Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Italian job - St Francis


A painting for the new Pope.  Last year in Assisi I took some photos of an unusual but striking statue of St Francis and have been been inspired to create a painting with the naming of the new Pope.  If my research is correct the statue is of St Francis before he became a monk when he had planned to be a knight and join the papal armies.  Whilst on his way to Rome he had a dream where he was told he needed to serve God not the army, so he turned around and returned to Assisi with his spirits low as he was fearful of being called a coward and felt his dreams had been crushed. The statue is by Norberto Prioetti and as far as I could discover was created in 2005.  

Looking at a some Old Master paintings of various Popes when they wore red and also the resplendnt garb of the Cardinals it occured to me that painting shades of red without getting pink was something I hadnt attempted - light red is orange and yellow rather than the pink that emerges if you just lighten by adding white to red paint. 

Oil on deep canvas 24 x 30"
 detail

This is another painting from a photo I took in Italy, its from a former monastery in Corciano, Umbria and was rather picturesque.  Unfortunately it was a grey day but I thought it would be interesting to do a fairly low chroma painting - really it was an excerise in painting a variety of textures and also of paint handling and application.  I may do some glazing at some stage to liven it up a bit but I wonder how many times you can do a paintover of an old canvas.

 Oil on Canvas 20 x 30"
 detail

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Practice, practice and more practice

We had a wonderful new model at the Sunday session earlier this month, her delightful personality and positive and helpful attitude won everyone over.  Really it suprising how much difference that makes and for me overides any preferences for gender, body type, ethnicity etc I may have.  So although I didnt entirely do her justice with the limit earth palette I had with me which didnt include any purples or cool reds I would have liked I really enjoyed the session.  Its also really helpful when your fellow artists rap you on the knuckles and tell you not to overwork an area!  The long pose was the usual hour and a half ish and the small ones 30 or 40 minutes.  I've stopped posting any drawings because they have deteriorated quite badly since I have been concentrating more on painting.  I need to practice more and I also need to practice doing some more slow work, painting and drawing.  So much to do, so little time.....

 Oil on canvas paper 12" x 16"

 Oil on board 5" x 7"

  Oil on board 5" x 7"

This was done the other Tuesday evening in a new venue with old friends.  Its a great space to work in and the lighting is good.  I notice my backgrounds are getting more involved and colourful again.  Its hard to make design decisions on the fly but I think it worked out ok this time.

 Oil on Canvas paper paper 12" x 16"





Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Who'd paint a royal portrait?

If you have any opinion about the portrait of Kate Middleton painted by Paul Emsley and all the ensuing hoo ha in the media read this commentry A Royal Fiasco by portrait artist and educator Marvin Mattelson. 

Blogplug - I'm following his Brush Aside blog now, this man knows his onions and I hope he manages to up his output.