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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!

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