How to paint colourful quirky cityscapes with Rachel Jemmett I Colour In Your Life

How to paint colourful quirky cityscapes with Rachel Jemmett I Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name is Graeme Stevenson and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure
through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family
throughout the world, and lots of times there’s an artist
deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles and mums and dads, and come and see how some of
the best artists do what they do. (Music Plays) GRAEME : Well g’day viewers and welcome
to Colour In Your Life in New Zealand. Now the team and I have come over to New Zealand, we’re going to be spending a couple of
weeks here and we’re circumnavigating the South Island of New Zealand to get
some of the great artists of New Zealand onto the show. We’re going to have a fantastic time and as you
can see look at the country, it’s just amazing. So we’re going to make our way all
around the bottom of the South Island and see some of these incredible people so come along for the ride.
It’s going to be fantastic. GRAEME : Well g’day viewers and
welcome back to Colour In Your Life. We’re in a town called Ashburton, which is in the south of
Christchurch in New Zealand. And we’re here today to spend the day
with a lovely lady Rachel Jemmett. Rachel. RACHEL : Hi Graeme, how are you?
GRAEME : Good, welcome to the show. Now Rachel does some really wonderful pictures of the cityscapes across Christchurch, Ashburton, and you’ve got really such an iconic style, I just can’t get over it. But there’s a lot of joy, the best way
I can describe it is there is a tone of joy
and vibrancy in the work that you do. RACHEL : Yes.
GRAEME : You’ve been doing it for a while now obviously become quite well known in a lot of
the galleries on the East Coast of New Zealand. What drew you to this type of style? RACHEL : I just really like colour, Graeme. And I really love colour and
I love putting it together. I also, when I was younger,
I wanted to be an architect. GRAEME : Sure.
RACHEL : So I think this is actually a way of me interpreting it coming through and I actually think this
probably a better way for me. GRAEME : But I mean you’ve traveled really
extensively in doing this as well. Now your husband travels
the world a great deal doesn’t he? RACHEL : Yes he does actually. He does
travel quite a bit with his industry so… GRAEME : But you got the opportunity to
go to Rome and to Paris and to New York and see all of these buildings and
obviously take tons of photos as well. RACHEL : I take a lot of photos everywhere I go. I usually come home with thousands
of photos to be perfectly honest. It almost gets a wee bit embarrassing. GRAEME : You just got to be carefully of
those Centurions in Rome as you go along. RACHEL : Yes exactly,
yes Graeme, as I told you before, you get caught out and it very much costs you. GRAEME : Definitely.
Well what we’re going to do today is we’re going to do a scene, a street scene.
RACHEL : Yes. GRAEME : And I just, I think honestly,
I think your work is just so, it is fun, it really is fun work. But we’re going to do a street scene
of Christchurch today. RACHEL : Yes we are. GRAEME : Another thing I noticed
about you as well, I asked Rachel before we started, I said ‘where’s your palette?’
She said ‘I don’t use a palette’. RACHEL : No I don’t use a palette and I don’t know, as I said to you Graeme, I don’t know whether it’s because
I’m too stingy to waste paint. I’m not one hundred percent sure,
I just paint straight from the tube. GRAEME : I’ve never seen anybody do that before. It’s going to be an interesting exercise. But lets make a start,
where do we go from here with your picture? RACHEL : Right, where we go from here
is I do what I call a complete under-wash of a really bright colour. It could be Cadmium Orange or it could be Cadmium Yellow Deep
or something like tha. That wil actually brighten up all the colours
that I put on top. You’ll never see this under-wash. It goes purely under there. but it gives another layer
to the canvas that actually, you know, you’re putting
your paint on top actually. Sort of you’re not using as much paint. It sounds a bit silly
but it works for me anyhow so– GRAEME : Alright well let’s get this out. RACHEL : So, I just have a bit of water sort of type thing and
it’s also a good way for me to warm up into starting a painting as well. So I paint out the whole canvas q complete colour, which is
either yellow, orange or red. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : It just warms everything up underneath. So I squeeze the paint. GRAEME : Straight onto the brush?
RACHEL : Yeah. straight onto the brush it goes.
And then I just sort of spread and spread. It is fairly watered down…
GRAEME : Yeah. RACHEL : but it just to get all the edges covered I think as most artists know that the– You know, that this is quite porous as well. So this stops that sort of porous… But it does have an aim of actually… giving me a colour underneath that actually gives a lot more
brightness to these paintings. You know in this time that I’m doing this, I actually think a lot about what I’m doing. GRAEME : Yeah, when I first saw
your work is that, I looked at the work and thought, ‘god, that’s just so electric.’ RACHEL : Yeah.
