Light & Dark Atmospheres – Joy’s Art Project

This week Joy Jindu shows us her recently completed art exam piece and describes the research she undertook for the project.


For my art exam project, after much indecisiveness and much consideration I chose to explore the way in which the contrast between light and dark can create atmosphere.

The second definition of atmosphere according The Oxford Dictionary is:

“the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or creative work.”

The first being,

“The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet”

The Starry Night by van Gogh

The Starry Night by van Gogh

I could have done a project on space and gases but the photography aspect may have been tricky however…I had a look at a number painters for inspiration, the ones that most influenced my final piece were Van Gogh, Turner and Afremov. Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night was the first that came to my mind when I decided on the topic “Atmosphere”. Interestingly enough in Physics whilst learning about space and stars other mind-boggling things of the Universe I came across the extraordinary “Star-trails” of photographer Lincoln Harrison; these incredible photographs are the result of 15 hour-long exposures. The end photos somewhat resemble the slightly obscure spiralling patterns in the night sky of Van Gogh’s painting.

Whilst researching the art form of Chiaroscuro (the use of strong contrast between light and dark in art) I looked at the work of Caravaggio whose work often explored and exploited the dichotomy of ‘highlights & shadows and how they complement each other. Whilst looking at the use of light in art it only seemed right to look at Turner, “The Painter of Light” himself.

The Final Piece

The picture that I chose to paint during the 10 hours I had for my exam was of a photograph that I had taken of a street light outside of Liberty London. The idea of having a street light was inspired by number of paintings by Leonid Afremov that include streetlights projecting light onto their surroundings. The canvas that I painted this on was A1 (so about 80x60cm). It was slightly ambitious to set out fill such a large canvas in only 10. Admittedly after the second day getting the all the bricks and window frames in line with the correct perspective, without them converging got slight tedious; Instead of painting all the lines in, I made the oil paint very turpsy and instead dripped the paint down when gave quite a nice effect where the paint appears to have eroded but left enough to show where the bricks and window panes are.

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People and a Panasonic GH3

Recently the church’s video department invested in a DSLR (well actually a ILC if you want to be exact) for creative filming. The camera (a Panasonic GH3) records both video and stills, and you can change the lens to suit the style you need. I had it with me for a weekend to try and get my head round the settings and here are some of the results (unedited straight from the camera).
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I think it’s banter?…

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One is not amused

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Simeon Paul White. Solo album coming soon

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Tilly in zero gravity

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Interestingly after looking back through all the photos it was clear I was surrounded by many amazing people, though it felt like any other weekend. When you take a step back and see the bigger picture you realise again that because of people Christian community is a brilliant place to live.
Technical details: Panasonic GH3. SLR Magic 25mm 0.95 lens.

A beautiful season…

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I have always been a bit of a nature freak from the green Midlands; so when I packed my bags to move to the industrial north I presumed I had traded in my rolling fields and trees for smog-stained buildings and traffic jams.

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For the most; they really have ‘paved paradise to put up a parking-lot’, but my compromise comes in the form of the inner-city parks. Last week we escaped the Saturday hustle & bustle to one of these parks for an autumn walk. After handing my camera to a friend and stating ‘I wouldn’t be taking any pictures today’ It wasn’t long before I snatched it back; my fickle resolve trashed by the lovely amazingness of autumn.

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There isn’t really an ‘art’ to capturing nature; just grab a camera and get snap happy, It really doesn’t matter how good the camera is… God made it all perfect and beautiful, so whatever I capture will just be an exaltation of His handiwork, not mine.

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Autumn is most definitely my favouritest and my best season 🙂