Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A work in progress - a break with tradition.

I though I had finished this pastel painting and photographed it, loaded to my PC and then sat and looked at it. No it wasn't what I had intended at all.

What is wrong? Well the clouds are not like clouds, they look more like misplaced foliage and in the original photograph there was a vaulted appearance to the sky, I need to darken the top corners of the painting.

If you want to see the original by Robin (waterlily on Redgage), please be my guest; just pop over to the image titled heavenly.

You will see that it is not quite the same effect, I will be working on this again and will repost when I have completed it to my satisfaction. Check back to see when it is complete.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Adding figures in a landscape

Once upon a time I used to worry about drawing in a realistic fashion, I used to worry that people would look at them and say, "That isn't right!". In my early artistic career, I started to learn to paint and draw people. Portraits and figures. But I soon learned that the masters of the 20th century had had little truck with that notion, and finding the process boring I became less worried about getting figures absolutely right in my landscapes. So I practiced drawing with fewer marks (Turner drew the dog in the Haywain with five strokes apparently). Here are a couple of drawings from those days:

A sketch of my son with seaweed from a photograph

This one was from a photo but I was going to life classes at one time

practising for "victorian" landsapes

Eventually, I became less bothered even than this
figures became mere shapes in the overall composition

Now I rarely use figures at all.

with certain exceptions

Do I miss them, no I don't think so. My approach is to create what I think of as semi-abstract images based on colour rather than strict form. I enjoy this far more than when I was struggling with those figures.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Storm and Light

Just jumping in with this new painting, I was at the art group last night looking for inspiration and came across a painting of a storm which I liked and gave me an idea; I also found a picture of a lighthouse. I tried this one which incorporates a little of each of these images with my usual style of using the pastels to create texture.

I am not very happy with the result especially the way I have drawn/painted the waves. these were out of my head and I really needed to have found some sort of reference before attempting to paint them. But as usual, I am not afraid to post my failures as well as my successes. THere are some aspects of this I do like but mostly, I think I can forget it. Not one to put on Zazzle or Redbubble for instance.

Well here it is, any thoughts you care to share?

Looking at it now, I can't think what made me put the hint of yellow on the horizon, maybe some idea of the approaching end of the storm? I really should stick to a reference to paint things I am not too familiar with. I guess I do like the colours and several of my recent works have included sillouettes so I must be working up to something.

Last night I was so disappointed that I decided to start working with the small canvasses again next week. Coping and changing helps keep my interest up but doesn't help with development, since I find that I need to relearn certain basics. One step forward and two steps back so to speak. C'est la vie!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Tips on painting figures and portraits

Christmas has been quite a barren time for new art from me so instead I have been doing a little reading and thinking about old work. Here are a couple of old sketches from life classes I used to attend.
We all have to start somewhere, one of my first portraits

getting better

 Now we are talking

Coloured, done in soft pastel

In fact, one of the reasons I looked these early sketches/drawings out was that I found an article with four tips for drawing people. I though they were very useful and could help tremendously. They were:-
  1. Vary the lines you are using, thick and thin, single and multiple
  2. Move your hand and the paper, the movement in your wrist is important
  3. You are not connecting the dots, do not overdo the outlines
  4. Vary the cross hatching, and don't use perfect right angles
Find the tips and read more on Artist Daily and whilst there check out the free e-book on figure painting.