GRAEME : But then again spending time with you and seeing your personality I can understand why. RACHEL : It just–
Yeah… if you know me well enough.
GRAEME : There you go. RACHEL : Yeah I do… GRAEME : You enjoy life.
RACHEL : I do like a good time. GRAEME : Yeah, you do.
RACHEL : I enjoy life too much that I sometimes wish
I was actually immortal but… I can’t do that so I’m a great believer
in enjoy it while you’re here. So I’m just doing the under-wash it truly does brighten
the colours up underneath, it really does. GRAEME : Do you find those Chroma paints
help to cover the canvas quite well? RACHEL : Yes, they do. Yep. And because I paint in layers, because I do, I paint in layers, they cover each, you know, the dark colours, especially the phthalo’s and stuff like that. The blues and the turquoises and everything that will go on top of this… GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : …shortly, this orange, I know now will
actually punch those colours out even more GRAEME : There you go.
RACHEL : And I think that’s where I get the vividness from these colours. I just sort of mix in and let
it do its thing and bleed. And it doesn’t matter if it runs and all this, because you’re truly not seeing this underneath.
GRAEME : Yeah. RACHEL : So I leave it like that
and I let that dry. GRAEME : So that’s dried off,
where do we go from there? RACHEL : Right so now I start with the sky. So with the sky using magenta and an orange. And I’ll start with the magenta from the top, and I just cover the top of
the canvas specifically. Wetting my brush quite often, purely to keep it, you know, keep the paint moist and to move it across. I’m not wasting it
and I’m getting it out nice and even. GRAEME : Sure.
RACHEL : Right across the top there and I look for all these
really little streaky lines because I like them for depth. Then I use the orange that I’m going to actually
blend up into the magenta. So I start down here,
I haven’t taken magenta off my brush and this way I mix it and leave it there. GRAEME : Yeah.
RACHEL : Because I want the two colours to blend in together, because they do blend in quite well.
GRAEME : Sure. RACHEL : Now just because I
want this to be a bit lighter in the background, I’m actually going to add some
Cadmium Yellow and some white. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : I specifically put the yellow on first because if I mix the other way,
it gets too pinky… GRAEME : Sure.
RACHEL : …and I want it to be more a sunset colour rather than not. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : I just want to blend that. This is where I like to think
the magic starts a wee bit with these skies. GRAEME : Sure.
RACHEL : So I’ve got that set there now and I come in with my big pot of white, and put a little bit on the end
of my brush and tone it down. And this is where I know
this is going to be covered. GRAEME : Yeah.
RACHEL : But this is where I sort of go, I still need more white…
GRAEME : Okay. RACHEL : …and I bring it up into this colour. GRAEME : So do you get a lot of skies
like that around here? Really pinky skies, you do? RACHEL : Yeah we do.
We… especially first thing in the
morning they’re really pink. And especially over the autumn, they’re just an amazing fiery red, pink, you know, just that morning sky. So it’s… but I come from a…
I’ve been born and bred on a farm and I’ve seen a lot of skies in the morning. First thing when you open the
curtains at 6.30 in they just beam It’s really awesome.
GRAEME : Sounds great. RACHEL : Yeah so I end up
with this real soft blend coming all the way through.
GRAEME : Wonderful. RACHEL : So it’s all done. So that’s all done, and the next stage I’ll go on
to is actually mapping out where I’m going to put the building
and once again I use a lot of white. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : A lot of white. Alright Graeme, now I’m just going
to white out all the buildings here in the background and will take some time. GRAEME : So what are you going
to do with the buildings? RACHEL : Well we’re actually
going to fill them in now. So we’re actually going to
put some colour into them. And we’re going to make them really stick out and make them look really good.
So what I’ll do is I use, to make the deep purple colour,
I use the Phthalo Turquoise and a magenta. So I basically use
a lot of magenta and I just mix it in like this and
then I sort of think, ‘oh I want it a bit darker’… GRAEME : Yeah.
RACHEL : So I’ll just let that come down a bit. GRAEME : I mean it really is, the canvas really is your palette. RACHEL : Yeah it is, believe me it is, and I think maybe a lot of people think, ‘oh, how do you do that?’ GRAEME : The question is
where did this come from? This was just you or… RACHEL : Yes. Just me, I haven’t
learnt it from anyone. I’m a self-taught artist. I have done courses and… to learn different techniques, because I love courses on different
cause techniques rather than– cause I want to keep this style because
I think it’s quite unique. GRAEME : Yeah absolutely.
