It was too cold for our life model to undress, so she just unpinned her hair and lay down on the platform fully clothed. Her unruly hair and unconventional style of dress – dungaree shorts and thick tights – at first made it seem more difficult to capture than her unclothed form might have. It seemed odd to be painting a person with their clothes on!
However, it made for a very interesting exercise. I used a palette of magenta and blue against a greeny/turquoise background and was quite pleased with my efforts.
A couple of weeks later, in my wee studio, I decided to turn the study into a finished painting. Using orange, yellow and touches of cadmium red, I added bold pattern and refined the figure here and there.
Here’s the result so far. Not sure if I should leave the yellow stripes as they are or if they should all be lined with red. What do you think?
Since October, I’ve been doing weekly life drawing and painting classes and I am learning so much from them.
Monday was the last one before Christmas and we spent the whole day on one pose. This time we had a young male model who was very slim with wide shoulders (male models are usually older with a lot of girth!)
I decided on a blood red background and used yellow, blue and magenta with a bit of greeny grey for flesh tones. As I had all day to work on it, it is pretty much finished – maybe a wee bit of tidying up of the hands and feet – we’ll see.
The shadow of his arm gave me problems, and I am not 100% happy with his shoulder. As we are not allowed to take photos of the model, I have nothing to reference in order to make changes so might just leave well alone.
My favourite bit is the head. Let me know what you think.
A few weeks back I began attending weekly life drawing and painting sessions at the Glasgow School of Art.
The emphasis has been on using colour and it has been eye opening. I find it fascinating that you can paint the human figure in, for example, greens yellow and reds and it works!
Now while I love beautifully painted figures in proper skin tones, there is something quite exciting about a figure with yellow highlights and magenta shadows with perhaps some purple or turquoise in there too.
Yesterday’s painting turned out a bit Matisse like – it’s not finished – the face, feet and hands are still very rough but overall, I was pretty pleased with it.
My favourite bit is the vibrant stripy cloth at the right hand side. Let me know what you think. 🎨🤔😊
One of my favourite ways of working is using collage to form the basis of a composition. But in these works I only use papers that I have prepared myself in advance; that is sheets of paper that have been splattered with paints and inks.
The mediums are run into one another and scored through with various utensils to create interesting marks. Often, I use a printing roller to merge colours and if the paint is thick, it makes beautiful, textured patterns. I also love to use metallic paints and inks as these create areas that catch the light.
When the papers are dry, I rip them into random sized pieces. The next step is then to choose pieces that will form a pleasing composition on a canvas. Once glued in place, more medium is added to create depth and interest.
Each work can take several days to complete. I create these collage landscapes in various sizes, from mini 7 x 5 inch to large 24 x 24 inch. One day soon I plan to attempt a really large one.
Until then, here’s a pic of two minis with golden skies framed and ready to go to a Christmas exhibition in a very nice gallery. Fingers crossed for a sale. If you like them, you can see more on my website.
I’ve been pretty busy over the past 2 week sorting out work for Christmas shows – writing lists, filling out forms and a bit of framing. Feels like I’ve not painted for ages! But truth is this is where all the painting leads – unless you want to keep an ever growing collection of your own work.
So various bits and bobs will be on show and hopefully there will be a few sales. Fingers crossed.
However, I have a few – 7 to be exact – lovely A4 sized, splashy, semi abstract flowers that would make super Christmas presents and that can easily be ordered directly from me. Executed using watercolours and inks they are vibrant and full of movement.
I am offering these A4 sized, original works on quality paper, set in an A3 mount (mat) with backing board i.e. – they are ready to frame – and wrapped in cellophane for £125 inc p&p.
So if you are looking for something different to give as a Christmas present – perhaps an original work of art could be the answer.
The catch is that if your want one, you would need to order very soon to make sure you receive it in time for Christmas.
You can see these works on my site on the ‘Flowers- small works’ page and you can contact me from the site too.
Here’s one of them – this one is called ‘Fiery and Fabulous.
