After posting a long string of watercolours I have accumulated some life work done at various sessions in the new year.
I am a little dissatisfied with my life output particularly after my session with Crawfurd Adamson just before Christmas.
The lighting in many of our local sessions is absysmal and the poses are staid. Trying to get input is difficult as the people running the sessions do not really want or understand the options possible.
I even gave two of the session leaders at different groups a book of poses to help stimulate some variety, but neither was interested.
So all you get is people sitting stiffly on chairs – which is ok, but not everytime.
I am about to go on holiday and have decided that when I return I am going to take some time away from the life studio and work from photographs and sketches and experiment with different styles and techniques. I find this approach difficult in live sessions as you go into them not knowing the model or the pose and because of overcrowding most times you cant even select a viewpoint – on Saturday I was even restricted from sitting or standing, because it affected those behind me.
Anyway enough of this – you can see I need a holiday!
I started again with the painting I posted on my last blog and here is the result. It is a little rough around the edges but it now has the feeling of a mad hatter’s tea party – not that I’m calling my step-brother mad for one instant – he could be reading this. I thought that the first version was too static and it needed something, so along came a bit of humour and action. I did consider just altering the last offering but changing the poses and adding the bottle and hands blocked out bits I wanted to keep – so it was start again.
I will allow time for reflection and then perhaps refine a few bits, but I feel John will appreciate this version a little more or dislike it a little less.
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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.