RACHEL : And I really do… enjoy it and I love these colours. They just give me real excitement. Right, so I clean off my brush and then I move on to the side of the building, which I’m going to make from my Cadmium Orange. I like to put a bend in my
buildings so they’re not straight. GRAEME : Sure. And that’s at the top? I notice in a lot
of them they sort of bend at the top. RACHEL : Yeah they do because I think you’ve
got more room and space at the top. GRAEME : There you go. RACHEL : So that’s basically…
GRAEME : That makes sense. RACHEL : Yeah perfect sense but– Yeah, it just sort of gives
them some grandeur as well, which is… buildings have quite a big
presence in our everyday lives and it wasn’t until one day
I was stopped shopping and looked up and realized we’ve got some
beautiful buildings here in New Zealand. GRAEME : Yeah.
RACHEL : We really have. And I didn’t realize how beautiful
Christchurch was until I did that. So you’ve probably noticed with the stripes– when I’m doing this I’m playing with the paint and getting it as flat as possible
so I don’t get left with paint, ridges and bumps and stuff so yes. GRAEME : Well you’ve got a few of those to do. So what we might do is we might let you map in all those buildings as well…
RACHEL : Yes. GRAEME : …and then we’ll come back again. RACHEL : That’ll be great Graeme. Thanks.
GRAEME : Excellent. GRAEME : Okay Rachel,
so we’ve blocked all those in, so where do we go from here? RACHEL : Right now we put the
footpaths and the roads in to, you know, give it some perspective. So I start from just mapping it in again
like I’ve done with everything else. And put the colour down, so it’s like drawing with my paint brush. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : Yeah, and then I’ll come across and to the other
side here to come up higher. GRAEME : Yeah. There’s a lot of intuitiveness in your work.
RACHEL : Yes. GRAEME : You just go along and
say, ‘I’ll put the path in’, that’s the good part about it. RACHEL : Yeah.
GRAEME : You’re thinking about it, but you’re sort of not and you sort of go,
‘that’s not quite right I’ll change that’. RACHEL : Yes because I can always over pain
what I’m painting. If it’s not right I can go back over paint it and re-correct it. So this is just under painting again. GRAEME : Yep. RACHEL : And then, now I will put the road in. I’ll just work it in to the colour itself…
GRAEME : Yep. RACHEL : …the actual red paint,
because I actually like the red to come through.
GRAEME : Yeah. RACHEL : Now I’m going to change the
perspective of this road now. Because… that’s where it’s going to go knowing that I
know my building corner comes down here, so I’ll change it ever so slightly. I’ll put a bend into it because
I like bends and everything. GRAEME : Even then that’s obviously
creating depth in your picture as well. RACHEL : Yeah it does create the depth. It creates the reality of it too, because these paintings probably
really look fantasy orientated. But they’re not, they’re actual real places. GRAEME : I think a great thing to do
would be all the cities of the world but separately– But even in the
picture that you’ve got behind you… RACHEL : Yeah.
GRAEME : …you’ve taken a lot of the cities and the iconic buildings
in each of those cities and stuck it into one painting. RACHEL : Yes I have. That’s purely because the… people that have got me to commission it have traveled a lot overseas and they
really wanted a painting that actually identified with
everywhere they’ve been. And it’s something they want for their memories and to be able to pass
on to their children later in life. And I’ve actually got a ittle bit to
finish off before I give it to them. Which is just a couple of
things in the Eiffel Tower and the Twin Towers that need to be finished and completed. I just wanted to put a couple of wee flags in front of the Parliament building basically. So yeah– very proud of it. Right Graeme, I think we’ll do some windows now.
GRAEME : Okay. RACHEL : So I just sort of,
once again map them in. GRAEME : Sort of gothic windows.
RACHEL : Yes. This one is, in particular, this church. And I always push my brush down even though I’m
using a square edge brush, I push it down at the end to give
it that rounding for those windows. GRAEME : Okay. RACHEL : So I might start like
this but when I come back up, I actually sort of push it to give it the rounding at the top.
GRAEME : Okay. RACHEL : Yeah so it gives me a bit
of a lead for next time in. GRAEME : So it looks like you’ve
got a fair few windows to do. RACHEL : Yes. I have got a lot of windows to do. GRAEME : I might let you get on
with those for a little while. RACHEL : Yes cause I’m sure you don’t want to sit here and watch
me paint a couple of hundred windows. GRAEME : We’ll come back shortly.
