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SKETCHING

AS A SOURCE OF IDEAS FOR A PAINTING


#1 My Turnerisms
by
Jon Dyouse
S!e"#in$
In this brief note I will be attempting to answer the question, Where do I get my
ideas from for paintings? This is a question, which is often asked of me when
colleagues see me painting without any pictorial reference in front of me. ost of my
artist friends usually paint from photographs or similar material.
I ha!e already posted se!eral articles in the past on !arious on"line sites, but I am
intending to pull the series together and publish it in one place. This will be the first
but more are planned in the near future.
Taking my lead from a !enerable #nglish artist, here is one technique I use. $y
sketching !ery loosely %either from a real scene or from imagination& and ha!ing fun
without needing to consider any details at all, I get many ideas which I can de!elop
into complete paintings.
'ere, I am going to share what I call my Turnerisms.
Turner was reputed to sketch many beginnings for paintings, indeed there are large
collections which you can see by searching for the term on the internet. I find that
when I am stuck for ideas there is nothing better than (ust seeing what comes your
way. Take a brush and paint %or whate!er medium you are happy with and allow
yourself permission to simply add colours and shapes to the paper and to build up, in
my case, something which looks like a landscape. 'a!e fun, and let yourself go.
)
Here I so% & r&n'om se(e#"ion o) my )ree
s!e"#es* or Turnerisms+
*+ ,unset %this scene could easily be the -akes.&
.lthough there is no water apparent in the scene, it reminds me of a sunset in the -ake
/istrict in the 01. aybe this is because of a familiarity with the location, well I
ha!e been there once but ha!e seen numerous pictures of the 2ational 3ark.
It also features one of my fa!ourite themes in my art, namely sunsets. It can be
ama4ing how much a series of hori4ontal shapes can be seen by the !iewer as a
landscape.
If I wanted to I could use this sketch as is to paint a more detailed image, borrowing
details from elsewhere of e!en from my imagination. .fter all it is my painting and I
can make it look like any place " or places " that I want to, there is no limit to what I
can do in the painting.
5
* ), #arly morning in a similar location
'ere is a !ery similar sketch to number one. This howe!er is e!en simpler and less
detailed. Without really being aware of what I had in mind when I painted this, I
guess I was simply playing with the skies. These were of course done in watercolour
and they appears to be on fairly lightweight cartridge paper.
* 5, . storm brewing o!er a headland
.gain the sky is really the sub(ect of this sketch, but of course we now ha!e a body of
water in the foreground
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* 6, ,unset 7 ,eascape
.nother sunset, it ne!er ceases to ama4e me that you can paint do4ens if not hundreds
of sunsets without repeating yourself. There must be one which is (ust right for
carrying forward into a finished painting. 2ote the sun8moon, which is reflected in the
water.
This is a !ery similar headland to sketch number three, with a different sky. ,o many
permutations are possible, how could anyone run out of ideas?
Does "is "e#ni,ue $i-e you &ny i'e&s.
I always en(oy doing these !ery quick, !ery loose sketches. If I was honest, I ha!e to
say that putting in a lot of detail to make a finished work tends to take away my
interest in the sub(ect. If I ha!e a style it is impressionistic, loose, colourful. I en(oy
being liberated.
I do appreciate and en(oy detailed paintings from other artists but whereas my
colleagues often bring back the same painting to the art group week after week. I like
to finish a work quickly, and mo!e on to something else. I could ne!er be called a
perfectionist.
9
One (&s" e/&m0(e* %i" & 'i))eren#e
-ast week my art group held an e!ening painting session at 1nowle -ocks %a local
canal site& but we were interrupted by rain after about 5: minutes. With no where to
shelter, we headed back to the warm and dry meeting hall.
I idly sketched a !iew across the fields from the canal basin from the information I
had in my sketch book. .s an afterthought, almost to use up the colour I had squee4ed
from the tubes, I decided to paint another picture. It !ery quickly turned into an
abstract without a clear idea of what the end result would be, this is how it turned out;
I had recently been on holiday near ,tonehenge, so that is ob!iously where the blueish
structures came from. The lower right corner could ha!e been referencing water,
maybe a ri!er or e!en the canal< but the smaller shapes had no ob!ious source until a
colleague looking o!er my shoulder called them sheep and referred to the piece of
music, =ay ,heep ,afely >ra4e=. I took up his thoughts and added =legs= to those in
the foreground. .s far as I was concerned, that was a happy accident and a the sketch
was completed.
,hapes in the background were considered to be a line of trees.
$TW the colourful central area was a result of the first thoughts that were placed on
the paper. I ha!e no intention of trying to impro!e this by taking those pink splodges
away. aybe they were a tree in flower, or similar, I had let my subconscious guide
my brush to make those marks. 'owe!er they were not taken up as a main element of
the painting but so what " it all represents a stream of thought.
,o is it art? It is me en(oying myself certainly? @or me that is enough.
1&"# ou" )or )ur"er i'e&s )or s!e"#in$ )rom "e im&$in&"ion2
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