Category Archives: UPM Assignment 5

UPM Part 5 Essay

Tate. 2018. Edouard Manet. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 July 2018].

Price, A. 2009. Art Classics: Manet. 1st ed. USA: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

Google Arts and Culture. 2018. The Railway – Edouard Manet (1873). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 July 2018].

Saatchi Art. 2018. Ingrid 3 (A Kind of Loving) Painting by Alli Sharma. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 July 2018].

Alli Sharma. 2018. Paintings. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 July 2018].

The Courtauld Institute of Art. 2018. A Bar at the Folies-Bergere. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 July 2018].


I have chosen to look at the oil painting technique of Alli Sharma in comparison to that of Edouard Manet. My reasoning is that looking back through my work for this course, the portraits that stemmed from looking at Sharma’s work in research for part 1 have followed me through to part 5, so an opportunity to look further into her technique whilst comparing it to Manet -who has been in my peripheral vision since I saw his A Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1882) at the Courtauld for a level art over 2 decades ago- through their use of oil paint, is a great opportunity.

Edouard Manet (1832-83) was an important figure in the change from classical art to impressionism and the move to modern art. His use of oil paint began with his study of formal academic art by copying grand masters like Titian and Lippi. Manet’s technique shifted after this and in his private studio he worked in a looser style which did not include all the blending prevalent in the realistic style that had been en vogue for so long. In fact (visible here as a close up of a hand holding a book from his oil painting the Railway) the next phase in impressionism is clearly visible.


Strong brush strokes with blocks of colour that show the 3 dimensional shape of the hand, a confident use of paint that allows for the shadow of the book making the detail of the finger beneath it even more vague.

In comparison, Ali Sharma creates even less detail in her paintings, brush strokes are only visible as confident single strokes over a gesso’d background that shows through the thin paint. In fact the paint is worked so thin it splits on the canvas Ingrid 3 (A Kind of Loving) Paintin by Alli Sharma or a minimalist palette (as shown in Brown Long eared Bat available on This page). In comparison, Manet’s palette produces realistic skin tones and more believable substance than Sharma achieves, his objects often more solid and touchable, while Sharma’s remain almost ephemeral in feel.

Both artists display confidence with their use of the paintbrush to create form. Both also allow the canvas support (gesso’d or not) to show through and work in their pictures. Manet whilst -new to his time- using less detail, obviously does more than Sharma and his content as a result is more static (and thought through), from life, over Sharma’s swift glimpses into a much briefer snapshot paintings, taken from film stills. Or painting objects and animals as swift documents, using speed in her painting to give the life and energy that detail and more colours would achieve in a longer time.

These two are good examples of artists of their times, using oil paint to document and comment upon their era. I think that their differences in the use of oil paint are also a reflection of the over 100 years between them and the change in the pace of life since the 1800s.



Assignment 5 UPM

I wanted to continue my look around outside of the house for the assignment, exercise 5.2 is stuck in my head, as is the initial George Shaw research painting of the tree, the inference of magical and childlike in the area primarily as a route to and from the school.I went around this area at night with my camera and the magical light quality of the time I took the photos is good.

This led to sketches of the steps, which as images of ascent/ descent have a more religious connotation than I am inferring.

This turned into a quick watercolour/ tonal study


Which led to an a1 oil painting.


I really didn’t want to overwork the piece, however, it took a bit of paint to make the steps appear and to achieve the tunnel like effect with the trees and perspective view


2 other oil paintings later, after playing with ombre skies and which blue to use, the colour is heading into ultra violet and Prussian was too grey, so I used Prussian mixed with a light touch of Alizerin Crimson, leading into Winsor blue (red shade with titanium white right at the bottom. This is over black Gesso which remains largely unpainted in the finished picture it’s not a totally comfortable mix having a smooth ombre over a sketchy foreground but the sketchy sky took away from the feel of the colour blend in real life and thats part of the magic of the time of day.

It became evident that for this part of a journey, the rest of the estate and area wasn’t necessary, but to explain the staircase, the handrail was.  I also didn’t want the final assemblage to just be oil paintings.

