Sunday, August 11, 2019

Painting Norse Mythology

And here are the pictures from Ghent, New York!

I so love painting with Gail McManus and I highly recommend her workshops if you're interested in Gerard Wagner, with whom she studied in Dornach. In this style, EVERY painting is painted as a color story, regardless of whether it has form. The form arises from the living interaction between the colors.

The Individuality of Colour:
Contributions to a Methodical Schooling in Colour Experience

I will try to show some of the stages of each painting and I have notes. But the important thing is to look at the painting in front of you, not to follow step by step what someone else did in their own painting. The concentrated paints we had to use were lemon yellow, vermillion, carmine red, mauve, ultramarine blue, and prussian blue. She had us mix everything else.

dishes of dry concentrated paint are stored below
above you find:
small dishes for mixing colors
eyedropper with clear water for mixing colors
test paper for testing colors
paintbrush and rinse water jar

If you missed them, here are the notes from the last workshop I did with Gail, which was in 2016. That time I was preparing for the 3rd grade Old Testament Stories block. Some of those OT paintings could actually be used in the Norse Mythology block as well, like the day 4 Sun/Moon (in Norse, this would come at the beginning when they're talking about the wolves chasing the horses and chariots across the sky) and the day 3 Water/Land/Plants (in Norse, this would come at the end when the Earth is reborn after Ragnarok).

a new Earth
painted by my classmate

I did only three paintings during this four day workshop.  The first was the dwarves at the forge making the gifts (this is the brothers Ivaldi, who made Sif's golden hair, Gungnir, and Skidbladnir).  The second was the jotun Tjasse as an eagle carrying Loki away with his hands stuck to the stick.  The third was Muspelheim and Niflheim and Ginungagap... and this then gradually morphed into Yggdrasil, the World Tree.  Click on each photo to enlarge it.

You will be able to see from my notes why these paintings take a day or more to complete.  With children you would not do them so detailed, revisiting and strengthening colors over and over to bring the painting into balance so that no one portion predominates, but as an adult you have to work it through thoroughly on your own in preparation for the teaching of it.

a wash of violet
lemon yellow circle in center of violet

mix earthy brown (pale) with lemon yellow and violet
place brown at bottom
mix black with prussian and vermillion
paint black logs in fire
black cinders in brown ground
vermillion flames rising into the circle from logs
vermillion sparks in brown ground

two gnomes in profile with ultramarine
go over hat, coat, pants, boots again in ultramarine
add a bit of blue into the brown

mix orange and a warm yellow with lemon and vermillion
orange breathing out from fire
warm yellow breathing out from orange
a little vermillion into the dwarves
lemon yellow again into the sky, into ground under their feet

bring violet again
strengthen black - the fire has used up all of its fuel

red patches in purple background
walls of the cave, patches on the floor

add bellows in brown
strengthen violet in cave walls

where the red is stronger than the violet,
it is not invited in
where the red is weaker than the violet,
it is invited in

strengthen lemon yellow around them,
under their feet, into the violet

"It's primarily a color exercise.  If you're just going to 
illustrate it you could use crayons."

strengthen vermillion
under fire is not in balance with the rest of the painting
strengthen blue, brown, purple, yellow
add pale violet smoke into the yellow

bring more yellow onto the midground of the cave walls

the finished painting

ready for the next one!

a wash of ultramarine blue
mix a grayish ultramarine by adding a bit of black

rocky mountains not too high

mix broken blue with ultramarine to form a color
that can lift into the air

the eagle
thin brush for claws

thin brush for brown branch
not too dark, not too formed
(mine is both too dark and too formed)

weaker brown patches in mountains

using a dry brush to scrub some of the extra color
off that stick and mute it

can you see where I changed my mind about his tail
and the far left mountains

the things that you don't like, you just don't strengthen

vermillion Loki hanging from the branch

strengthen Loki
pale ultramarine air in sky
around and into bird
around and into mountains

gradually some air as strong as the other parts
of the painting

pull blue in the sky together in some places
to let the light show through

mix paler ultramarine for a breathing out
of the darker parts

vermillion in the sky
ultramarine in the sky pulling together, breathing out
strengthen mountains
strengthen Loki
vermillion patches in the sky and a bit in the bird

lemon yellow not too strong
in light patches in the sky

lemon in mountains, in the red areas a bit
making a bit of orange, green
go back to grayish blue
strengthen dark patches in the sky
a bit in the bird, mountains, Loki
yellow brighter around Loki

final painting
Muspelheim / Niflheim
vermillion and prussian blue

she does this as a series of three paintings
Muspelheim / Niflheim / Guningagap
Muspelheim / Niflheim / Ymir arises
Muspelheim / Niflheim / Yggdrasil arises

bring them towards each other

and a litlte bit into each other like a battle

red reaches into blue
blue reaches into red

to bring this into a painting of Yggdrasil,
let the red reaching and the blue reaching
begin to form branches and roots and a trunk

golden yellow into the ground
strong warm yellow growth around tree

violet in blue background
carmine in red background
violet into the carmine
carmine strengthen and into the prussian
strengthen prussian
lemon yellow into the green

I ran out of time to finish this one... you can see it's not in balance yet as much as the others.

My Portfolio

I'm adding the links to all of these paintings to my Norse Mythology page as well as my Norse Mythology Ruzuku course.

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