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.
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
In my effort to build up a few more flower paintings I decided to have a go at the gladioli I planted in one of my flower borders . There may be a bit too much red, but I was trying to get a hot border with lots of reds and oranges so this looks like a military parade.
From one of the sketches in my previous post I developed this image of the low lying land behind the town where I live. I wanted to capture the spirit of the place with its expanse of lonely flatness and some of the flora which breaks back into this reclaimed land. I opted for a little more colour in the background washes in this piece and wonder whether I have overdone it a bit, but I need to move on as exhibitions loom and other paintings need to get painted. So I’ll leave this alone for a while and see what I feel about it in a week or two.
Well, the opening of the Artists and Illustrators 2017 exhibition last night in London, just off Trafalgar Square. No coconut I’m afraid, but it was a good experience. Thanks to those who casted a vote for me.
I did notice my painting was the cheapest there and by quite a margin. Maybe everyone costed in their trainfare. But I am taking the opportunity to look up old friends and relations, so it has been and will be a good trip.
You also get a better feel for what it is that they are looking for. So maybe next year. In the meantime I’m looking at a solo exhibition in April. I’ll need to get back home and do some painting.
Ever taken on a project that has turned into long running saga? Here’s mine – after months of work. I wanted a large piece for a stairwell on a sea theme. I was intrigued by the structure of waves in water where, within each wave, there are other levels and wavelets – the notion of fractals and ever repeating patterns and forms.
As I built the piece I was taken by the anthropomorphic array of the blocks, reminding me of serried ranks of Chinese warriors or in this case the throngs who try to cross seas in search of some form of a normal life. The colours perhaps reflect the failure and success of these individuals.
The wooden blocks were made from a couple of gates that I replaced. My neighbour didn’t want any more of the wood for their stove as the paint on the wood generated a lot of ash, so I took to cutting it down into strips to make the piece. It had an extra kind of resonance that the work is made from a gate.
After all this time, and having been able to mount it on a wall, I think it could be modified further, for better impact, so I fear it could be a few more months of work yet.