Saturday, 28 May 2011

Wise words and a Blog Plug

Some wise words by artist Alicia Ponzi that I came across on an Underpaintings post about her award by the Portrait Society of America. 

'A portrait should delve deeper than the surface on 2 levels: physically, it should describe the structure and the forms of the specific individual; while it should also find a subtle expression that reveals their persona. To me, the suggestion of an expression is enough.'

The suggestion of an expression that reveals the subjects persona - I shall remember that.

Underpaintings is an extremely informative blog on the very best of representational art.  A word of warning though, you are in danger of losing many hours of your life to the internet if its your cup of tea. The lastest post (as I write) on Thomas Nash has many more words of wisdom too.  Aint the internet a wonderful thing - sigh.

I had better stop reading a produce some art myself now, all theory and no practice is not going to get me anywhere.

A quick value sketch I did recently, coz I cant do a post without some sort of picture.  More about this Master study later.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Jeffrey Catherine Jones

I was very sad to hear of the death of artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones on Thursday (19th May) at the age of 67.  I discovered her work fairly recently, I guess she is less well known this side of the pond, but was immediately taken with it - definately one of my favourites and I have several of her books on my wishlist.  Its not that I relate to the genre of fantasy art, science fiction, comics and illustration where she had a successful and highly respected career, but the simple fact  is she painted like a dream.  Check out her rather dated website Jeffrey Jones Art, well worth the trouble and  I really like seeing some of her creative process in the WIP section  She had more than a few personal challenges throughout her life and wasnt always a she, but its a  great shame to think about all the wonderful art that will never be now.  Here is a small sampler of her fine art work.  Respect.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Sunday and Tuesday - in search of the mojo

Sundays workshop was OK but I still didn't have my missing X factor. I've been pretty tired lately and you really do have to give 100% if you want to art well. So I have nothing very special to post from then although I really did like the model.  

This was a bit of an experiment, pastel on Canson Montval watercolour paper.  I've used this paper with charcoal before and really like the textural effect.  Using pastels creates a bit of a fresco look although the paper doesnt take too much abuse as it kills the texture so delicacy and accuracy are required . Someone suggested using a wet brush on it which I have heard you can do with pastels but never tried so I'll probably totally wreck this one in the name of progress and see where it takes me.
 This is how I felt by the end of the day :(

So I returned to my spiritual home for life drawing on Tuesday at Life the Gallery in Surrey.  Really the place is so fabulous it feeds my very soul.  I have never been in such a conducive space for life drawing and every  time I've walked through the door to find a new exhibition I've found it never less than awesome and inspiring.  They have a wonderful new Artist in Residence Anastasia Wildig and I have every confidence her influence is going to be very beneficial to all us life addicts.  A bit of a plug here but Martin and Kerry in addition to running a fabulous gallery also do a lot of good work for the local community and  various charities and their whole philosophy is really positive and balanced, so check out the website!  OK, I am totally biased but here are this weeks sketches.  

I wondered whether as I think of myself more as a tonalist I had been focusing too much on that side of things and have got myself into a bit of a rut.  So to get out of my comfort zone  my intentions  this  session were to concentrate on line, tidy up the act some and just try and get the proportions accurate and the drawing  simple.  I think the pastel pencils are really helping too, they are less messy than charcoal and easier to handle but still pretty flexible.  All in all Tuesday was the best session I have had for a while and I am going to stick with this plan for the time being - at least untill it seems like a rut again! 
All pastel pencil on A2

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Not enough life

I am reduced to one or less life sessions a week and it really isnt enough - kinda lost my way recently and need to regain some focus.  So here are the best of a bad bunch from recent weeks.   So underwhelmed am I by this latest crop I cant muster the energy to describe the various media and supports but I've got an all day session on Sunday so will get a proper plan in place for then.  Hopefully I'll get back in the groove.