Back in June 2014 I did a couple of pastels on the isolation of the individual. I was never happy with the outcome. These first two took a high viewpoint and recently when playing around I decided that a low angle might be more effective. But it wasnt plain sailing, as I found the detail I required was difficult in pastel.
So I changed to acrylic and am happier with the result. Though it may not be the final resolution, I feel I have made progress – and that is all that one can hope for, I guess. I may even revisit the first two paintings I did and see if acrylics would also suit them.
I received a set of Unison portrait pastels for Christmas and thought I’d find a subject where I could give them a road test. I had some images from my trip to South East Asia which caught some figures in the light – always a favourite subject of mine.
This is a compilation of a number of those images – ones of Buddhist monks and their initiates – and reflects a mindset I certainly get into myself, of being absorbed into activities which take away all sense of time. On talking to one Laotian monk in particular ( who engaged me in conversation just to practise his English) I came to the conclusion that they passed their life absorbed in worship, following rituals and were comforted by that routine. He did also say that many were monks for a short duration only and then activated the ejector seat to return to the secular world.
My painting has been disrupted by moving all my stuff to accommodate Christmas guests. I am in the process of moving back, but taking the opportunity to clear stuff out. So painting is a bit slow and this isnt helped by trying to update my website at the same time.
In the process of sorting and binning, I came across these sketches done at various life sessions during last year, so I thought I might post a few.
As you can see most are people sat in chairs – the favoured pose in these parts. Looking through the work has made me resolving to do more pen and ink. Once the mark is down theres no going back, so you paint by the seat of your pants, whereas charcoal can be corrected.
I havent been doing much life drawing of late, but last week I turned up to a session taking my acrylics and square brushes.
These sketches were done fairly rapidly. I was after a loose blocky style.
I am still uncertain as to how I proceed with life drawing. As you can see here the poses are very stilted and the subjects flooded with light from all angles.
I do like the pressure and demands these sessions provide, though they give little time for consideration and development. There’s too much focus on speed and I wonder the effect it has on some of the attendees including myself.
It’s getting a bit busy here with visitors and exhibitions. I did a group exhibition last weekend and there are three more coming up, the last one being a solo show. I have been tweeking a few of the paintings that have been up on this blog over the last few months in readiness for the shows and was considering reblogging those, but went instead with a couple of life studies from last week.
Today I have to do a floral demo a a club north of Blackpool, so I have also have been preparing for that. I will be demonstrating the geraniums painting I posted a few weeks ago.
Anyway, once I get everything prepared I can start to calm down.
I havent been doing so much life drawing recently. I feel I have lost my way a little and the unimaginative poses and lighting have contributed. I was going to do this pose as a fore-shortened view from the feet but was pretty uninspired by it. I wandered around the model and from this angle the interplay of light and shade made for a really interesting image.
The teal was out on this painting as well and with her orange hair and fingernails it didnt take much for the oranges to follow.
I wanted to try a block approach for an upcoming demo and selected a subject of a couple sat in Green Park with Buckingham Palace and the crowds in the background. I set about transporting them over the hills and far away to somewhere more rustic. Call it a feel-good picture: a paean for the past summer. As I worked away at it it reminded me of those old railway posters they used to have. Maybe they could use it for HS2 if it ever restarts – I wouldnt charge them much…
Some more images from recent life sessions. I have cut down my attendance to these lately as I feel am getting into a bit of a rut- though the sessions always test your observational skills and the restricted timeline pushes your workrate.
I have intended to use a few of the sketches at home to develop some fresh approaches. Not much progress on this at the moment.
Though I did get my old sketch books out and had a look through the other day. Every journey starts with a single step…
We went out to a bar in Liverpool the other night with some friends and enjoyed a few drinks and a little music. I thought that I would paint the scene and here is the first go. I may yet make some of the background colour more definite as it looks like a yellow mist is descending as it did after the fourth bottle of wine.