Mr Moustache. A portrait commission.

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Mr Moustache went through a large amount of changes. All are fun. I was asked for an impressionistic view of the model, then a more realistic version, then a more photographic version, then a change of background. Some changes are interesting from what the eye and brain makes you do, the earlier versions have features that are far bigger than in the original photo. I’ve tried to keep the look of love in the sitter’s eye throughout.

The final version.

final moustache

Notice the subtle use of colour to make the image 3D. The blue or red lines, the underlying grey blue, the use of the canvas, with colour skimmed over the top.


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Sketchmania 2. Back to mono.

This all started when given some homework from my Friday night class of life drawing at the Mary Ward Centre. The work has been rather colourful of late, could you do some works in mono?

Here they are.

This was made by laying out the sketchpad so that the main model could draw oppostie me (and be drawn by me). The gesso and Japanese ink was used with one brush throughout, in tamden with a black pencil.

Alex niece and family bbq

Sunny Sunday afternoon in May 2017

Mono niece in chair

KH seated. With view of the garden featured in the previous image.
The parquet floor was fun to draw.

Family watching tv

My family watching a TV show. Notice the models movement. There’s also been some movement of people to add to the compostion.

Alex in mono on ipad

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Life Drawing 7. Model & artist.

This week composition seemed to be on my mind.
This is titled The Magician, Model and Skellington.
Each part has been moved around from the real view; the skellington was over to the left and larger, the artist on the right was smaller and silhoetted against the low evening sun and the model was lower on the horizon. Now model lloks at artist who looks at skellington. 1 hour. Acrylic, pastels, chalks and pencils on spray painted paper.

the magician the male model and Skellington

The page has 5 models, four artists and one dummy torso. This seems to be a little like the Chinese idea of  perspective.

mmale model x5 with artists x4 and 1 dummy torso

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Life Drawing 6: The Australian.

This session was about the horizontal contours around shapes. This was the last session for the life model before returning to Oz. Again the paper was prepared before using toxic spraypaint.

This was created in an hour of fun. Good advice from the tutor, John Close meant that the background was knocked back by the quick application of a sponge dipped in diluted grey blue acrylic. Acrylic, compacted charcoal and a small amount of pencil. I like the fight between the perspective and the flattening nature of the magenta background.

The Australian sitting on pink

The Australian and dummy torso on vibrant magenta 020617

3 quick life poses and one quick nature morte. On loud red spraypaint.  Mark making across rather than the usual up and down. It lends the drawings a sculptural quality.

The Australian standing on red x 3 with skull

The Australian on sprayed red x3 with skull 020617

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Life Drawing 4 & 5: Two male sessions.

This is on silver sprayed paper (I hate spray painting – it’s noxious).
The models head was very near, hence the heightened perspective. There was a conscious decision to leave the background blank. Wings could be added. There is as allusion to a Warhol Suicide screen print (the one of the lady on a car roof).
Acrylics, oil pastel, pencil. 1 hour.


A detail of the above.

Icarus detail

Man with skull.
The colours are great on this, but there is something very ugly about the composition.

Saint Jerome in pink and orange

Red & blue.
The first image of the night. The initial marks were made with a sponge roller.
Quick and fluid. Slightly mannerist.

Saint Jerome in blue and red

A quick pencil sketch.

offcut made on tube

Another Friday night at the Mary Ward Centre. Another great model.
Two figures. I liked the artist behind the model, she turns up a fair bit as a foil to the muscular naked model. Two 15 minutes.

Adrian twice with admirer

These two poses reflect how the models position changes my art. One is light and dreamy, the other sharp and scrappy.

Adrian twice with admirer part 1

A violent as I get in painting. The raised foot is pleasing it’s roughness.

Adrian from behind

Painted from the floor, looking up. This should have been better.

Adrian from the floor

A detail of the above. This model always brings a defiant look to his work.

Adrian from the floor portrait

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So, here’s a mixture of drawings that don’t fit into a theme, apart  from they were all drawn from life. We have: A five piece brass ensemble, a friend in the sun, art homework, my family, hand, trips to central London, and an old cigarette tin.

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Life Drawing 3. Tonal feedback.

In the crit at the end of the life drawing session asked why I painted on a loud pink spray painted background, I blurted out something to do with music feedback as a base for extemporising on. Having a strong thing to react to and work with. it gives me a head-start into the image rather than the sterile blankness of white. The tones really excite the eyes.

Lady on pink spray paint feedback baseThe life model only curled her lip for a second, just before a yawn. It was the expression that went with the pose and the colour.

Here’s a close up. I feel there might have been a progression in this lesson. I am so pleased with this I ‘ve signed it.

Lady on pink spray paint

This image has hints of my obsession with Matisse and his ‘bathers’, which I saw in Chicago.

Lady twice Matisse like

The lesson was about building the image up through tones against dark and midtone grounds. These works were great fun to do but needed extra work after the class, which meant I’m rather tired while writing this.

green and pink lady seated

This is a great pose. The life model fainted mid pose, but came back to finish the stance like a trouper. Lots of chalk was involved in this.

lady with blanket standing fainted

Here’s two examples of what I’m trying to do visually in music.


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