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!
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.
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 liked the dark background behind the sunlit fields and path and the way the light was reflecting off the tops of the trees. I tried a block approach, using square brushes, but in hindsight should have primed the paper with a strong undertone. I might then have got a bit of vivacity with the primer showing through, complementing the rough approach.
I must admit to doing this a couple of weeks ago, after the giraffes, but I thought I’d hold it back and release it on the eve of the Chinese year of the dog. With global politics being what they are, I thought an hyena carried some resonances.
This particular one was part of a family living in a drainage culvert under a road in the Etosha Pan in Namibia. Apparently they gave themselves away by their white faeces which is a result of the bone they crunch. With the lorry sitting directly over them, the low frequency reverberations of the engine forced them to come out and investigate.
They did have a look of vulnerability, but I wasn’t going to extend an arm in sympathy.
I had a great photo of my wife in Simons Town on our hotel balcony looking out over the bay but I lost the memory card and many other photos along with it. I thought I might have a go at recreating the image but sadly failed with this wooden affair. The point was the light falling on the subject, lighting up the figure against the blue of the sea, sky and hills. Still, it was a bit of practice.