Further Experimentation with Natural Paints

After experimenting with the natural paints that I have created in my sketchbook, I decided to produce some mountainous images on board. I took the shape of the mountains from twigs, painted with natural substances and also used sticks to apply the colour: articulating numerous relationships between art and nature. I feel that these experiments look very natural and communicate the colours of the earth, browns, greens and tones of yellow. I also managed to create a convincing bluey turquoise colour, using bluebells with which I portrayed a sky feel to the experiments.

These images are possibly a bit too aesthetic and I think if I experimented applying the natural paints with some nature tools that I have created they could be more gestural and even closely more related to my ideas. I have been communicating a connection between art, place and nature and I definitely think these experiments are successful in doing so, I am now thinking about the final outcome for the project and want to sum up my ideas and display my findings. Brainstorming begins.


A Connection to Nature – Working with John Piper’s Sense of Place

Whilst researching the life, processes and ways of working of John Piper, It is clear to me that within his paintings he wanted to capture a sense of the place that he was representing. He felt close to the surroundings and wanted to capture the personality of the rocks and the feel of the blades of grass he was sitting on whilst producing preparatory sketches to paint from. He wanted to convey a part of nature within his work.

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Working with this idea of capturing an essence of a place and conveying nature within art work, I decided to dip twigs that I found among the landscape of my home area – The Brecon Beacons, into indian ink and draw with them. Here I am using nature from the Landscape to actually draw it and therefore encompassing part of the place within the drawing.


Keeping to the things I find influential from my chosen object, I used the twig to draw abstract shapes and forms and to make marks. To produce the piece above, I used a relatively small twig dipped in nut brown ink. The thickness of the Lines depended on how much ink the twig absorbed when dipped in the pot. There was something very free about drawing with natural objects and making use of fallen sticks and twigs. The twig itself, helped me express the nature of the place.


The image above was drawn with a much thicker twig and drawing with the black ink was a lot harder to control. The end was not flat either and so some additional lines were made accidentally and sometimes when attemping to draw one line, maybe three would be drawn. This gave a sense of nature controlling the piece and me having my own expression in the drawing but the twig having its own input too.

The idea of capturing a place in artwork is incredibly interesting to me and something that I am definitely going to be working on more within my project.