Once the drawing stage is finished I can start to lay in a ground of under-painting using acrylic which helps me to roughly establish and calibrate the tone and colour relationships and balance the composition before starting to apply the first layer of the oil paint.
At this stage the work is at its most abstract.
Triptych. Drawing layer completed
Beginning to roughly lay in the acrylic paint on the right hand panel
'Feb 2-54' Ben Nicholson, 1954
Oil paint and graphite on canvas
Oil paint and graphite on canvas.
'Relief' 1934 Ben Nicholson
I particularly like the muted, neutral colours and tones in his painting that evoke natural stone or plaster, raw linen, bleached bone or wood and the cubist spatial and structural aspects of these compositions by Ben Nicholsonabove. His cubist abstractions of still life subjects and his more geometric shallow reliefs seem to have a strong sense of both the surface and frame as integral to the composition and they always have a lyrical, rhythmic quality charaterised by the relationships between straight lines and curves as they intersect through space and forms. Clearly the circle and the square have profound significance for him in contrast to the geometric pure grid structures of Piet Mondrian, a difference in approach to feeling for geometry which was very apparent in the exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery 'Mondrian, Nicholson: In Parallel' which I saw last year.
Below central panel with acrylic ground laid in