When I started out trying to paint, I was convinced someone could instruct me, I spent lots of time trawling through the internet and looking at books.
This term at my art class I was set a project to paint a self portrait from a set of instructions, with materials all mapped out, a step by step guide, just what i had been looking for.
Not sure it was that successful just confirming what I now know, painting by numbers is a good way to learn but you need to find your own way.
Getting close to the last page of my sketchbook of faces.
This little selection are ink, tech pens and biro.
It’s been a great project hoping to fill my book before the end of the year (committed now)
Thanks for visiting.
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.
my vote went to…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.