This is John, my step brother. He gave up running a shopping mall and, with his wife, opened up an Filipino/English Cafe. She is from the Philippines and her son, DJ, is in the background, though he is soon off to a job in Japan.
When I was on my painting course, last week, we popped in for lunch and I thought I might do John a painting – though I think it needs to be livelier and more quirky than this.
I do like his pork-pie hat which seems to be fixed permanently to his head and the cafe counter is covered in paper and paraphernalia, so this may be another project I will be doing again. The second goes are piling up.
Anyone got a spare lifetime that they can let me have?
I used my liquid acrylics to start this off and am quite pleased with some of it. Other parts are a bit more pedestrian than I would have liked – and I dont mean the figures crossing the road.
I did a similar thing last year, which I posted, even using a few of the same motifs, as you can see below, and got similarly bogged down with an illustrative approach. The liquid acrylics helped liven up proceedings in the latest painting and, I feel, opened up some options. Every time I see the painting, I add or change bits of it, so maybe it isnt finished yet.
I need to try developing the approach on another image and see if I can avoid some of the pitfalls that beset me.
This was another response to to the forest walks we went on, described in previous blogs. In fact I completed this one before the last blog I posted. I tried some sketches first in pastel and in the end decided to combine them all for the final piece.
Any resemblence to Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie is coincidental and I did get increasingly aware of it as I built up the painting, with its lines and small blocks of colour particularly as he did some very inspiring trees as well – well worth a look at.
I wanted to do a townscape with a little more edge. This is based on Hope Street in Liverpool with a lot of paring away and more reliance on colour. I did the same scene in 2014 in a more conventional way when I started to do a set of Liverpool nightscenes. I exhibited a few but didnt get much response, though this one sold.
I feel the new version still lacks presence and I need to let go looser when building up the backdrop – so back to the drawing board, or in this case, canvas.
I went to a couple of life groups this week where we had just over an hour on each session, so I took my acrylics. The first two were done on Wednesday evening.
I think the first one was the stronger – maybe I was getting tired as the evening wore on. Also the lighting wasnt as good on the second pose.
On Thutsday morning, the next day, I turned up at a different group and set up. In came the same model from the previous night. I had a bit longer on this last sketch, about and hour and a half, as they have a need to do quick sketches first.
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.