I have been having more than the normal problems with painting recently particularly where I start a painting and abandon it or complete another version and come out with two paintings I am dissatisfied with. This one is a case in point. I had some images of a pack of Patagonian ponies squeezing through rocks and vegetation. I was taken by the forms of the horses as they tussled to progress and I started a pastel painting of it. To make some narrative of the image I obtained some pictures of horses in motion. However the group of equine forms soon transformed into a brown indulgent mass and I abandoned the enterprise. However the extra horses I had found had movement and strength about them and I decided to focus on these and here is the result. I still have a few reservations, but I do like the flow of the forms.
The organiser was away for this session so I got the model to strike a more compact pose. It also helped that the session was not as full, so I was able to move into a better position. Normally at this session you can get there half an hour before the start and you are still having to squeeze yourself into the little space that is left.
The figure above was sparsely done, using the paper as a tone, but I did like the cushion she rested her arms on.
I did this in about 50 minutes in an evening session where they spend most of the time doing quick poses. I dont normally take my pastels to this session, because of the lack of time. Here I just banged in some primary colours and I was quite pleased with the result.
I normally do these charcoal studies at the evening sessions. You have enough time to make a measured drawing, consider your marks and develop tone. I also find the constant rushing of quick poses leaves me skittish and hyper, like I’ve just consumed five cups of coffee. So before I start these longer 50 minute poses I need to pause, slow down and consider, before I start a measured piece.
And sometimes you wonder why you bothered. Well I tried.
I tried an acrylic painting of this lady at another venue a couple of days earlier and gave up and walked out as there was not enough time to make radical corrections as things went a bit awry. This version in pastels, of another pose, seemed to fall into place easier.
I liked the angle on this pose, in acrylics, as everyone else worked from the front.
The model asked for a glass of water during this session. I thought that it made a nice accompaniment.
This guy looked a bit wary, like we were about to whip away his manhood.
I dont normally like long poses and once again struggled to get all the figure in, but I took a low angle which gave the pose a bit more interest.
I have been doing work in dry media recently after a notice appeared, from the landlord of one of the groups I attend, decreeing that paint should not go down the drain in the building. Despite my protestations that this was a ridiculous constraint for an art group nothing has changed. I even asked the secretary of the group to find out from the landlord what their concerns were and told the secretary how we might reduce blockage risks, but he seemed more concerned with defending the landlord than serving the club and its members – and he still hasn’t got back to me .
Now, after seeing members of the committee disposing of paint down the drain, I might restart my acrylic work. Anyway, before my blood pressure rises any more, here are the rest of my paintings:
This is a modified painting which I posted some time ago. When I first posted it I had some reservations about certain aspects. Then, the other day as I was searching through some old paintings, I came across it again and took a moment to reconsidered it and realised that my issues could be addressed. One problem was the central tree which I modified and then I enhanced the main field and strengthened the top field. It may have moved away from the original scene, but it was a bit of a combination of views in the first place, broadly based on the Wear Valley in Durham City.
I wanted to try some more townscapes and get a little more rawness into the image. This is one of Liverpool with the Liver Building silhouetted in the background. I have done this view before and put it on the blog, but getting figures in this time and making them prominent gives the image more depth and vitality.
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.