Following an earlier woodland scene I had an urge to explore some simplifation of the subject and came up with this effort. It is a version of a painting I posted in November 2018 which I have put below.
I must admit to liking this earlier version – though nobody else did, well, not enough to buy it. I like the lightness and the air of complexity which gives it some intrigue – the same complexity I was trying to eradicate in the top version. Probably what it lacks is the contrast in tone and hue I achieved in the top painting that immediately ups the drama.
I then turned my attention to some birches caught in sunlight amongst the pinewoods – another subject I have posted before.
In these two new versions, the first one seems to pull in the drama with its contrast of tones and greater simplicity. The lower one gets a bit busy and the background could do with a bit more punch. In the upper painting I’m not sue about having a central pine, but it does give it a sense of menace.
I think I’ll get myself out of the woods for now, but I can see myself returning…
Arthur, a runner into his sixties, sat in the captain’s chair for last Saturday’s life session. I do like this neutral grey paper. It gives you tone but doesnt drive you in any direction as regards hue.
At least we had some half decent lighting to help create form. This time I worked on a blue biased pastel paper.
This painting recalls summer days when I saw these horses beside the canal. I like drawing and painting horses, just for their shapes – rather like boats and the challenge they give when they are at different angles or huddled together.
I gathered up the images I had of the day and arranged the horses to get a selection of orientations and hopefully provide a pleasing arrangement.
Its good to get back painting with the first one of the year, though I am still moving materials back to the studio and at the same time doing a bit of sorting out and culling as I go – it all takes time.
In June I awoke to a glorious morning, gathered my paints and cycled to a spot where I knew at least a couple of good paintings lurked. When I got near, I dropped down onto the low lying marshland behind the coastal belt and suddenly could barely see in front of my nose because of the mist.
I stayed close to the coastal belt and painted the image below which I posted in June. I wouldnt have bothered normally. It was a fight from beginning to end as the paint took ages to dry because of the cold and humidity. As I packed up to go the sun at last broke through. The light on the grasses and nettles threw up interesting patterns and I took a few photos.
This one may be green but with all the activity it isnt calming. Now I’m thinking there may be too much green.
Over the past three days I have been on a life drawing course with Crawfurd Adamson, a painter I have admired for a while. He employed good lighting and uses colour in an exciting and almost abstract style.
There were two models he used in a dynamic and interesting way and we started off with quick sketches trying to find a pose we could use for the next three days.
I then started painting with pastels, working around the models for the next few days. I was about the only one who moved, so I found myself having to squeeze in the few places left.
This was the first painting I did (above) and employs some of the scratchy application I have used in the past. Crawfurd showed me how he works with pastel and the way he applies it and in the next painting I used some of his techniques.
It was also good to see how I could further develop this as Crawfurd does work in many similar ways to me. He also has a similar approach to lighting and colour, which, though people on the course thought were theatric, suits me down to the ground.
This week I am going on a three day life drawing course with a guy called Crawfurd Adamson. I have seen a lot of his work at the London Art Fair over the years and you can see more on the internet.
I have been checking out some of Crawfurd’s work and trying to get into the style and here, above, are two of them. It is evident that Crawfurd uses good lighting, demands interesting poses and works in a purposeful way.
I have been unhappy with the poses and lighting employed at our local sessions and am looking forward to this course.
So I thought that I would publish my latest drawings, done in the last couple of weeks and then hopefully compare them with the work I produce in the next few days.
So, as they say, watch this space and see if anything emerges.
Out one morning painting, I spotted this footpath across a field that the farmer had preserved. If I had come across it earlier I would have used that as my subject, but I had just completed two watercolours, so I took a few photos instead. On the other side of the lane I I discovered a cherry tree and got a bagful of cherries to supplement the morello cherries on my tree at home. I made three pots of cherry jam yesterday. I love cherry jam on toast – particularly after a tough morning with the paintbrush..
Just wanted to try this scene in pastels. I liked the light and the complementary green and reds to which I added to keep the rhythm going. The figures seem a little stiff now that they are up on the screen, but I was trying out a subject that was more than a life model pose and which contained some context. This is something I would like to explore further.
When I turned up for a life session yesterday I was told the model had cried off. Instead, one of the painters, Doreen, had volunteered to sit in their place. I must admit to being disappointed as I had brought paints and was going to play around incorporating some collage. However with the lighting and the way Doreen posed made it a very good study – it turned out ok in the end.
I decided to move over to doing some life studies in acrylics. The pose was quite stiff, but by getting a low viewpoint something a little more interesting was achieved.
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.