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.
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.
The Unknowable. Acrylics, pencils, chalks and oil paint on paper. The pose was so good I kept on going back to this 30 minute study, trying to get it to a state I was happy with. I’ve been letting this artwork take it’s time. There is a lot of (unessential) work that has been painted over, remnants of colours that you can only see in the outlines of the figure. The fabric was painted over in a Prussian blue oil glaze which soaked in quickly. A little dry brushwork for shadows on the figure and it was finished. I wanted a state of calmness, a certain floating feeling, an oscilation of depth and flatness. A painting not a life study. The title is about the model – I paint portraits and get to know the sitter well. With the Friday classes at the Mary Ward Centre, you can have a chat but mostly you have no knowledge of what is behind the features, which changes the dynamic of the image. They are bodies to study rather than people, and I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that.
Contemplation of chance in painting. Acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal and pencil on paper. This painting had four different stages. 1. The smaller figure was made months ago. 2. The wine red acrylic was slapped on, again months ago. It was then put in the large pile of papers to re-use. 3. The larger figure was drawn from life last Friday night. 4. The light blues were applied at home. I felt I was playing over loud electric guitar when drawing with the oil pastel. Influences were Matisse (the use of a small figure in a composition) and Bob Peak (the film poster illustrator who used ink like the wine red background). Movement, texture, colour, line. Noise and silence.
Some details of the work. There was a challenge by the tutor John Close to not make the profile of the face too strong but to se colour to model the face instead. Thanks John.
What are you thinking? Oil pastel, acrylics, chalk and coloured pencils on paper.
I’ve been thinking about the major parts of the life drawing set up. You are drawing a person. Usually naked. In a room, surrounded by other artists staring at that model. Instead of making a fake context (beach, theatre etc.) I started thinking about the interior life of the model: Steadfast (a Paris streetlight), The Villain, The Bore, Monty (Clift) and Emmy Lou (Harris). No I’m not 100% why either, though it seems to work. Taking random images from old magazines I made her thoughts parade before her. I also gave her a material covering to take away from the nude aspect. Who knows this could be a break-through, or it could look like a bad RB Kitaj homage. Let’s see.
The Quick & the Quicker. Acrylic and pencil on paper. 1 hour infant of the model, 30 minutes in the studio.
I’ve been looking at underpainting, thinking to get the important part down from life and add things like colour later from memory. So the work infront of the model was made with three brushes (a large window sash brush, an old Fan and a knackered medium pointed brush), with gesso and black acrylic. Then the plan was to go over this at home with oil washes. Due to lack of time the coloured pencils came out which added to the texture and movement of marks. I’m quite please with this technique as it is the opposite of most artists – usually pencils then paint on top.
Here’s some details of the work.
The work in the original Black and White state and the rest of the night’s work at the Mary Ward Centre.
Umbrella indoors. Graphite stick and Pencil on paper. The week before I was late to the class, found a place to draw (on a ‘donkey’ – a drawing bench) and made a pencil work. I like the different eyes, drawn at different times, hence the half sleepy look.