I have seen a number of poured acrylics recently and decided to have a go myself. I have always liked the effects of poured paint and experimented with it around ten years ago with oil based gloss paint and below is one of my more successful ventures, Marrakech, which, because of the lightfastness of the gloss paint, now hangs in my conservatory.
I did not think you could get the same filigree effects with acrylics that you could get with the more viscous oil paint and so mainly used the liquid acrylics in a more dilute way such as in Dancing the Blues Away, which I posted some time ago, in 2015, on this blog.
So my prejudice has been exposed and I realise it might be worth experimenting with the liquid acrylics in a more concentrated form. I must admit my first attempt included as much manipulation as pouring as I played around with the paint with a palette knife, but the strands and swirls gave a satisfying result and looking at some of the work other people have produced, further variations can be had with the addition of silicone oil. I will be having a few more goes.
Another Liverpool painting. This is of Castle Street, with the town hall behind me and the law courts looming at the end of the street.
The Liver sketching club, where I do some of my life drawing, has moved and their new premises take me down past the town hall. As I came back to the train station after a Saturday morning session I looked into the sun coming down Castle Street. Our urban streets are taking on a continental air with street cafes and in the warm October sunshine Castle Street was no exception – a little different to the last painting I posted which reflects the normal state of play.
Looking at the painting on the screen, I think the girl’s leading leg could do with a little adjustment – a definite advantage of blogging paintings – it gives you a different view of them and a chance to reflect.
I have been asked to do a number of demonstrations recently, I think I mentioned a woodland scene earlier in the month which I need to do in a few weeks time. Someone else wants a demo on the subject of a townscape in the new year. I was unsure of which subject to tackle and thought I might try redoing a painting I posted in December last year. I made a few changes on this one to speed the process up and in fact I prefer this version to the first one I did.
The subject is good in that it allows me to complete it in a number of washes with the minimum of detail and so I can do it fast and this one was done in just over an hour. I believe I am performing after the AGM, so time might be of the premium. It reminds me of a demo I did a few years ago for a Round-Table group, who let slip fairly close to the demo that they generally allowed 20 minutes for the speaker. I had to relook at the landscape I had prepared to see where I could shave time. In the event I completed the demo in 19 minutes.
I reckon I have a little more time on this one, but I think the hairdryer might have to do its stuff to keep the momentum going. In the meantime I am considering doing a less frenetic version for sale on my website.
I put this out in October 2015 on this blog and then entered it into a number of local exhibitions but there were no takers. It also resided on my websites for a year and a half and with the lack of interest I decided to replace it on my main website, but last week someone saw it on one of my other websites which I dont update too often and they bought it. It just takes the right person to come along and see it and you have a sale.
It has made me resolve to check what I do have out there on the web as it might have been embarrassing if I had cut it up and used it as scrap paper which I am prone do when practising techniques or developing paintings.
Other seascapes and watercolours are available on my website. Get them whilst you have the chance : grahammcquadefineart.com
I posted some smaller versions of this a few weeks ago as a trial, and following that I decided to work larger and prepared a canvas with seven layers of gesso to get a smooth surface, sanding down between coats. In the end the smooth surface didnt give the effect I was after which was to increase the flow and mixing of the paints. Still, I was able to develop the theme of searching out form in random marks which has grown whilst I have been working on these pieces – the propensity for the eye to search out otherwise indistinct forms amid the chaos of random mark making, to try to gain insight and purpose into what has been presented.
I quite like this notion which feeds into other themes I have explored in my painting, so despite the setbacks at the start not all has been lost.
I suppose I wanted to slop some paint around and do a simple landscape and the brooding layers of hills around Borrowdale seemed a good candidate. I had some photos taken from afar so there might be some topographical errors here, but I hope I’m not too far out and anyway the paint had a mind of its own as you know. I had envisioned a more brooding skyscape and it seemed ok when it was wet… . Same old story.
The scene does seem to pose a threat but walking along the banks of the Derwent, in decent weather, as it flows through Borrowdale for me is a calming and serene experience. Well worth the drive up the M6.
Yes, you’ve seen it before but not quite like this. Someone wanted to buy the original, but then wanted it bigger and whilst I was at it could I put their parents in – along with the dog. So anything to oblige… I also took the opportunity to work out how to do it as a demo as a local group want a landscape demo in watercolour, so all in all, hopefully it was time well spent.
This is a painting of a guy I was at art college with and who occasionally models. He stepped in last week when the original model pulled out. I was pleased with the face as it captured him really well, the trouble is with the hands, which I could have tidied up later, but as I gave him the painting at the end of the session, it’s too late.
It’s unfinished, but with friends about to arrive for the weekend and my computer, which is constantly giving me problems getting collected today for repair, I thought I would put this out, whilst I had the chance.
When the dust settles, I’ll work on it a bit more, still it looks like it’s going to be a good weekend – hope you have the same.
As well as attending life sessions I have joined a portrait group, so here are a few of my recent paintings all done on a grey undercoat in a similar style, mainly using just three colours, alizaren red, raw sienna and ultramarine blue as well as white of course.
I managed to get the feet in on this one, which for a standing pose, for me is a minor miracle.
Below are the portraits. The first one was a bit over ambitious, trying to maximise the head on the paper and with flat lighting. I have managed to convince the guy who runs the session that he can get more sympathetic lighting on the subject. Hopefully that will show up in the ensuing weeks.
Last night’s session was a bit better, less ambitious in size