Two paths, same goal

friday group 011 friday group 012

Here are two portraits from the Friday group. Two completely different approaches to the same aim; getting a likeness. Margaret, in the first, is painting a self portrait from life as she looks into a small mirror. Finding her way towards correct proportions and creeping towards a likeness. She redefines edges as she goes and delicately implies colour with transparent applications of oil paint.

Fiona, below, is painting from a photograph. She has an immediate likeness from the precision of the drawing and aims to maintain this likeness by strict adherance to the contours of the image. A consistent touch and careful control of colour and tone is required to succeed in this measured style.

Side by side

Kathryn at thought it would be an idea to see Michelle’s two recent paintings together.

Two very different painters as inspiration, makes for a difficult and testing challenge. Klimt and Euan Uglow. The first, an Austrian symbolist with a love of decoration , costume and gold leaf ; the second, an english painter who constructed his paintings meticulously from life using measurement and painstaking method.

Michelle is relatively new to painting, amazingly, and has been attending classes previously to better her drawing skills. It takes an open mind to attempt a style away from your natural painting hand, but she almost takes it in her stride when presented with new approaches.

Next up is a Lucien Freud like portrait. Can’t wait for all that paint and craggy flesh!

Pen and ink portraits

We made pen and ink drawings of old men today. A lot of fun rendering the lines and weather beaten skin of these faces. Some used nib pens, some technical pens and one or two are marker pen portraits. All freehand drawings and all from photographs…..obviously!

For the final time…

I must not paint Blue Mask again.. I must not… etc.

I have painted this image to death now. This time for a demo at Castlepark Art Club.

A nice group to visit. They were keen to talk and learn about the wet in wet approach with oils. It does make a lot of folks nervous, but it must help to see someone go at it with gusto and fearlessness ( translate as – “blind panic”).

So I have converted another half dozen!

Watercolour Portrait

I have been struggling with this one for a while. I have an oil sketch of this image which worked on a small scale and decided to try a large watercolour of the same pic. It wasn’t working initially, following the idea of trying to take it to a finish as quickly and with as few layers as possible. No, I couldn’t bring it to that finish that I was able to do with two earlier watercolours. Next step then,  was to treat it with contempt and get more pigment on, against all watercolour rules about transparency. In places the colour is applied with the consistency of gouache.

It’s still unfinished. I can see that applying thick colour in one area requires the same consistency all over the composition. So still work to do , particularly in the lower parts.

It’s intentional to make the flesh blotchy but still I would like to mess it up even more.

I am really lazy and neglect to stretch my paper so there are shadows showing where the paper dips and folds.

I showed the painting at today’s watercolour workshop at the HAC. All went well and I think everyone gained some knowledge and had a bit of fun.

Argos TechnoBoy

Going in to the primary schools of Saltcoats, if the weather allows, with this idea.

The chilblains will be visiting North Ayrshire Museum to see the Ayrshire Innovators Exhibition. Then I will be giving some workshops in the schools and doing this wee art project with them.

To tie in with one of the exhibits- an installation called Dunlop’s Pedal Powered Time Machine created by artists Guy Bishop, Alan Brown & Matt Hulse- I thought we could transform the kids into an android collage using cut-up photos of the exhibits and bits of catalogues etc. Here I have mainly used an Argos catalogue for bits of tellys , shavers , irons, lampstands n stuff. I havent finished it yet so I might play around with it some more – maybe bring in some background, wires , connectors , whatever.