Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Time for a new approach

The bottom two are from the previous couple of weeks but I am in a rut.  They are OK but I am shaking things up, looking for something more abstract and interesting.  Unfortunately I chose to change my approach at the same time as changing my support and this weeks figure is painted on the new Arches Oil paper and is the first time I have used it.  Its lovely to paint on but completely different to the slick smooth supports I usually use.  Its much more absorbent and you really need plenty of paint, it took me a while to get into my stride if I ever did.  I usually sketch in an underpainting in burnt sienna or similar, placing the figure accurately as possible from the start. I approached this more directly,  roughed in the the big shapes, the big colours and values and then carved and refined as I went before finally attacking it with a palette knife.  All the while I'm trying to think cool and warm, light and shadow, and shapes not detail.  This will take a lot more practice and mental adjustment, more dramatic poses and lighting would help but I'll see how I go for a while.  I'm looking to keep my colours cleaner and brighter for these quick oil sketches and not necessarily realistic.  I just noticed how similar all these poses are, I think I need to stand somewhere different next week!

Monday, 24 September 2012

New Life Group

I started going to a new life group a few Sundays ago, 5.30pm on a Sunday night isnt the best time of the week to muster the energy to move but its great once I get there.  I havent done two sessions a week for a long time but really do feel its necessary to improve but one of the main attractions for me at this new group is that it is run by Patrick Palmer whose work I know from my other group at Life the Gallery.  He is a tonalist and always ensures the lighting set up is fairly dramatic which suits me very well.  The running order is a bit odd, we start off with a longish pose, then do some super quick ones - 45 seconds which is just crazy, then maybe another long one or maybe a couple of shortish ones.  It keeps us on our toes and although I havent quite settled down with my materials or support sizes yet I definately wont be painting.  My aim is to get more art in my life work this season, technical mastery is still some way off but I think concentrating on the overall atmosphere, mood and the personality of the model for a while is a good plan. Still trying to remember to simplify - its soooo hard.  So these are from the last couple of weeks, various materials sizes and times.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Italian Sketches

A couple of sketches I did from photos I took in Italy.  I wanted to try out my Pan Pastels drawing set and so far I am very happy with them.  They are halfway between painting and drawing and with the colours I have very nice and subtle although I did use a charcoal pencil on the potter where I needed a bit of definition.  The sculpture is one of Michaelangelos unfinished prisoners in Florence, looking at it now I may need to put a bit more on the bottom of the stone.  Fantastic! (Mike that is)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Two Small Paintings and Cliff v2

These are two baby paintings I did with some leftover paint, the pot from life and the fantasy landscape just that - totally made up.  I really like these diddy canvases and they look cute framed up with really simple chunky frames.

Oil on board 5" x 7"

This is a second painting of a photo I took in Cornwall last year.   The first was on canvas paper and I covered over a failed painting and did it bigger this time.   Its an interesting excercise painting the same thing again especially as I was pretty happy with it the first time - it took much longer to get the freshness this time but I am happy with the final result and texture looks good scaled up.

Oil on deep canvas 14" x 18"

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Birthday Bouquet

I received a superb bouquet of flowers last week and was inspired to make my first serious attempt at capturing a floral arrangement in paint.  The hydrangea at the centre was the most intense purple/blue I have ever seen, it was a very unusual and special display.  

So this was painted alla prima from life in an afternoon apart from a few tweaks... there are always a few tweaks.  I seem to have got to the point now where I find it easier painting from life rather than photos and will do more of it.  I used my very best paints, some almost straight out of the tube and I really noticed how clean and pure the colours were.    I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

I had some random sized frames I picked up a while ago and got some hardboard board cut to fit and so chose this frame in advance - just propped in for the photo here, it still needs to dry.

Oil on Board 11 x 14"