This week we’ve had the end of year production from Yr 6, this has meant evenings in the school for performances and a consentration of efforts into it. As a resulot, the reason for most of my use of the stairs came up so I mutilated a couple of my son’s old school books and looked at a couple of plants in the area in felt tip pen (appropriate to both my children and me) IMG_3387

however, felt tips aren’t bought with a view of the work lasting forever and school paper isn’t sized for water, so blending Berols isn’t going to be an exact science in this context. I moved to permanent markers because I have them in more muted colours and wanted to see if I could use the school paper to monoprint in the same way the photocopy paper had done in part 3

This is all a bit faint in comparison to the larger oil paintings so I worked up a couple of quick oil sketches of the plants which I felt worked better

At this point I looked back at the oil paintings and realised that as much as they explained the actual the purpose was missing so worked up a couple of looser pictures in the same size with marker pen lines and ink over

The initial monochrome version lacked life so I did it again and added the green.


10 pieces of work to curate from varying in size from a4 to a1. I asked to borrow the school hall as the wall is both large enough and pertinent to the work

I tried a few permutations based on grouping versions, adding gingham to clarify the school connection (which just seemed to be an affectation over anything necessary).

I kept coming back to angling the supports (handrail) and it looked better when they were linking the whole together. The original oil painting didn’t add anything over the school paper one which I felt asked more questions of the viewer. excluding the night time painting lost a burst of magical colour and mystery, even though the handrail isn’t visible so the view isn’t clear unless you live here.

Next steps, I could quite happily expand this series into the area above and below the stairs, it could expand around in sequence to be a journey in itself that you have to physically walk through. I’m not sure where I would end it though, it could stop at the school gate, which could be open or closed, both of which pose questions as to what is happening the other side.

I think that adding the steps from the top turns the person around, however I think the question of what you do when you reach the end of the journey is still open.

In terms of Bachelard, this still feels very much like my home, it is enclosed and inside as a space, the out is at the top and bottom of the tunnel. Maybe I need to look at the view out from the top and bottom? Whats outside?


After feedback on part 4 from my tutor, I looked again at the assignment pieces to see if I could draw more of the ambiguity from looking at Frankenthaler’s work into the collection. I couldn’t reconcile the steps without clear lines to delineate what they are, the night view is already ambiguous, I asked the ladies who work in the office to have a look and the consensus was that it could be water over a path leading to the steps. So that only really left the day top of the steps to play with.


I didn’t want to get away from the hole in the centre, it is the area with the most questions, so the lines needed the next reduction with the larger paint bursts

The more muted one has the greatest potential to me, I’ve used acrylics larger again partially because of size and the fact that acrylic ink is made up and I have a good selection of colours already, partially because I know there won’t be any colour shift in any detail over the top.  I played with a line to highlight the top of the steps on the black paper, however this wasn’t necessary in the final options.

Of the 2 I still prefer the muted version, it seems calmer less scarey.

I can’t crop in as much to repeat the size exactly of the oil paint version it would be replacing, however judicious framing and the fact it is still less than half the size of the night and up pictures means it should still balance the work on the wall without over-powering.


During the last hangout with my tutor, we discussed altering the original stairs down to cover a bend in the pipe so it is now included as part of this assignment over the 2 more incomplete versions above. we also discussed redoing the night painting a lot larger, which given time and resources would be a good next step, it would alter the layout of the curated pieces on a wall. I also looked at helping the focus in the night piece by darkening the area to the left, 

This does push the eye to the right, but I’d probably choose to fade out the sky over painting in a fictitious tree, however, to get this in for formal assessment without it sticking to the rest of the assignment pieces because it isn’t set properly isn’t a risk I’m prepared to take. I have attached my fake tree to the back of the relevant picture with masking tape so the assessors may see the effect.

The essay that accompanies this part of the course has it’s own post  500 words isn’t enough to do a full review of 1 painting from one artist so it is a really brief look at the differences and similarities between them.