100 days of chiaroscuro
I’ve decided to give the #100dayproject a go this year. Normally I think I would shy away from committing to doing anything for 100 days straight, but these are not normal times and I’m curious to see if I can stick at it.
Chiaroscuro, an Italian word translating literally as light dark, is a feature of much of the art I admire from the 16th and 17th centuries and in contemporary art I like too.It’s always something I’ve employed in my own work but I’ve never really studied it in any structured way. The use of light and shade in artwork to convey emotion, drama, form and emphasis seemed to be a topic I wouldn’t bore myself with and could really help me develop new work, so after about 30 minutes of thought this is the project I’ve settled on!
I set myself this brief:
Aims: To commit to a daily creative habit, to research and understand its use in art, to improve and develop my work through its study
Limits: work for about 15 mins, any format but take a square photo, make studies not ‘pictures’, can be any 2d medium I like
Share: Instagram carousel and Facebook album on a Sunday, 1 tweet per week, 1 blog a month (I might do this more often)
Knowing that the best way to establish a habit is to make it really easy and small, I collected all the materials I might need to get started in a box and taped a recording sheet on top so I can tick off the days. This now lives on my desk, so it’s always in view to remind me to do it. That’s the intention at least, we’ll see how long that lasts…
Day 1 from Rembrandt’s ‘Bearded old man’, charcoal pencil on paper
Day 2 from a photograph of a Paleolithic figure of a woman, graphite on paper
Day 3 from my own photograph of an ancient beech, oil on card
Day 4 from a photograph of Henry Moore’s ‘Moon Head’, peirre noire pencil on paper
Day 5 from my own photograph of an ancient beech, oil on card
Day 6 from my own photograph of an ancient beech, oil on card
Day 7 from Michelangelo’s Nude figure, Sistine Chapel. Venetian red pencil and white pastel on paper
So far I’m really enjoying the project – the constraints are actually the thing that brings the joy, knowing the only decision I have to make is which of the 100s of images in my studio I’m going to draw is quite liberating!
If this has inspired you to consider your own project, here is more information on the now huge and international 100dayproject and if you want to follow my progress, I’d love you to join me for the journey over on Instagram
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