BP Portrait Awards 2018

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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.

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My own short list below-

 

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Heather

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.

Skies

This term at my art group we have been looking up at the skies, trying lots of different  media, pastels acrylics watercolour mono printing and lots more.

We started sky diaries looking up everyday from the same viewpoint well worth doing just to appreciate the changing skies.

 

Recycled

Tried reusing one of my old canvas boards, by  painting on a couple of layers of gesso, it covered the original ok and seemed to give a ok surface, but painting on it was like painting on gritty sandpaper, so not the way to go for future recycling.

Thanks to  Iain McKell for his reference picture of modern Gypsies.

Credit cards

Back at my art class and trying something new again. This week we were painting with credit cards, pushing scraping and dragging the paint around. Took me a while to get used to using this cumbersome little bit of plastic but I think l started to get it in the end. Using the card and a loaded brush dragging it over the paper worked well, wearing gloves is a good idea as it does get a bit messy, some finishing touches with a brush and some enjoyable splattering; I think it worked out ok.

 

Senses

I have been working on and off my senses project painting over the summer, started with a few sketches my first attempt didn’t  really work, inspired by my visit to Upfest and all the wonderful urban paintings I had another go, this seams to happen a lot with my pictures, anyways its about done now.

Spent some time working out how to paint some of the elements, its been a good learning picture.

 

Candy floss pink

Spent a wonderful day painting with Chris Guest in London. A first for me painting all day from a model, picked up a new approach to painting , a few tips on materials and how to mix candy floss pink. All in all a good day.

Thanks to Chris for his instruction, I have gesso and board ready to have another go. Just need to find me a model with candy floss pink hair.

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BP Portrait Awards 2017

The standard of work in this exhibition is tremendous; I always come away appreciating the skill and talent of the artists. I have taken a few pictures of my favourites to add here.

It is a competitions so you have to select your own favourite, mine was (Rhyming slang for worth nix) by artist Janne kearney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmark

I have been trying my hand at painting for about 3 years now, so I thought it might be  interesting to go back to the beginning and attempt another version of an earlier painting.

I have always liked this portrait by photographer Ronald Vogal who kindly gave me permission to use his  photograph as reference.

I have use oil paints on canvas as apposed to Acrylics on paper but still I am pleased with the marked  improvement in my technique.

I am certainly looking forward to trying this benchmark again in another 3 years.

 

 

Sixth sense

I have been working on my art class summer project Senses.

I had the idea of creating 5 tarot like cards one for each sense, trying to add a little twist to each illustration Sight being blindfolded  in the dark and Smell being roses and something rotting in a bag, I guess you get the idea.

The sixth sense is just suggested by a downturned card and the tarot.

Thanks for dropping in.