Another term at artclass and we have been looking at art inspired by circus, had some great fun working with vintage photographs and some rapid scribbling, trying to create the energy of circus clowns.
My last painting of my art class friend, was just a lead in to this painting.
I planned to make two pictures and to have a go at a large (large for me) canvas. This picture is 18 x 24.
I wanted to make this about the subject, so I have used Heathers paintings for the background and included her painting shirt and some of her own hand crafted jewellery
After not liking the acrylic ground used on my last picture I had already added it to this canvas so had to go with it, I used charcoal instead of the acrylic pen for my sketch.
I am living with it for a while as I think it is finished but I might just work the shadow side of the face some more, does it need to be darker? I cannot decide.
Took myself down to London to see the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery and the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy, more of that in another post.
I always find this exhibition an inspiration and a illustration of just how much there is to learn. I don’t think I will ever get there but you need to look at the work of others to improve, I took time to study hair and the boundaries between subjects and background. I am not sure I am any wiser.
Some tremendous hyperrealism paintings, you have to wonder at the skillset to produce this work, I always wonder if I am blown away by the technique or the subject.
I think everyone has their own winner and the picture that engaged me the most by its presence in the room and the clever use of a highlight on her ring constantly pulling your eye from her face was Gaela Erwins Portrait of Neema Tambo.
My own short list below-
Took me a while to ask my friend from my art class if she would be my subject, I was pleased I did as she was more than helpful, I shared my ideas with her and we took some pictures for me to work from.
My approach is to start with some sketches and then moved on to painting, this works better than diving straight on in with the paint and gives you time to understand the subject.
I found using acrylic to ground your canvas is quick but I found the oil paint went on better when the oil under painting had been done, I probably won’t start with acrylic next time. also tried a black acrylic paint pen for my drawing, it was good that it didn’t vanish but it took some painting out.
I struggled to paint her hair, it’s one thing I really don’t have a good approach to, this time after a couple of goes I tried under painting the shapes and tones, when this was dry I used a rigger brush to add detail, this seams to have worked out ok, something to explore more.
A couple of strange scribblings from my sketchbook.
Not sure where these come from, just start with marks on the page made by scribbling or squashed ink and they sort of grow.
Maybe ideas for future paintings.
Visited Oxford to see the Modernism exhibition as the write up says some really interesting pictures in this exhibition and it lived up to the modernism tag.
“This is the first exhibition to explore the ‘cool’ in American art in the early 20th century, from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.
I don’t exhibit my picture very often, so when our local art group had a print exhibition it was an opportunity to put some of my photo art in, I had a lot of kind remarks and interest into how they had been made, but no sales. I have always made pictures for me so it was not really surprising. They have moved on to be exhibited in the local Swan Hotel so you never know they might catch someone’s eye there.
First time for everything my daughter brought me a unstretched painting back from her travels. I have just got round to stretching it over a frame, after a couple of goes to get it positioned corectly it worked out fine.
I will have to look into the cost of stretcher bars and canvas next time I need one.