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Archive > Drink Up, Beck Sandford

Drink Up came from a drive to want to represent water in a still life setting. Whilst sitting at cafés or when out to dinner, I would look at how the light changed through water in a glass. Considerate of how light slows down when it travels from air to water and how this causes it to move in a slightly different direction. My eye was continually drawn to glasses of water in a variety of situations and I kept thinking could it be drawn? Could I paint a simple glass with water in it and be able to represent the refraction of light through the water?

I started by taking photographs of glasses of water when I saw a situation I was intrigued by. Then I used these photographs as a starting point to study the appearance of the water trapped in glass. I realised I was actually drawing the reflections and visual elements around the water as the water itself is clear or see-through. It seemed I had set myself a comical challenge to draw something that is transparent. My first few paintings were tonal studies. I kept my colour palette limited, as I wanted to focus more on showing how the water appeared, how this liquid substance appeared solid when held in a container of glass. Once I became more confident, I started on more difficult representations of the same subject. For instance, how did the water appear in a glass half full? How can I show visual changes to patterns when viewed through water? I hope you enjoy the results of my creative challenge, and the next time you see a glass of water you’ll appreciate it’s simplicity and beauty.

July 22 - August 4