Prize for “Amy and Megan” drawing

Amy and Megan charcoal

The charcoal of sisters Amy and Megan has won the Provost’s prize for a North Ayrshire artist at the Eglinton Open Arts Exhibition. Great news and a total surprise. Preview is tomorrow evening. I’ll get some photos of the event to post at the weekend.

John in Kelvingrove – charcoal study

John in Kelvingrove charcoal

Another charcoal study for a future oil portrait. Not too distant in the future, I hope! This is John, pictured in his (and my) favourite building. Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery. This is where I learned what paint looked like up close. It is where I was introduced to Whistler, James Guthrie and Henry Raeburn. One of those places that no matter how many times you visit, something new catches your eye every time.
John is standing close to the balcony on the first floor with the Salvador Dali room behind his shoulder.

When is a drawing finished?

Emma Charcoal

Here is the completed drawing of Emma showing full composition.Although this shows what I intended, (I set out to explore the scale and the balance of elements full size), I also wanted a finished drawing I could maybe frame up. Now, though, I have the feeling I have overworked it. I prefer the incomplete state in the last post. There is an energy in the gaps and in the tailing off of the crosshatching that dissipates when the picture is complete and the viewer no longer has to work to complete the image in his own mind. Oh well, you can’t go backwards, so it’s onwards to the oil painting.

The ruler is king


My lofty intentions to go entirely freehand didn’t last long, eh? I reached out for the ruler on this one. I have to say I did a freehand charcoal study before this one, of the same pose, and I did like it but I didnt intend it to be a keeper. I am scaling this for a portrait in oils. So I liked the first one enough to think I would attempt another to stand on its own as a piece.
I started with a grid and measured the features within as I needed. I felt I wanted to get the likeness straight away without fiddling and constantly adjusting. There was plenty adjusting though as it progressed but more assured. I am looking forward to painting this as the colours are vibrant in the room and the sitter is on a flowery fabric covered footstool.