BP Portrait Awards 2019

A bit of a regular thing for me,  taking a day out to go to London and see the BP portrait Awards and the Summer Exhibition at the RA. I will post some  stuff from that a bit later.

Lots of super hyper realistic paintings in this years Exhibition, you have to admire the technical ability of the artists, but for me you can’t beat a few obvious  brush strokes in a portrait.

You cant go agreeing with the judges and this years winner did not get my vote. But what do I know.

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my vote went to…

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and my other likes

 

Great exhibition I always come away with great admiration for the artist and some inspiration to keep having a go at this art stuff.

 

Faces

Still practicing my faces , trying different media and approaches in my sketchbook.

A daily face is a good project even if you don’t get to it everyday  you soon build a sketchbook of ideas.

Satisfying to leaf through it, and see your progress.

 

Ink

New year and a new thing to master, if that’s what you can call it.

I have a new Rotaring  art pen, takes cartrages of ink (not waterproof), I need to see if I can get other types or refillable ones.

I thought this would be good for my sketching, it makes you think more about your lines there is no going back, when it’s down it’s down.

A few faces from my daily efforts using my new weapon.

 

More Heather

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.

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-

 

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.

 

Daily sketch

Started this year with a little pledge to sketch a face everyday, things started well but finding a few hours  each day to sketch is not that easy, still I have  started to gather a book full of faces and any practice has got to be good practice, even if its not everyday.

 

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.

Some images stick

Back in 2009 I started to follow Benoit Paille on flickr I was inspired by his portrait photography , although it seems miles away from his current work the pictures stuck in my head.

I have used his photograph “girl in a subway” for referance in my latest attempted at a painting, this is water based oils on canvas board and I have included some of my process pictures, to see how my process changes as I progress with my painting.

 

 

 

 

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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