Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Back to the Brushes 140

The other night came to thinking about styles of painting and dragged out a memory of a Neoclassic painting by Jacques-Louis David

The Death of Marat

Can't recall the whole back story to this, something to do with post Revolutionary France and waiting on the "knock" on the door and Marat decided not to face Madame Guillotine. For a dark subject matter found this picture very peaceful with a strong sense of purpose/principle to it, 

Always liked the use of darkness in this picture, makes the other colours more vibrant and clearer.

This picture got me looking at how I paint miniatures or wee men as they are often called. David in his later life was a teacher too many painters and emphasised the contour in his teachings. In miniature painting the contour exists in the quality of the sculpting rather than the drawn line that David expressed in his teachings, both however are equally important and more so when colour is added. Whether layering, blending or blocking paint on a miniature the contours of the sculpt guide the painter in achieving the impression of tone and light on the miniature, in fact with some miniatures the quality of the sculpting is best seen once paint or undercoat has been applied. 

Next time you paint consider the not only the colours that you are using but the lines and contours the sculptor used to create the miniature you are painting before adding the paint. Perhaps that sense of peace and purpose I found in the picture above will be there too. 

I was asked by a friend the other day how many brushes are in the picture of the painting table, is it about fifty? The answer is 121 in varying states of use from virginal to well loved to totally fucked, with the oldest being approximately thirty-one years old and still serviceable. Shows you that if you look after somethings they will be there for a long time. 

Cheers for now


Jonathan Freitag said...

I have always liked that painting.

caveadsum1471 said...

It's a very powerful painting, as I understood it he was murdered in the bath and became a martyr for the revolution. I'm impressed by how many brushes you have and how old some are I tend to only use a few which I do get through and generally try to paint with the biggest brush I can!
Best Iain

roma912 said...

Thanks Iain, sort of knew bits of the story and didn't google the rest. Too many brushes as you can only ever use one at a time :)

Cheers, Ross