MAN OF THE BROTH – PASTEL PAINTING

I initially had a notion of this painting from a side view incorporating the steam from the soup against a dark background. Looking for suitable images to use I came across one of my dad, but a frontal view. Unfortunately he was wearing a hat and had no shirt which was a step too far for me, so I changed that, and added a book.

The real problem came in filling the 50x65cm sheet. I rescoped the head a couple of times, to try to ensure that sheet was filled, but despite all this I only managed 2/3 of the paper and with all the chopping and changing I lost the likeness – well, it’s a bit like him, but I’ve done better – perhaps a candidate for another attempt.

Compared to that the reworking of the Cambodian woman (an image I posted a couple of weeks ago as a smaller sketch) came out so much easier on this larger format – perhaps there was more to squeeze in so I was struggling to include rather than fill it out.

I might do a bit of tweaking to this yet, but in the main I am happy with it. Perhaps this larger format allows more detail and nuance giving it, for me, more authority.

Other figurative work is available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

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CAMBODIAN WOMAN – PASTEL SKETCH

Being a bit tied up with family issues I just had time to sketch out this portrait of a Cambodian Lady I spotted when I paused on a cycle ride by a river near Battambang – the second city of Cambodia. The light on her face accentuated her features as she squatted by some sugar cane that she had collected. I have a few pictures of different people of southeast Asia I took on my recent travels and was considering creating a small collection.

Other figurative work is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORE FIGURATIVE STUDIES – PASTEL PAINTINGS

I had planned to look at developing a more forceful and abstract style to my life paintings. I wanted to experiment with the many sketches that I have and explore possibilities and new approaches away from the constraints and distractions a life session imposes, such as finding a viewpoint, contending with poor lighting or being herded into quick sketches – things that drive you into resorting to the same old approach in order to get something down in the time that’s left.

As you can see so far I havent had that time to make such leap and have drifted back into life groups after my holiday. Here are a couple of recent studies. Hopefully I will make some progress in the weeks ahead – well I have a plan anyway.

Other life drawings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

STREET FOOD – PASTEL PAINTING

In Bangkok, as in every town and city, in south east Asia there are stalls offering fresh food and drink along the roadsides and in night markets. I thought I might explore some of the images I collected along the way. I like the spotlit figures surrounded by an almost abstract background. For me, there is a theatricality about them which adds to their draw.

This picture is developed from a number I took in Sathorn, a district in Bangkok, where we had just had a meal sat out on the pavement.

Other pastel figurative paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A CLUTCH OF LIFE STUDIES – PASTEL AND ACRYLIC PAINTINGS

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!

Other life drawing is available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

LATEST FIGURATIVE WORK – PASTEL PAINTINGS

With a houseful of visitors I haven’t done much work over the past few days. I did this one last Saturday when I slipped out early whilst the house was asleep and got a morning’s drawing in. I used larger paper than I normally use – this one is on a 85x65cm sheet. I have been using 75x50cm sheets. Frequently I have trouble getting all the figure on the paper as I am trying to maximise the head as I do like working on the facial features – a larger sheet should reduce the incidence of chopped off feet – well that’s the theory anyway.

I am still overworking the application of the pastel and not getting the effects I am after, and on reflection I realised that Crawfurd Adamson, whose course I recently went on, recommended working on a paper covered board to help with the smooth application of the pastel.

Saul, the model in the top painting, allowed me to take a photo from the other side and I have a few other life photos, so I might practise at home on the pastel application as when you are working against time in a studio it is hard to reflect on the details of pastel application and colour combinations .

Other Life painting is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

YOU CAN TAKE YOUR HAT OFF, TOO – ACRYLIC PAINTING

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.

Other paintings for sale are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com