RACHEL : Okay, Graeme. GRAEME : Okay Rachel you’ve finished your windows and it’s really starting to take shape now. And obviously as you said as an
artist you work from back to front. So it’s only my guess but are we going to
start on the cathedral then? RACHEL : Yes, we are. So now this is probably the one and only time I actually do mix my white with my yellow to give the… the design that is around the church. So I’ll add a lot of water to it, it so that I can actually get
it to flow like an aqua pen. GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : That’s where all the detail starts happening. GRAEME : That’s still very straight forward, I mean the thing about your work is the
colours are very true all the time. It’s colour on colour all the way through. RACHEL : Yes it is Graeme and its– I’m using just a very small amount of colour but creating these other colours and I do make it sort of light and dark by
lightening and darkening the colours to give it that 3D…
GRAEME : Sure. RACHEL : …effect, that… design of that buildings actually there. No lines are ever straight. They’ll never be straight in my paintings. I think the wobbly they are the better that they actually are. Now I do go back over these again to actually
make the colour more intense… GRAEME : Okay.
RACHEL : …and less opaque. GRAEME : Right.
RACHEL : So that you don’t see the under painting underneath. GRAEME : Obviously you do get
a number of commissions for your work, which I think is just great. You know artists struggle to sell
their work at the best of times. You’ve got commissions all over
the place, which is just great. RACHEL : Yes, yes. No I do and I love commissions because I get to know
the people I’m actually painting for. I think that’s quite important to be
able to translate what they are wanting and what they are needing from me. GRAEME : Yeah I think that’d be pretty cool, that obviously all the cities
that the show goes to, if anyone wants a painting, Rachel Jemmett painting of their city, they can obviously
contact you on your website. RACHEL : Yes Graeme.
It is… racheljemmett.vc.net.nz and that is how you can contact me. GRAEME : Excellent. So once again I’ve noticed
you’ve got two colours, two greens…
RACHEL : Yes I have Graeme. GRAEME : …on the one brush
RACHEL : Yes. GRAEME : So it’s sort of– you can get the best of both worlds? RACHEL : Yes so I actually sort of– once again, sort of under paint these going on. Then I will come back when I am painting another tree here in a minute. I’ll come back and I will go over the top of that again and make it lighter. So the darker colours and the
lighter colours underneath. But it’s intuitive and again
I just know that I need more light green and I need more dark green in it.
GRAEME : Sure. RACHEL : Okay Graeme, I’ve done all my white now basically, and I’m very happy with that. So next thing is to probably
look at doing the trams. GRAEME : So once again you’re using the white to block in the area for you once again and then you’re going
to go back over with the colour. I think the great part about that is
it really gives you a depth, there’s a lot of meat actually behind the paint itself from you doing that.
RACHEL : Yes. But– yeah, by whiting it out it actually makes that tram, or anything else on here, it makes it sit and it has its own presence. GRAEME : Sure.
RACHEL : Yeah so it’s really good. GRAEME : Well Rachel, I can see that you’ve really put a lot of the framework that you need… RACHEL : Yes.
GRAEME : …to finish this picture off. And obviously you’re putting a yellow tram and it’s looking
busier and busier all the time. And I think what I do really
like about your work is that there is so much going on in it. They’re busy painting but they’re
such great paintings to look at They’re a lot of fun to be in a room with. It’s just amazing stuff, but because of the beauty of television, we’re going to put up the finished piece hat Rachel’s actually done on this. As you can see viewers, from where we’ve started to the magnificent picture you’re
looking at now on the screen, I just think it’s
an extraordinary happy painting. I mean as you said, Christchurch suffering an earthquake and here you are
painting the colours of the rainbow all over the city. So I think it’s pretty cool what you’ve done. RACHEL : Thank you Graeme.
GRAEME : Alright guys. Another fantastic day with an amazing artist, the last artist of this trip in New Zealand. RACHEL : Thank you Graeme,
its been awesome, I’ve loved it. RACHEL : Thank you very much guys.
GRAEME : Thank you very much. GRAEME : We’ve had a great time here too,
it’s been really great. And just, I really love Rachel’s style, it’s sort of so iconic to what she does. And as I said before, you know our
show goes to many places these days. So if you’re in a city that
you would like Rachel to paint I suggest you get in touch with her. What is your website address again? RACHEL : I’d love to hear from you. It is
racheljemmett.vc.net.nz. RACHEL : Thank you.
GRAEME : That’s amazing. We’re going to hopefully have some
of your work in our website as well, in our shop and gallery, always some
great things going on in there. Lots and lots of people
in the website these days so come in and say hi. Also our Facebook page at
Colour In Your Life, tons of people in there talking to each other,
which is great. And the website is
colourinyourlife.com.au But we’ve had a fantastic trip
to New Zealand this time. I think it’s been just great, beautiful county, amazing people, we’ve just been so
happy to be here and be with you guys. But we’re going to head off back to Australia, we will be back in October to
film more of the Kiwi artists. We’ll be in the North Island in October. But until we meet again, as I always say, from New Zealand this time remember guys, make sure you
Put Some Colour In Your Life and we’ll see you next time. Bye now. See you. Bye.
RACHEL : See you later.

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