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Painting with Words

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Tonight's painting technique is "painting with words",

using acrylic paint & gesso on canvas.

Taking inspiration from your pepeha and any special words

of significance that can be found within it.

Thought for the evening: 'Tis the season to remember those dearest to us, and who & where we came from.

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Warm-up exercises:

Music to Words: Take a moment to listen,

maybe shut down your eyes.

Don't worry if words overlap, this is a good thing.

Allow yourself to absorb the music around you

and write down any words that spring to mind. 

Let your pencil waft along the page,

sketch any shapes or symbols too, 

try to represent the music...

Drawing Words:  Let's take inspiration from you!

Drawing Different FontsTry Writing using 

different fonts ... how dOES it feel to write outside of your 

normal hand-writing.

*Tip: Try holding the pencil in different ways. E.g. hold it like you'd hold a spoon!

Artist Focus 

Colin McCahon (1919-1987)

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Colin McCahon  is not only considered NZ's most significant but also our most soulful & searchful of artists.  He was a painter obsessed by words. 

 

What fascinates in his many 'wordscapes' is the fact the words are usually not his own (despite being a wonderful writer) - many of his pieces include biblical passages presented creatively in strange new ways, which illustrates his questioning mind. 

 

McCahon painted words 'painterly' using many different writing styles, cursive, capitals & lower case, colourfully layering up the letters etc. 

Part 1:  FoNt-creative writing....
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  • Identify 4 unique writing styles from your warmup piece's:  

  • Start each letter where you'd normally finish it effectively writing bottom up, write back to front. However you interpret that.

  • Write/draw the following paragraph using these a mixture of different styles.

  • Don't write in lines, try writing your words into the shape of; a koru, a circle, a wave, a zigzag. 

  • REMEMBER Your writing doesn't have to be legible by anyone's standards...

  • Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese are written vertically in columns going from top to bottom and Arabic words and sentences are written and read from right to left.

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Part 2Symbols
  • Identify 4 words in your pepeha & develop a symbol for each one.

  E.g. "Waterfall"

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Part 3:  Painting Theory

Dominant Colour: for a painting to have harmony there must be one dominant colour ie. more than 50% of the painting.  

Contrasting colour:  using opposing colours on the colour wheel also helps achieve harmony.

Layering Up: paint up a background using gesso & paint (not too thick to help it dry quickly); overpaint this with painted words (symbols?) perhaps multiple times.

Painterly words: painting words is not like normal writing.  Mix up different fonts & styles, play with capitals & lower case, use different colours in a single letter...

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​Consider the Shane Cotton painting

below (left):

 

a. Can you identify the 2 contrasting colours?

b. Which is these is dominant?

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Part 3:  Paint the Background 
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Part 4:  Words

Painterly words: Painting with words is not like normal writing, AT ALL.

You quite literally giving your art a voice,

what from your story do you want to express? 

Mix up those fonts & styles, play with what capitals & lower case, use different colours in a single letter...

ANOTHER REMINDER: It doesn't need to be legible... 

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   More reminder's to get out of your head...

  • Start each letter where you'd normally finish it effectively writing bottom up, write back to front. However you interpret that.

  • Write/draw the following paragraph using these a mixture of different styles.

  • Don't write in lines, try writing your words into the shape of; a koru, a circle, a wave, a zigzag. 

  • REMEMBERYour writing doesn't have to be legible by anyone's standards...

  • Layer up each letter, use multiple colours on each letter, as if the light is hitting it on a certain spot...

  • Try giving a certain word a shadow...

  • Paint a new words partially over the top of another...

Have FUN with the words & the colours

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