A birthday card.


A12b. Here’s a birthday card. A pencil work on watercolour paper.

Some details and the idea behind the choice of paper and techniques. I do love the early colour process, Autochrome. These photographs on glass have a really interesting patina.

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Life drawing. Holding On plus an older post that got lost.

Holding On. Acrylic on prepared paper. 60 minutes.
I’ve been trying to learn, to get better, to progress. Instead of just painting, repeating the same work, I have goals; making sure the work is worth doing. Here’s what I’m working on.

  1. The colour palette, making the skin tones look like the model’s real skin. The background colours matter as well, so I’m preparing the paper or canvas with colours that will work well with the new skin colour range.
  2. The focus, making the painted image reflect how I really see. Patches of visual excitement and tranquil spaces.
  3. Mark making, letting go of the pencils, just using brushes. Fan brushes work well at the moment.
  4. Doing justice to the models, the time spent observing, the dialogue.
  5. Atmosphere. Trying to make the work have more emotional weight.

The model was holding something. I thought it might be good to have some mystery, so I left the something out. The painting was a constant control of colour and imagery. Some have said it looks a bit Francis Bacon like, which is good.

The time spent Mary Ward Centre is very important to me.

Five times Robin. A great model, full of brio. Being an actor he has many ‘looks’.
A lot of different marks.

The other image is two pieces of paper waiting for some paint. They make a nice abstract work. Yes, those are my feet for scale.

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This painting was made in November but has not been posted before.

Lady on canvas. Acrylic and compressed charcoal on canvas. 60 minutes.
The canvas was primed but the paint still seemed to soak in a bit too much.
The objects were moved around the composition. This could be worth working on.

A close up of. the above and a photo of the rest of the canvas.

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Life drawing: There you are.

There you are. Acrylic on paper. 60 minutes. Three different brushes.
The different greys let the skin tones speak and give a sense of space..

There you are. Details of the head. Forsaking pencils, I let the smaller brushes take the strain.

From left:
D on ice blue. Acrylic on paper. The warm up pose. I was very happy with the skin colour, it pretty much matched what I saw in front of me.
4D / 2A. Acrylic and compressed charcoal on paper. 4 poses of 15 minutes. Good fun painting my fellow artists. On each pose a different approach was attempted. The red added a bit of drama.

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Life drawing: PB

The Queen of Sheba on her throne. Acrylic and compressed charcoal on prepared paper.
As yet unfinished. Around an hour.
The amount of brush marks and colours give this work a lot of depth. Again there is some conscious distortion to give the feeling you are near to the subject.
PB painted with a fan brush. Acrylic on sugar paper. 15 minutes.
The fan brush makes a good visual ‘noise’ and has a range of marks that can be made from it, from rough stumbles to thin straight lines.

Other 15 minute painted sketches and details.

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Velasquez sketchbook page in 3 states

Christ in the house of Martha & Mary. probably 1618, Diego Velázquez in the National Gallery. 

After 15 minute sketch in the National Gallery, this was worked up at home without looking at the original. I really like this painting, it has a lot to it, descriptively, technically and emotionally. The idea of copying isn’t something that I do much, this was fun to do, seeing the mistakes in composition I made – mainly due to the wrong ratio. Notice the arrows in the pen drawing.

The original. Though it looks very dark to me in this official National Gallery image. You can see all the differences that my eye and hand didn’t work out. Which is interesting. I think.

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Life drawing. A man.

Blind man’s bluff. Acrylic, pastel and chalk.
There’s four poses of 15 minutes, one obscured. The background was painted 10 minutes before the poses started. Each pose has slightly different techniques.
A man with arms up. Acrylic and chalk. Made with a fan brush.
A man from the back. Acrylic and compressed charcoal.

Some details and Man with a blue ribbon.

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Life drawing: Look left.

Look left. Acrylics and compressed charcoal on paper. 1 hour.
Really pleased with this. The composition and distortions work. The colour palette is simple and feels real. This will be exhibited at some time and will be worked on.
The model is an enigmatic dancer. His sister has been painted by me and is the the exhibition at this moment. That is me in the background in the studio mirror.
Seven studies. Acrylic and compressed charcoal on paper. 2 hours.
The top images are the most pleasing. Lots of paint laid on with a big brush in such a small space.
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