I have not been writing for a couple of days as we try to understand French tax laws which is interesting to say the least. I have now begun to block in the lightest tone of paint on the face of my portrait of Michael. I have been experimenting with using the dry scrumbling of the paint at the edges of a tone. This has always been an area of interest for me. I absolutely love the Freud way of using colour but maybe I need to wait until I have more confidence to have ago at that. I am working from the model shown me by one of my tutors. It feels challenging. I have today added some darker tones and have studied the eye demonstration that he shared with me. I show you here my painting as it currently is in all its horror and completed demo of the eye done by one of the tutors, which I will use as my guide tomorrow when I tackle the eyes.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog I am currently looking at portrait painting and will blog each step of my work showing the learning that I am experiencing. Ian, one of my tutors for 2017, has been sharing a personal process of layering tone with me.
So this is what I did based on what we shared but any mistakes are my own
1. Take photo of subject with strong light to give easy definition of light and dark tones
2. Use 'Prisma' or similar to change photo to black an white to allow you to concentrate on tone
3. I then added another stage because I wanted to lighten the darks before painting over them so I put the original photo back in Prisma and used a different effect, see below.
4. Then I mixed white and sienns (I used burnt sienna) in acrylic paint and covered the lighest tones. I should have covered the whole area here and I did not which has meant the final painting lacks some subtly of tone. I used a fairly dry, stiff bristled brush to scrub the paint on. The dry bristles give a softish edge which helps the effect. Mixing more sienna into the paint I already had, I added the next tonal layer.
5. Then I added burnt umber and did the darkest tones.
6. I changed to a softer bristled brush and dab puer burnt umber onto the brush to paint more carfeul dark details, e.g. eyebrows and eyes. However, it is still a rough plan; it does not need to look like the face. The more pointy brush and gentle dabbing application of paint allows more precision. Below is my first attempt at this process
Yesterday I joined a group from Hornsea Art Society visiting Spurn Point. We were shown around by the artist in residence, Larry Malkin, who proved to be a fount of knowledge on history and was able to show us his own really powerful pieces completed while working at the point. The light and sense of space is incredible. I have included a few of the images I took to try to give you an idea of the wide open beauty of the place. It is a lonely beauty though and there is something curiously touching about the small pieces of debris from human and animal life washed up on the tideline that seems to extend forever around the point. There is much evidence of the battering the sea has given the area over time, including the road which has washed into the sand at some points on the journey to the point which is undertaken in an amazing high jeep type vehicle. We had plenty of time to sketch as well as to take photographs and I have now a wonderful resource that I will return to when painting over the coming months. below I show my sketches and the photos of the same scenes as well as the wider images mentioned above.
- [ ] Today I have learned about two new artists, well new to me anyway. The first is Winifred Knights. She was brilliant. There is an exhibition on at the moment that celebrates her work, at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Winifred Knights (1899-1947) | Dulwich Picture Gallery.
If you get a moment, I would recommend you look at this website. Her self portraits are interesting and there are two excellent videos about how paintings. I I tend to start a new Pinterest board ( see Janelimousin)
The second artist I have discovered today is Wayne Thiebaud . I have seen his pop art before and do not like his pictures of cakes however, his later work, especially his landscapes are really interesting. The website below is to a short film where he talks about his work.
KQED Spark - Wayne Thiebaud - YouTube https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LTZJfenUpsA