Preparations for a painting

There’s a few paintings I’m working on at the moment. This is being made at the Mary Ward Centre.

Pencil study of R with JT painting him. Pencil, acrylic and oil paint on paper.
I decided to make a realistic drawing. The colour was put on later, in an experimental manner.

Pencil study 2. R with paint brushes. Pencil and oil paint.
A strong pose. Again, trying to make a base for later decisions. Below are sketches and a photo from the same night

Preparing the canvas. I’ve painted over an old portrait in gesso and then oil paint. From red to blue.

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Two chairs, one empty. Now revised.

Two chairs, one empty. Acrylic and pencils on paper.
I had some thoughts about a photograph in a magazine and in almost a fit of creativity, drew it onto of the painting. The new figure is a kind of ghost interacting with the work underneath. Some thoughts about the thread of life are in there.

Two chairs, one empty. Acrylic and pencils on paper.
The painting has power, though this mostly comes from the wheelchair and the non-presence sat in it. The model was able bodied.
I painted freely, not feeling that I needed to connect parts together. Later when the work became more realistic, I thought more drawing earlier might have helped. The palette was restrained, facial features were enlarged, the background was covered and shadows were added. I made a study of the wheelchair which also had a rather odd feel.

Is it a Queen without her King? Or a wheelchair bound person in a chair?

5/6 poses and one reflection. Acrylic and a little compressed charcoal on paper.
The wheelchair makes a great prop. There was a large arm that was painted out. The images were painted in sequence from back to front.
Plus some details of Two chairs, one empty.

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Life Drawing. Faceless.

Dominic wearing Barrie’s mask. Pencil and acrylic on paper.
Dominic has a bright, positive personality, which shows through even in this muted painting.. His face was covered by a mask, hence the blurry feel. The mask was worn by another model, the great Barrie who has recently passed on. Old paintings and drawings of Barrie were put behind Dominic. The two pencil dots were the last things to be added. There is a play of greys, ochres and blues. The corner composition works well. There were plants around him, which I decided to leave out, as was the large piece of fabric on the floor. After seeing a Francis Bacon exhibition, I wanted to photograph this painting in a frame with glass in it, for the reflection.

Details of Dominic wearing Barrie’s mask. I like the abstract nature of these close ups. You can see every decision made.

  1. Dominic x7ish. Acrylic and charcoal on paper. The main face has another persons features as it was painted in the break.
  2. Two figure studies. Chalks on black sugar paper.
  3. Dominic Close. Acrylic on black sugar paper. He was very close, hence the exciting perspective. I should do more of these.

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A connection is made.

A connection is made. Acrylic on treated plywood.
Two of the top models in London, ‘A’ and Mr. Skellington. Lots of decisions made before putting paint on the brush. Colour, crop, brush sizes all were worked out beforehand. I was trying to make both of them be as alive as possible. And put into practice what I’d learnt from the Van Gogh exhibition at the Tate Britain.

Small old canvas with two poses. Acrylic on canvas.
Painted over an abstract from 1993, the new work was then scratched with a scalpel to let the old painting be the background.

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Gallery studies. Epstein, Van Gogh and Bacon.

Study of The Visitation, a sculpture by Jacob Epstein. Pencil on sketchbook.
Made by standing infront of the work in the Tate Britain (while overhearing Simon Schama enthuse on David Bomberg, which made me very happy). I really like the presence of this sculpture.
https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/epstein-the-visitation-n04238

Van Gogh studies. I really loved this painting. I drew it from memory and then when visiting again sat down infront of it and drew it from life. The brush marks and colour are brilliant. I learnt a fair few things from the ‘Van Gogh & Britain’ exhibition at the Tate Britain.
https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ey-exhibition-van-gogh-and-britain

Study of Figures in a Landscape by Francis Bacon.
There’s an interesting exhibition of Francis Bacon’s figure work called ‘Couplings’ at the Gagosian in Mayfair. I’d never seen this work before, it has the mystery of a dream or a bad memory.
https://gagosian.com/exhibitions/2019/francis-bacon-couplings/

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Life Drawing. Canvas & blue tape.

The Blue Look.
Acrylic and pencil on canvas.
This was an old canvas painted a light turquoise-blue. The composition has a lot of movement for a seated pose with strong light.
I now have my easel near my work desk so I can keep on checking and changing the work in little ways.

Details of The Blue look.
You can see the roughness of the canvas and the amount of different colour.
Plus the new painting with another of the same model.

6 Studies In Structure.
Acrylic, pencil and blue masking tape on paper.
There was a lot going on so the colours were kept simple. Things were moved or left out. This was worked on during the. week.

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Life Drawing. The Collector.

The Collector.
Acrylic and a little charcoal and pencil over an old painting on paper.
The model moved to a new pose every five minutes, picking up objects arranged in front of him. As you can see the choice was made to overlay each pose, so there are a fair few hands.
I’ve been looking at early Velazquez paintings and his simple palette and technique, so chose only dark and light grey paint and one size brush. The charcoal and pencils were added at home in between working on design jobs.

The Collector up-close.

Julius Caesar.
Palomino Blackwing Pencil on paper.
Lots of moving poses. The dirty marks are from being rolled up with the painting above. The drawings started at the top right and ended bottom left. Yes I’m left-handed.

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