So I have been wanting to deal with transparency in my oil painting. But the problem I had was that I paint en plein air, in one short sitting, since my paintings are time and location based. In discussing this with Pip, she suggested painting outside in pure greyscale, and then adding colour onto the painting once I am back in the studio. I think this is a really exciting idea, that makes a lot of sense for the development of my work.
The idea reminds me of Gerhard Richter’s painting which I was looking at at the end of last term. I am reminded specifically of the painting Untitled (Stroke) [Ohne Titel (Strich)] 1968 (blog post on it here), which is a grey scale painting which I noticed appears as a sculptural entity due to contrast in paint texture and application.
This painting confirms that form, depth and dimension can be captured without the need for colour, when textural contrast is used.
Do I think that the paintings will lose something if I am not describing the colour of the scene around me when I am painting en plein air?
I think this will have to be answered once I have painting outside in greyscale. The colour of the scene I am capturing has always been an important element in my paintings, since I am describing the colours in the woods at the time of the year, at that time of day, with that weather etc.
Since I will be able to focus on the marks I am making on the canvas, the form and space in my paintings I expect to improve. Since I am juggling less elements I can refine my mark making.
The consequence of painting the colours and light of a landscape once I am back in the studio is something I will have to deal with.