Zoom / Real Still Life With Mirror. Oil on canvas board. 50x40cm. Sunday 31/01/2021. 2 hours.
Along with some artist friends I painted still life from a screen on Zoom. Infront of this screen I placed on a book a newly emptied bottle of Lillet and a very old lemonade bottle which was dug up from a garden. Behind the screen was placed a mirror. So, two different kinds of flatness, with some real 3D bottles. Painted on a 2D surface. This stuff interests me. I gives me a subject to paint, otherwise it’s just objects.
Then away three brushes until the time ran out. The palette was Paynes Grey, Prussian Blue, Translucent Yellow Oxide, Light Red and Titanium White.
How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Acrylics, pencil, oils and oil pastels on prepared paper. 100 x 70cm. Sometimes a piece of work just takes time and effort to finish. This started off as a 30 minute sketch. The tight diagonal composition was pleasing. There was something there, so over the next 4 weeks I added, moved and covered the surface with different media. There were sketches and notes made. In the end the build up of colour and texture makes the whole thing work. It’s still being worked on – the eyes have moved.
Some details of the work showing the different textures.
Giraffes. I’ve always liked drawing them. I used to draw them for other kids around the age of 10 (draw a horse and extend legs and neck, add stubby horns and sometimes a blue-ish long tongue. Now, I have some time on my hands waiting for one of my kids in Regents Park. London Zoo is based there and you can see some of the animals fairly clearly from the road, which makes me happy.
The A3 grey sketchpad had some pages on which I’d cleaned my brushes, hence the abstract marks under the drawing. There are only two giraffes at London zoo, both females. The last page is of a few zebras, who moved more and didn’t keep my interest, though the image looks a bit like cave drawings.
These were made a month or 3 ago in a smaller sketchbook and coloured with spare oil paint. The camels are good to draw as well, with sour, snooty expressions and lots of weight on the camels humps for them to balance. The camels seem to make people say rather strange things ‘are they monkeys?’ being my favourite.
Look left2. Pencil on paper. 100 x 70cm. This was an enjoyable hour and a half. After some initial sketching, the work was made from right to left as I am very left handed and a terrible smudger. Putting in the heater flex really helped the composition.
Look left 1. Pencil on paper. 100 x 70cm. A nice pose. I must learn to sort out ground shadows.
Lady Macbeth. Acrylics, oil paint and pencil on prepared paper. 100 x 70cm. The background was already dramatic before the figure emerged upon it. We were talking about great roles in the theatre in the life drawing session and Lady Macbeth seems to be a good fit to this cold, self contained, haughty and wild vision of the model.
I thought it would be good to see other versions of the subject. Maybe I should add some daggers or a bowl. And some red paint?
On gold. Acrylics, gesso, pencil and oil paint on prepared paper. 70 x 100cm. A frame on the floor really helped with the dynamism and proportion of the figure in the space. You can see how near I was in the space. The paper was painted with gold acrylic which worked well under the skin. I’m painting a large work in oils at the moment, so having other works around in the studio means they get worked on as well for a few minutes in between. The face isn’t particularly a portrait of the model, I liked the slightly punky look so left it. The flat calmness of the background stripes (with hints of a seaside scene in the perspective and colours; it was in fact a studio with a set of kitchen draws in the background) makes the solidity of the figure, chair and frame stand out more.
Details showing the unblended simplicity of the face.
The red hoop. Acrylic on paper. 30 x 50cm. Nice and simple colours and perspective.
Roxy music. Acrylic, pencil on paper. 70 x 100cm. The colours were put on while listening to ‘Country Life’ by Roxy Music. Hence the greenery and glammy colour. Another influence was a Howard Hodgkin documentary; nice strong colour.
R looking up. Oil on gesso on wood. 13″ square. This is the hardest painting to photograph. It really does look different in real life. The work has more depth and presence. It will be interesting to see whether it gets a frame and where the painting is placed.
Calm. Acrylics, pencil and oil paint on paper. 70 x 100cm. There was some interesting times in the making of this work, fun with oil paint and keeping the atmosphere of the original time in the life studio.
Some details showing the layers of media. Pencil, acrylic, oils, pencil.
Three figures in three chairs. Acrylics, pencil and oil paint on paper. 70 x 100cm. The model had three poses of 20 minutes each. Great fun, not bothering about the mess just trying to get things ‘right’. It led to a slight double vision.
1,2 and 3 removes. Acrylic and oil on prepared paper. 100x70cm. The angel is a painting of a painting of a painting, which is quite fun. The title is called 1,2 and 3 removes as the model in the studio is at one remove, the model in the mirror at 2 and the angel at 3. The tattoo works well in linking the blues around the painting. The background colour is the light yellow. The oil paint is over the skin colour, hair and under the fabric. The mirror could do with a bit more work or some gloss varnish.
The ritual of the scarf, mask and book. Acrylic and oil on prepared paper. 100x70cm. Everyone in the room was wearing masks. The model posed in 3 fifteen minute poses, holding objects. This reminded me of the villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, hence the red background. Then I had some black oil paint that needed using up, so that made it on. The painting could be finessed at a later date.
Thinking in Mono. Pencil on paper. 100 x 70cm. It was enjoyable not to have to worry about colour, brushes and cleaning up. A wash of Paynes Grey and liquin was put on the material at home. As usual, if only I could make the shading a little less aggressive.
Thinking in Monolightly. Pencil on paper. 100 x 70cm. The light grey was put on in photoshop. A large 30 minute sketch.
Past & Present (SLG x2). Acrylic, pencil and oil on prepared paper. 100 x 70cm. The initial painting was in acrylic, then overpainted in oils thinned with liquin. Again the feeling of the models presence was important. Oil paint gives a greater depth and lustre. In the background is an old canvas of the model, put on in the last 30 minutes of work on the painting.
Figure in the studio (SLG). Acrylic, pencil and oil on prepared paper. 100 x 70cm. I liked the cool, dry quiet atmosphere and the play of what was in focus and what fades from view. The painting balances in an interesting way.
Figures in the studio (SLG x4). Acrylic on paper. 80 x 60cm. Four fifteen minute poses with frames and a table. Nice and rough.
Movement | Stasis. Acrylics and pencil on prepared paper. 100 x 70cm. The dark blue frame and background was painted a few days before the figures. The work was made in two parts. In the first, the model (an actor) was acting his socks off, as it were. I tried to keep up with a broad brushing a warm palette. The second half of the painting was made as the model stayed rather still; hence the alabaster feel, to make him look statuesque. Having two techniques in the same work is exciting. The two sides were originally reversed, making the statue-like pose look out from the left, which didn’t seem right.
Some other work from the night. One 30 minute pose with three 15 minute ones. Dynamic poses.