Taking a break from my series of watercolours, I thought that I would do something with acrylics. I have to give an acrylic painting demonstration in Blackpool next week and decided to feature this piece which I posted on my blog some years ago. It is done with square brushes to block in colour and, hopefully, encourages looseness and produces a more painterly piece, which some people prefer. I like to have a run through of a demonstration to ensure that I can complete it in the allotted time and this one is a bit bigger than the normal size I demonstrate.
I do find the setting of the models at the life sessions I go to very uninspiring – mainly people sitting rigidly in a chair or stretched out on a bed, hoping to get paid for a good doze. Most of the problem is down to the organiser not having thought about what to set until faced with a group and model. In a similar situation someone turned to me in desperation to set a pose for a group on Thursday. They got the above – maybe more than they had bargained for (too many sharp angles and hands on display).
A number of years ago we had a model in Liverpool who had worked for both Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Now, he could get himself into some amazing contortions and hold them as well. Bring back Phil. I think he relocated to York.
This pose is more the type we get, though I did get her to look down – otherwise she would have sat even more rigidly looking outwards. I try to refrain from interfering when the pose is being set, as there is nothing worse than people calling out their preferences and you get a pose set by a committee which can be a disaster.
I am back to using acrylics after a spell with pastels. For the top two I started to use black to mix darks instead of a blue. The bottom one used blue as you can see. I prefer the rawness of the top two. I have been taken by the work of Crawfurd Adamson, whose work I have seen over the years and this has influenced my approach on the top 2 sketches. I have booked to go on a 3 day course with him in my old hometown of Hastings in December. I do particularly like the directness he applies his pastel and the interesting poses he sets. I am looking forward to it.
The session organiser gave the model a Rubik’s cube to focus on for last Saturday’s session. He declined the challenge to solve it.
Here is the same model sparsely painted in acrylics a couple of weeks ago. It was done on a yellow base I used it just to give me a tonal background to work off. The model was taken with the colour as a possibility for his living room. I sent him the details later.
Following my watercolour sketch – Walk in the Woods – I presented a week or so ago, I thought that I would develop it a little. I liked the bands of light and shade created by the beeches in this wood on The Southdowns Way, close to the Cuckmere Valley. I mentioned in the blog that I took some pictures of passing walkers and I put in a couple with their sticks. I also kept the colours muted and resisted my urge to bang in some scarlet amongst the greens. Not sure whether it has the impact of my Dog Walkers where I succumbed to the scarlet urge – but maybe I got some of the calm I experienced on the day. Hope it calms you, also.
I started a version of this last week whilst on duty again at the exhibition I was part of. I don’t think it is as successful an image as the painting I did of the dog walkers on my last stint at the gallery, but I do love the impatient anxiety of the woman trying to catch the waiter’s eye and the nonchalance of her husband, given charge of the lapdog.
In the gallery I followed my sketches and did a version of this but by the middle of the afternoon I realised I had the scale wrong. So the painting displayed above was one I did at home. The half completed first attempt is below. As you can see I beefed up the figures and pulled in the scene.
As for the exhibition. In the end I sold 3 paintings which was a good result as far as I am concerned. Today I entered 4 paintings for a juried exhibition, so I wait to hear the decision of the panel’s deliberations,
Yesterday was spent manning an art exhibition I have a few paintings in. The other person scheduled to sit in failed to show, so I was on my own. There were not many callers and I spent my time painting this – so not all was lost. It was from a photo I took last year which I altered considerably, but I loved the figures in the dappled light and the contrast between light and shade. I was quite pleased with the result.
The exhibition is in an unused shop in town we are able to use. I have had some good results in the past, though so far on this exhibition I have only sold one painting – but there are two weeks to go.
You can just see the painting in progress on the easel.
I tried an acrylic painting of this lady at another venue a couple of days earlier and gave up and walked out as there was not enough time to make radical corrections as things went a bit awry. This version in pastels, of another pose, seemed to fall into place easier.
I liked the angle on this pose, in acrylics, as everyone else worked from the front.
The model asked for a glass of water during this session. I thought that it made a nice accompaniment.
This guy looked a bit wary, like we were about to whip away his manhood.
I dont normally like long poses and once again struggled to get all the figure in, but I took a low angle which gave the pose a bit more interest.