I've started off my project by choosing what subject or theme I would base my project around. Knowing I wanted to paint people, I eventually decided on 'Family' after a mind map on 'People' as I felt most inspired by this. Choosing family allows me to express emotions of the people I am most close to which I hope will add to the general feel of my work. With a wide selection of family photographs available to me I believe this is a wise choice.
Looking through family photos I chose to sketch a picture of my mother and father in the style of Kathe Kollwitz. At the time this photo was taken my parents had just met and there is not much sign of affection, there is no body contact or eye contact between the two. I felt this was a great starting point to show the journey and development of family relations through time.
Using a picture of my mother and father after they had been married. You can see that they are in love as my father is holding my mother with so much care and admiration and my mother looks like she has complete trust and devotion toward my father, they both look very relaxed. On my visit to New Walk museum Kathe Kollwitz’s work caught my eye. Her use of media such as charcoal and effect created by contrast using very dark tones and light tones, along with her bold mark making inspired me. Using Kathe Kollwitz as my artist inspiration I have developed a pencil drawing which I feel bares many similarities to Kollwitz's work, with the extreme darks and lights in her drawings. I am happy with how my story is developing but so far I have only used different grades of pencil for each picture. I want to bring another type of media into this.
My next piece of work I feel was out of place. It is an oil painting (using pencil as well) of Salvador Dali's 'The Dream', 1931. It bears no relation to family but I was aiming to learn from Dali to develop my skills in blending and brush mark making by copying Dali's painting as I truly admire the way Dali works with oils and wanted to incorporate this into my own work onto skin tones and textures of my family. Similarly, the next painting (a copy of Caravaggio’s work) which I painted around the same time does not really connect to my theme 'Family' but I felt it really helped me developing my blending techniques and in this painting I particularly like the way I painted the hair and I may use this technique again, later on in my project. I feel that, actually, both of these have helped me a lot.
The next day, keeping in mind my faults from the day before, I set off looking for a painting including a mother and child. I first came across a beautiful drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci of a lady with the most serene, motherly expression on her face. I really enjoyed using longer, more fluid brush marks for this piece and the lady's pose has got me thinking about possible poses and layouts for my future work. Next, I found 'Madonna of the Yarnwind' by Leonardo da Vinci. Madonna is holding the child carefully and looks so content though the child seems to take the spotlight; I felt this showed a great motherly connection. Carrying on my pencil drawings in the style of Kollwitz I have drawn this. I have also zoomed in on the child for an oil painting which I do not feel was as successful as my other pieces due to my selected colours, proportions and brush mark technique but still has a place in my project. I feel this relates to my chosen subject perfectly and I can feel myself finding my niche in mother and child relationships.
Getting More Personal
Wanting to use another type of media I began to experiment with oil pastels, looking at a picture of my mother grasping onto my newly born older brother, before I was born. I am really happy with this drawing and I feel this is a real milestone in my journal. You can see a great connection between my mother and brother, the need to protect coming from my mother and the