Using more expressive colour

Using more expressive colour - student project

I'm a self-taught painter and have been trying to break out of the representational style of art.. and learning from art history was the perfect way to do that. I gravitated towards the common 'rebellions' around colour that cropped up during Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Fauvism:

  • painting the world as you see and feel it 
  • paint shadows using complementary colours
  • don’t colour mix, keep brushstrokes visible


Some background on my project first:

I loved the lessons in your other class on turning your ideas into art, and have been noticing the things that I'm obsessed with.. I grew up on the beaches of Australia, and so the more I dig into my passions I find I'm drawn to:

  • anything and everything to do with water; the ripples, reflections, colours, and shapes it makes, clouds, ice etc
  • the natural ochres of Australia; rich orange and red pigments
  • curious sea creatures; most of the ocean depths are still unexplored, who knows what alien creatures are living down there! 

(side note: If you're not already a fan of the weird and wonderful animals that live in our oceans, then you will be after you watch this-  Deep Ocean: Lights in the Abyss . Bioluminescent jellyfish!)


So I'm mulling on this idea at the moment of 'alien earth'- there are so many strange, bizarre and fascinating plants and creatures on this planet that are often overlooked. We have little aliens living amongst us! 

With that in mind, I painted a quick mini painting that reminded me of watching a summer storm roll in, and some close ups of rocks in my local river. I used a palette that is Australian but could also feel like a Mars landscape. It's still very representational, but I'm planning on continuing this theme/palette and applying it to animals and plants, and seeing where this leads.





I visited a butterfly sanctuary recently, and was inspired by the incredible chrysalis and metamorphosis stages I saw. Looking forward to painting them in this palette. 



Ref pics: (come visit Australia, add Mossman gorge to your bucket list!)