Colour, tone and division: thinking visually about painting with Matthew Collings

West Dean Studio 1


I’ve had an excellent week at West Dean College on Matthew Collings’ course ‘Colour, tone and division: thinking visually about painting’
I felt quite challenged to be working with the figure, which is not my usual territory. Making the exercises 3 minute or 6 minute drawings was helpful because you have to grab the essence of the person visually and find a fast way of expressing it.

3 minute drawing Judy


3 minute drawing Judy


3 minute drawing Judy


Restraint was very much the mood of the week, with only line being allowed for some drawings and then only a rubber on pre-charcoaled paper, for example. When it came to paintings, we were only allowed 3 colours and white. I chose yellow ochre for one of my first colours as I find the colour difficult to work with. It seemed like a good opportunity to try it out again, with the knowledge that help was around.
This was my final painting, expressing how alone the artist actually is in front of their work amidst the mess that surrounds the making process.