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16 Dec 2015

Arachnid Orchestra and Sketching Workshop at Gillman Barracks

I attended another workshop and exhibition at Gillman Barracks the other day. Unlike the previous workshop which focuses on acrylic painting, this time was on basic sketching.  

We have the privilege of having 2 instructors teaching us that day and it started off with a demo on how to breakdown (virtually) the body parts of the wooden figurine into different shapes. 

Its all about line drawing. Thick lines for the shadowy parts and thin line under the light. My friend and I were from design course in polytechnic and we easily got back the 'feel' of sketching we once had many years back. I was quite surprised that the auntie and her daughter who shared the same table as us could sketch rather well too! We definitely surprised our instructors!

The next exercise which was negative drawing was quite difficult for us since we were first timers. It was basically using white pencils on black paper. The shadows were to be represented by being shaded.

For the wooden man, we all drew the angle that was facing us resulting in such amazing series of men. Check out our combined drawings below!  

After our workshop session, we headed over to the Arachnid Orchestra Exhibit which was located at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. It was by Berlin based artist Tomas Saraceno. Situated at the intersection between art and science, Saraceno's artistic practice is an invitation to conceive alternative ways of knowledge, experience and interaction with others.

Plenty of research was done about these creatures and the exhibition was in a pitch black space lighted up by spotlights showcasing the art of nature itself. I would not want to go into details but feel free to admire these webs below.

Besides that, we were once again given a paper to draw these webs! It was really challenging since these webs proved to be a complicated mess of art.

We had to draw what we see and not what we knew. Concentration was a huge issue as once I looked down on my paper, I couldn't remember where I last stopped at.

I wasn't trying to draw lines this time. I was trying to draw textures. Many people just gave up or did not attempt to start at all. I tried my best at least before the time runs out.

It was a fun experience and I wouldn't mind joining more jamming sessions in future!

3 Dec 2015

ARNDT Tour and Acrylic Painting Workshop at Gillman Barracks

the cosmos is discos lust, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 180 × 480 cm (overall)

The sun must be desperately trying to melt me as I made my way to Gillman Barracks. It started off with a short tour conducted around the ARNDT gallery (Block 9), with the staff sharing with us about the background of Del Kathryn Barton whom was the artist of this solo exhibition.

Barton is considered one of the leading artists of her generation, who won the prestigious annual portrait competition the Archibald Portrait Prize twice. 

Her paintings were mainly female humanoid forms or portraits and she used architectural pens directly on her canvases, which meant that there were no rooms for mistakes.

Her paintings surged with vitality from the vibrant colours she used. Upon a closer look, there were many repetitive patterns which meant either you complete the work or give up on it. The latter definitely was not her option.

Last but not least, The Nightingale and the Rose, (2014) was Barton's animated short film which was a dark fairy tale of  unrequited love that premiered at the Berlin International Film festival this year.

Check out some pictures of Del Kathryn Barton's artwork I took at the gallery below.

wild carrot dream, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

inside another land 1-15, 2015
Archival print on cotton rag with acrylic paint
58.5 x 83, with border 69 x 83 cm each 

come ride with me, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

within my pleats, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

the highway is a disco, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 240 × 180 cm

(a portion of wild carrot dream)

After the tour, our group headed to block 9 for our acrylic painting workshop conducted by a painter.

We were all really eager and excited to get started since most of us were first timers and have not laid our hands on acrylic paint before. (Or even get dirtied by it.)

We were first briefed on the medium we were about to use which was acrylic paint, since the painter Del Kathryn Barton used it for her artworks.

We started off with the basic colours of red, yellow, blue, mixing them till we formed the colour wheel as shown below. (Black and white not part of the spectrum.)

We then learned the 6 common painting techniques and recreate them as shown within 15 minutes. It was a little rush in fact since the entire workshop including the tour was less than 3 hours.

The 6 techniques as follows (sample below):

-Dry Brush

Last but not least, each of us was given a 8 x 8 inch canvas to sketch and paint a portrait. Portraits of people has always been my nemesis and so not my thing to begin with, especially the face. I wasn't sure what was on my mind that day and I ended up painting a picture of an old man.

The real challenge was to input as many 'freshly learned' techniques as possible into our canvas.
My most obvious ones used were Impasto (beard), Sgraffito (hair) and Sfumato (background). It a was a hell load of fun painting and I experienced therapeutic moments and satisfaction!