Pen sketches of London from Waterloo bridge
Diary of a portrait painting across 3 weeks…
A pen sketch of my 5yr old…and hers of me
Hyacinths on the kitchen table…
How long should a portrait take?
We had a 3 hour pose today just using french ultramarine (dark blue), cadmium red, yellow lake and titanium white. I actually quite like using a limited palette – it does force you to sit and spend an extra few minutes mixing tones. I’m quite pleased with the result but could have done with a bit more time. I was trying to capture the different planes of his face and find the ‘true darks’.
I’ve also been freezing myself on Wimbledon Common this week but once the sun came out, the colours in the snow really were extraordinary. See on the landscapes page. More coming…
I have started a ‘Portraiture’ class this year as a means to develop my painting technique. The way I see it, painting portraits is one of the biggest challenges in painting. It is immediately obvious if you haven’t been successful. You have to concentrate so hard to interpret what you see in front of you onto the canvas.
Our first sitting was line drawing only. I had forgotten my putty rubber which I think actually improves the picture as you cannot afford to get too hung up on perfection. If a line isn’t in the right place, then you draw it again somewhere else. I was quite pleased with the outcome and look forward to more next week.
As for Paul Emsley’s portrait of Kate unveiled this week, well that’s not what I’m aiming for. It reminds me of those portraits you can have done near Sacre Coeur in Paris. I appreciate he may have had to work from photos but it really does look so stilted and glassy. I think her description that the painting was ‘amazing’ was a good adjective to have used!
Snowing in the kitchen…
This is my first actual blog (about 10 years after everyone else). I’m slightly nervous about what tone to adopt: serious and arty? self-deprecating (unlikely to be good for sales), irrereverent? Oh dear my spelling’s going to have to improve too.
I have just jigged round my site to include Still Lifes (the formal ‘art’ plural is not Lives, apparently) and Landscapes. I have painted some more flowers recently too so a couple of updates there. We have been studying abstract painting at college this term which, to be honest, I have struggled with. I have always loved abstract art but I have to say being made to paint from nothing has shaken my view of it. It doesn’t seem to come from the same part of the brain, it doesn’t require such intense concentration and so I can’t put it on an equal footing with really good figurative painting. Having said that, being made to ‘just paint’ I think has loosened me a little, probably reflected in the recent landscapes.
On a Christmassy note, this week the girls and I have been majoring on paper snowflakes. Emily and I on cutting and Penelope on glittering.