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The Orange Tree - Form and Space


The Orange Tree - Form and Space
73 cm (w) x 53 cm (h), pastels and charcoal on acid-free paper.

This was produced mainly on-site. With this piece, I tried to produce a strong expression of the tree’s forms, using all of the line work, the tones, and the colours used. Local colours are largely ignored. The colouring used is an exaggerated aerial perspective, where surfaces that are close to me are made more orange (to bring them forward), and surfaces that are more distant are made more blue (to send them back further). I have also tried to indicate the air that surrounds the forms using pale blues around the forms.

I have applied these same principles of colour to the ‘forms’ within the canopy, but kept its tone dark, to help enclose the scene - as it feels in reality.

Contour lines indicate the cross-sectional shapes of the forms, the orientation of surfaces to the viewer, and set up ‘rhythms of flow’ within the depictions of forms. These lines are ‘felt’ from looking at the real forms and are considered by me to be extremely important for the accurate expression of the forms experienced. Even though Moreton Bay Fig trees have a texture in their bark that often provides rings around their forms, there are many places where those natural rings are not what is required for the expression of the forms, especially at junctions. The contour lines need to be drawn with high accuracy, and with quite a bit of experimentation. The end result is felt, to see if it expresses the forms closely to the way they ‘feel’ in reality.

This drawing took more than 3 and a half months to complete, working for most of that time directly from the tree. It was done over a period of more than a year, in several groups of sessions. I worked on getting the piece finished late last year before moving from North Adelaide. The overall tone was darkened a little, and the colour work refined. I put in about 8 days of work in mid May 2007, back in my studio (away from the tree), cleaning up parts of the whole drawing.

I am very happy with this piece. It is a reconstruction of the scene that was experienced, into a new 2-dimensional image. There was a lot of extremely accurate observation and line work required in the accurate expression of the forms encountered. The colours and tones are based on how the forms were felt rather than on a ‘photographic’ description. I am confident that I have achieved an accurate depiction that contains a good level of the vitality felt when one experiences such a magnificent natural form.

 

 

 

Detail 1:

The Orange Tree - Form and Space - Detail 1

 

 

 

 

Detail 2:

The Orange Tree - Form and Space - Detail 2

 

 

 

 

Detail 3:

The Orange Tree - Form and Space - Detail 3

 

 


 

Another related artwork:

 

Forms and Space Expressed Using Colour 1


Forms and Space Expressed Using Colour 1
53 cm (w) x 73 cm (h), pastels on acid-free paper.
Date produced: October 2007

This piece is related to my “Microcosm” project (concentrating two years’ work on one Moreton Bay Fig tree), because it was produced from the same tree used in that project. However, this piece was produced during 2007 and 2008, rather than during the two years of that project (2005-2006).

With this piece, I am attempting to express the forms and space experienced, using mainly colour and tone. Surfaces that are close to me are made more orange, and those that are further away are made more blue. I have tried to indicate the air that surrounds the forms using blues. I found that the overall tone was very important for the expression of the subject.

This piece was produced mainly on-site (directly from the subject - by far, the best way to study the subject), but also partly in my studio from a ‘black and white’ 3-D photograph that I had taken especially for working on this drawing away from the tree.

I tried to work quickly, focusing on the main ideas of this image. I developed an image I was quite happy with and then looked at refining that image further, to improve on what had already been achieved. Considerable experimentation took place with colours and tones, ‘feeling the results’ as I worked; “Could I get this section to feel like it was in front of that other section”, etc. Being at the tree, there’s a constant stream of stimuli, (such as birds calling out from various locations in the canopy, or the wind gently moving the leaves and boughs of the tree) that makes the whole experience real and enjoyable. Producing this type of image requires an exploration of the world around, as well as an exploration of my inner-self.

This piece was a finalist in the 2008 Heysen Prize for Interpretation of Place.

 

 

 

Detail 1:

Forms and Space Expressed Using Colour 1 - Detail 1

 

 

 

 

Detail 2:

Forms and Space Expressed Using Colour 1 - Detail 2

 

 

 

 

Detail 3:

Forms and Space Expressed Using Colour 1 - Detail 3

 

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Neil Huggett's Gallery - One Moreton Bay Fig Tree Project
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