Tag Archives: colour

Latest portrait 3: Inspired by Xenia Hausner’s work, “Steffi”…

Steffi, Acrylics on canvas, 61cm x 46cm

Steffi, Acrylics on canvas, 61cm x 46cm

Inspired by the work of Xenia Hausner, I have been playing with colours and loving this new way of working. 
 
 “Steffi” is painted in acrylics which I have found quite challenging being more familiar with oils, however it is certainly teaching me to work faster.   While I still love my oils and they are my first preference, in making the shift it has been great fun to play with colours in this medium given the flexibility created with the faster drying time.  
 
Was curious to be back on canvas again after painting on boards now for the last year or more.
 
Watch this space as I am keen to do more of this type of work and have another painting almost completed.  Love the colour and drama of it.
 
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Latest Portrait 2: Alla Prima, Kristian

Alla Prima:  Kristian, Oil on board, 40cm x 39cm

Alla Prima: Kristian, Oil on board, 40cm x 39cm

Completed just yesterday in one sitting, this Alla Prima portrait of Kristian was quite exciting to paint.  Kristian is a dancer and had great features and given his background I wanted to play with colours for a more theatrical look.  Hopefully he will model for us again.
 
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Precision, spontaneity and dancing between…

Drawing and more drawing.   I started portrait classes in January and the learning curve has been steep.  Going back to the basics, the fundamentals and endeavouring to absorb the intricacies and intimacy of the human face and figure.  Anatomy.  I never studied it at high school and yet here I am learning it now and it is fascinating.  My teacher, Nafisa Naomi, is passionate and particular, which is precisely what I wanted.  And precision is definitely the word.  There are days when I get a likeness and others when they are just not quite there and it is my observation that is out.  I am finding it challenging and yet rewarding.  I now have a series of self portraits in charcoal, figuring atleast if I am drawing myself I am not offending anyone!  Oh the inner critic runs rife!

But I am missing my painting.  I have been missing the colour and the canvas.  So inspired by a recent visit to Nicholas Harding’s exhibition at the SH Ervine Gallery, I got out my palette knife and some beautiful colours and, with the joy of much greater freedom, did a couple of floral works (see my Floral Works Gallery).  I love the way the colour mixes undercover of the knife’s blade, and which seems more like a wand as you wave it across the canvas, never precisely sure how it will translate.  I love the way each swipe is uniquely recorded and never to be repeated, a spontaneous creation.

So I am dancing between.

Coincidences…and when to stop!

Although busy with the lead up to our exhibition, I am delighted to have completed a project I have been working on for some time now.  There is a real sense of satisfaction, having lived with this portrait for what seems like months now (although if I was to check my records I don’t think it has been), however the idea to paint this particular painting has certainly been with me for about nine months.  Now that the idea has been birthed,  I am delighted it has coincidentally been finished in time for my dear friends birthday. 

While I believe coincidences happen, what I don’t believe is that they are coincidences (if you can understand that).  I had not intentionally set out to paint this painting for a certain finishing date as I had contemplated starting it on a number of occasions.  It was not until I began painting and now that it has been finished, albeit with some big gaps in the middle of it, that it has actually coincided with my friends forthcoming birthday.  If anything I had thought of it as a Christmas gift, as it was taken at Christmas a year ago.  My friend is currently working in Kuwait so what better way for her gift to arrive but via a treasure hunt in my website!  (Happy birthday Roseanne!)

And on the learning side, Warwick Fuller’s key fundamental questions from my recent workshop with him, kept coming to me especially in the final stages of doing this portrait (I had begun the painting before the workshop).  The three things he instilled in asking when painting are 1: What colour is it? (colour) 2: What tone is it? (tone) and 3: Where do I put it on the painting? (drawing). 

When I stepped back from this painting for some final analysis, I could see a couple of places where the tone wasn’t quite right and my challenge then was to make the adjustment without completely altering all the relationships that went with it.   Also I was now not working “wet in wet”, so blending was trickier.  And then it gets to a point where you just have to stop.  Knowing when to stop is another challenge for an artist.  So I will stop here!