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.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Dancing Queen

The lovely Anna who models for us every now and then is a real inspiration, she has a wonderful youthful pre-raphaelite quality about her, is very natural, and a joy to work with.  This one is from life and I painted over an abandonded painting I was working on called Dancing Queen.  The toned background complimented her pale skin beautifully and also saved much time.  I'll probably work this one a bit more and but I was quite pleased all things considered.  I used my Rublev paints for this, they are so lovely for skintone both the handling and the gentleness of the earth colours.

Oil on Canvas 14" x 18"

The original

Oil on board 12 x 16"
This painting is from a photo I took of Anna from an earlier life session.  It was supposed to be a quick head study for a full body pose - painting a sideways head is always a huge challenge, the brain keeps trying to straighten everything and the features move all over the place.  There is still some more finessing to do and checking it out in black and white helps guide me.