Monday, 28 December 2015

Four Seasons

More reworked life paintings.  Some of my earliest experiments with design and composition have been to try and incorporate the figure into the background and the background into the figure as I did here -its probably a really good idea to revisit old ideas and thoughts.  So these are all paintings from life sessions in 2015 and reworked in the studio and may or may not be finished yet.  I didnt touch the figure in any of them, just reworked the backround and painted over in places.  When I looked at them together decided that they represented winter, spring, summer and autumn quite well.   A bit of an idea for future reference perhaps.
All 16 x 12"
Oil on panel

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Landscape and the Figure

One of my ongoing challenges is to develop some of my life drawings into something more complete without losing the freshness and spontaneity.  There are a few artists I admire that do this successfully but finding my own path is another matter.  I had a lightbulb moment recently and with one of my sketches done on drafting film, looked at alongside a recently aquired landscape painting, and came up with this.  The landscape is by the artist Paul Hird

Oil and Ink
Drafting film
16 x 24" approx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Last session of the year

Some very edited highlights from the last session of the year.  She was a fabulous model who I hope to attempt to do justice to again next year.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Schizophrenic with the media

I'm still enjoying experimenting with the inks but looking at the last few weeks output its seems I've pulled everything out of my bag apart from oil paints.   So with pastels, conte's, inks, watercolours, pens, pencils and charcoal I've used water brushes, chinese brushes, bamboo pens, ink pens and fingers on large pastel paper, small sketch books, drafting film, watercolour and sugar paper.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Inky Marks

Its been a while, but here is some of the lifework I have managed since the last post.  The paintings were the last things I was working on before the summer break, output has been sporadic since but most recently I have continued and expanded my experiments with ink and water media.  I find it especially challenging and unforgiving but I reckon it goes well with life work and it will do me good.  I have also been reading up on Japanese art both ancient and modern, artists influenced by Japonisme and also sumi-e.  I have loved all things oriental since childhood and want to see if I can channel some of that into my work including marrying it up with the Encaustics somehow too.  

Five minute warm ups - Ink on paper

Oil on board
Oil on large pre-painted canvas - the first painting was scraped off and re-used a week later.  I think I prefer the first one now.  Ah well, thats the way the cookie crumbles.

Charcoal and white chalk on paper
I quite liked the beard on this one, reminds me of Mad Men for some reason.
Pan Pastel on black paper
Its great when the last quick drawing of the day goes well, I was quite pleased with this one.
Ink wash and pastel on paper

I was pretty happy with this one too.
Ink and water colour on paper

This one was great fun, exaggerating the gesture and going a bit wild with the colours.

Pastel on paper

Ink and water media on paper.

This one is ink and wash, pastel and charcoal on paper.  He looks nothing like the model as I was trying to idealise him somewhat.

These are both ink and wash.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Drawing is everything.....

I have just taken my second workshop with the Anthony Connolly, member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and a thoroughly delightful man.  He has been mentioned recently in articles by and about The Mall Galleries as one of the RP top ten most commissioned artists which is great - you can see it here Top Ten Portrait Painters.  So as ever the emphasis is on good drawing and accuracy, and Anthony's very experienced eye and unhurried approach makes for a good working environment.  I'm a slow learner but a fast painter so managed to do approximately one painting a day - they are not huge pieces and in retrospect I wish I had attempted something larger.

Some of these will be worked on some more, just for the exercise and then get recycled.  They are all on 12 x 16" ampersand gesso panels. 

This poor model was tortured by a persistant fly and also had a leg problem so this pose was a bit of a challenge for us all.

This model was excellent, he must have been a rock or an oak tree in an earlier life.  The painting flowed so well I didnt even stop to take progress photos.

Some very different skin tones with this model, I was going for subtle and pretty but the light changed totally over the course of the day and I could have gone on repainting the different lights and shadows forever.

Since getting home I have found it interesting to look back at the original drawings and see where they had wandered off course.  I can feel a  process starting to emerge...



The final painting of the week and I ran out of time.  I struggled with the rear end, putting in and scraping off many times.  It was the drawing and the artistic decisions - what to emphasise and what to downplay.  She was lit from both sides so I had numerous choices.  

Still I find exaggerating the foreshortening makes it read better, although I was supposed to be playing it straight in this scenario.   Anyway, I scrubbed it all out with not much time to go and then just re-drew the basic outline and decided it made it a bit of Sargentesque.