Hemingway 3. The finished work.

  • Ernest Hemingway,
    The Gulf Stream
    Sun over the yard arm
    1947Final Ernest NAME please 060517

    So here it is.
    A long time. A lot of thought. A fair few marks.

    Some notes on the work.
    The work is made from oil paint with a lot of liquin and pencils
    The quality of the paint was suggeted by the thought that the work would be transported to it’s home rollled up in a tube.
    The perspective and amount of ceiling is a thought about thinking space and the need have room over the figure, to let the subject breathe.
    The realistic handling of the subject reflects the writer’s stylised realism.
    The colour choice reflects the deep blue sea rather than the brash mahogany of the real boat.
    The prominent skylight is a reference to Hemingway’s near fatal experience in Shakespeare & Son, Paris. See here for more.
    The fishing reel in the foreground is a bespoke one from the 1930’s.
    The drinking hand is an amalgam of 4 different hands.
    The artwork took just over a year on and off.
    It will be framed in America (yes I have given instructions – I am also happy to see what the framer can do).

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Hemingway 2. Work in progress.


The rough linen canvas stapled to the wooden board.


Lots of pencil measuring, string and boards.Then masking tape oil paint and liquin.


The introduction of white and yellow.


A close up of a sickly looking, worried Ernest H.

ernest feb 2017 sm

More layers of paint, more pencil work. The sky is painted in.


New sky, a thought of a marlin in the top part of the painting.


A close up of Ernest, still looking pensive.


A graduated sky, more colour, deeper blue.

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Hemingway painting 1. Studies.

This is the story of an oil painting.
A painting of Ernest Hemingway, commissioned by a major patron of mine.

There will be 5 posts, this one is about the research, sketches and studies.

An oil study with pencil, around A4. Testing out colours, expressions and techniques.

Ernest Hemingway studyErnest Hemingway study detail 2

A series of sketches, there are more.

Photographic and book research. There was a lot more.

Ernest Hemmingway top half 4 flatimages for top of paintingHemingway booksdbf583353c4907a894cef15b70b3f16d

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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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