As I write this the sun is pouring through my windows and shining brightly in the garden, but it is cold and it is clear winter is on its way.
I love cold, clear, sunny winter days especially after snow but hopefully they won’t come too soon, lovely as they are.
Painting snow is always interesting because the last colour you would use is white. A layer of just white creates a flat and boring scene. What it needs is colour to give it depth and interest.
It can be blue, purple, pink grey or all at the same time and sometimes a bit of green or yellow ochre just pulls the scene together.
Here’s a snowy scene I did last year. I used a lot of blue to create ‘coldness’. I showed it to one gallery owner who rejected it saying it was lovely but she didn’t like the blue trees.
What do you think?
So my life painting class continues and at the heart of it is using colour.
Slowly, I am realising that we are being encouraged to consider the ‘harmony’ within a work. My approach has always been ‘get your darks dark and your lights light’ – which is a valid way of working, but I am finding that this harmonious way of painting can deliver some exciting results.
For example, when painting skin, it is more important to think about how the colour harmonises with the garment and/or backdrop it is against. In other words, it does not have to be skin colour and the backdrop colour can be whatever you want to make the painting more exciting.
Interesting approach and potentially very ‘free’. Could be what I have been looking for for some time to help my work ‘loosen up’ when painting figures.
Last week I used a limited palette of red through to yellow with touches of blue. It was coming along nicely but a bit tamely. At the suggestion of the tutor a magenta pink background was introduced, touches of which were used on the skin and hair to create ‘harmony’.
Definately added something. Here’s the result of 2 hours work. Not a finished work, but a very useful exercise.
Ironically perhaps, my other work – landscapes and floral works – are full of colour and pretty free. Visit my website and you’ll see what I mean.
I decided at the end of Summer that I needed to challenge myself artistically and as I live out in the country, to get a bit more social contact.
So I signed up for a class at the Glasgow School of Art on colour. One day a week for 18 weeks. I didn’t realise it was a ‘life’ class but I have to say it is the challenge I was looking for. And it is hard work.
I haven’t drawn or painted from life for more years than I am willing to admit, and it has been quite intense so far. Ten minute charcoal sketches,
five minute sketches, two minute sketches, one minute sketches. No time for detail, just quick impressions of form.
Last week we started painting with a limited palette. Three colours from the same part of the colour wheel, white and one other from the opposite side of the wheel.
I found this difficult as I have never paid attention to colour wheels/colour theory and needed help. So I need to get myself a colour wheel.
Anyway, the image is the study from that session. Took about two hours in total. Hope you like it.
Us arty types are always posting pics of our work – of course we do – we want others to enjoy and admire the fruits of our labour and we are always hopeful for a sale.
It is extremely difficult to get your work into a gallery, and if you do get picked up it’s exciting, but it can be expensive. If, like me, you don’t live near very many galleries you can end up driving many, many miles to hand in a couple of works or you need to use costly delivery companies.
Also, you have to frame your work – more expense – and of course there’s the cost of art materials.
If the work sells that is great but if it doesn’t you are left very out of pocket.
So why do I keep on keeping on? Quite simply I can’t not. It is like being an addict. I try to minimise my costs but it is not easy.
So what I am saying I suppose is that very few artists make much money. I consider myself lucky in that I sometimes cover my costs.
Maybe one day I’ll make lots of sales but until then I’ll just keep on keeping on.
So here’s a wee framed collage that will be travelling circa 75 miles to a gallery Christmas show. Let’s hope it’s a one way journey.
I love to paint and I consider myself a creative sort of person but, when it comes to talking about or describing my work I can get a bit tongue tied.
I had stated that I was trying to capture the way flowers made me feel rather than trying to paint realistically. So it was like getting a present when a lady gave the following comment on one of my flowery works on paper.
She said ” it’s summer and fresh air – that lovely feeling of no time agenda – just enjoying being”
Spot on. Here’s the image.
It’s executed on paper with inks and watercolours and I haven’t got a title yet. If you can think of one please let me know 🌹🎨