yes can see it all now... hmm parts of it are very good!!!" What would I do without him?!?!

I think both these pieces have their good points and certainly the first has an added freedom the second doesn't have. It is difficult trying to make sure the drawing is good enough all the time making sure the paint is moving and flowing and of course this wasn't an easy angle to start with!! Obviously the second piece is a better drawing and as such is tighter, I do like the hair and the intensity of colour and darks around her head... would be interested to hear which you prefer?


  1. The second piece is my favorite. The colors are more interesting and lively and there is still a lot of looseness about the piece. There is more of a light source in the second painting with a glow on the hair which makes it stand out more. Sometimes it's good to have a second go.

  2. Thanks of the comments I had at the workshop was that the first was from the heart, the second I think she thought was a bit more contrived/controlled, which of course it is. I agree about having a second go at things, I seem to actually learn from the first now, whereas at one time everything was hit and miss!! I often do several practices now especially if I am going to demonstrate something or do a step by step, it helps me understand how I am going to get things across and what order to paint in.

  3. Dear Judith - both pieces are wonderful. Think my preference is the last one...just a wee bit more color perhaps and possibly more definition. Of course it is all in the eyes of the beholder. Thank you for sharing - always enjoy seeing your work.

  4. Wow, just beautiful. I love the way you've implied action.

  5. I love both Judith - but I agree with Jean that the shining light in the hair brings it to life. I am trying to 'loosen up' with watercolour - not easy is it?


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