Uffe Christoffersen om Farverummet og Tigere


Colour Space and Tigers



On two paintings
Uffe Christoffersen.

Visually, nature is a constant interaction of light and shade, a constant interaction of colours. Nature has its own set of rules, but it is not this I am seeking, but the artistic perception of it.

When I stand out in nature letting my eyes roam from the foreground to the trees and vineyards in the middle ground and further out to the horizon with mountains which almost disappear into the airy blue sky, all this is experienced as a universe of colour. This space with its colours recreates dreams and echoes the flight of ideas and feelings


The artist creates something which does not exist, and in my opinion this is the artist’s task.

As I thought it might be interesting to document the creation of two paintings, entitled COLOURS IN SPACE (440 x 300 cms) and TIGERS (65 x 195 cms), I have photographed the different stages of the two pictures, right from the first drawings to the final result. From the many photos it has been necessary to make a selection, a simplification and a certain classification.

In the grey frame below you can se the selected drawings; A, B, C and D.

Drawing A. The first idea. A subject inspired by one of the painter Gustave Moreau’s (1826-1898) water colours.

Drawing B. The human figures transformed into animals. This is partly because I wanted a Greek legend as the content of the picture.

Drawing C. A drawing with a great crowd of different animals.

Drawing D. A simplification corresponding to my intentions, as it is my desire to make a calm and monumental painting with a large dreaming space with colours.

Simultaneous with the drawings I painted water colours to see how the various ideas would look in colour.

Fontarèches, maj 2003

Uffe Christoffersen













Below you can see the four selected water colours A, B, C and D.
Water colour A. Corresponds to the subject matter in drawing A. The sketch has a blueish tinge, which was the colour I intended originally to give this subject.

Water colour B. The human figures have disappeared and the water colour corresponds very nearly to drawing B.

Water colour C. The colours have changed from a somewhat sombre blue to an orange and yellow palette, which probably is due to the early spring sun in the South of France.

Water colour D. I selected this water colour as a basis for the large painting COLOURS IN SPACE.

It is stories, ideas and colour experiences which are the basis for my animal compositions.

As the work with the great secrets hidden in the world of colour is so strong, vigorous and inspiring, new stories differing from the original ones may come to the surface. Therefore in the creative process there will always occur a restructuring of the original idea. This process continues until the story manifests itself clearly in the picture, and then the painting has achieved its final content.

At the same time the construction of the picture is very important. The extent of the colours and the rhythm on the canvas have their rules just as the proportions have theirs. The condition is that the same rhythm flows through the figures and the picture, corresponding to the character of the painting. This is an ultimate necessity for me, as the aim of my painting is to create a synthesis of form and content.












Below you can see the drawing for the painting entitled COLOURS IN SPACE
with various necessary constructive alterations.

The starting point for the paintings COLOURS IN SPACE and TIGERS was inspired by the Greek legends where the gods can change into other persons or animals, amongst others tigers and flying bulls.

In the traditional Greek legends bulls symbolize the untameable and irrepressible. The animal is holy for the god Poseidon, the god of the oceans and the storms, and Dionysius, the virile, life giving god. “These proud beasts” says Hesiod, “They have an untameable passion.” (Theogeny, 832)


A. Konstruktion

A. Construction


 B. Perspektiv

 B. Perspectiv


C. Vandret, lodret. Det Gyldne Snit

C.  Horizontal, Vertical. The Golden Ratio



D. Rytmen.

D. The Rythm


Below you can see four stages of the same painting
Colours in Space (A. B. C. and D)

After sketching out the motif I have laid a thin wash of colour, where the colours flow into one another to get some colour mixes which can only be achieved on the canvas itself.
In stages B. C. and D. you can see some of the more radical changes of colour which were made on the way to the finished product on page 8. However the actual motif from the sketch has been retained.

A. Første farvelag

A. First colour layer

B. Andet farvelag

B. Second colour layer


C. Tredie farvelag

C. Third colour layer



D. Fjerde farvelag

D. Fourth colour layer


Colours in Space. Finished Result.
440 x 300 cm. Oil on canvas. 2003



Below you can see the various drawings, water colours
and colour stages of the painting entitled TIGERS

A. Tegning

A. Drawing

B. Tegning

B. Drawing

Three drawings for the painting TIGERS

Below various sketches for the painting TIGERS.
The same subject matter in three different colour variations.

A. kvarel

A. Water colour

B. Akvarel

B. Water colour

C. Akvarel

C. Water colour


TIGERE. 65x195 cm. Okkeroptegning på lærred

TIGERS. 65x195 cm. Ochre sketch on canvas


TIGERE. 65x195 cm. Et af de første farvelag

TIGERS. 65x195 cm. One of the first colour layers

TIGERE. 65x195 cm. Et af de sidste farvelag

TIGERS. 65x195 cm. One of the last colour layers


TIGRE. 65 x 195 cm. Olie paa lærred

The final result. TIGERS. 65 x 195 cm. Oil on canvas. 2003





Farverummet. 440x300 cm. Okker optegning på lærred

Colour in Space. 440x300 cm.
Ochre sketch on canvas

Tigere. 65x195 cm.

Tigers. 65x195 cm.



The paintings COLOURS IN SPACE and TIGERS are part of the decoration
of Sampension’s newly-built head office in Tuborg Syd, Copenhagen

Uffe Christoffersen