Thursday, 24 December 2015

Two small drawings

I have been working on developing a style of drawing that is more or less consistent with my current paintings style, i.e. unabashed use of outline, with fairly flat areas of tone, in the post-impressionist manner.

I decided to keep the drawings small - the paper size in these two is 13 cm x 18 cm (about 5 x 7 inches), with the drawings still smaller - 128 mm x 178 mm (3.5 x 5 inches):

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A new bunch

Nowadays, I often paint pictures in pairs, with a similar theme and colour scheme.

These are all the size of a matchbox, about 50 x 38 mm:

I had an ACEO-sized piece of hardboard left, was too lazy to go cut some more, and decided to make a single piece, with a Biblical theme - one of my artistic inspirations is the work of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, when this sort of thing was common in art. Moses confronted by the burning bush:

I like the twisting, rhythmic forms of trees, and in this scene, also liked the cool, dark depths of the forest in the background. So I did a pair of similar ones:

The above pair are both double ACEO sized, i.e. 5 inch x 3.5 inch.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Time for an update

I have been so busy painting that I had little time or energy left to write any updates here. Well, here are some, all in acrylics on board.

I have been focusing on three different sizes of miniature paintings. The smallest of these are the size of a matchbox - 38 mm x 50 mm. It is rather challenging to work in such small format. I seem to have a slight tremor, that I only notice when working with a very minute brush. And I quickly found I had to go buy me a pair of strong reading glasses for the smaller details. Some examples:

I have warmed to this idea of silhouettes against a sunset background. I'm pretty sure it's been done a million times before by others, but it's still fun.

A few more ACEO-sized ones (2.5 x 3.5 inch, or 64 x 89 mm):

And then twice ACEO size, i.e. 3.5 x 5 inch or 128 x 178 mm:

The above just a sampling of some of the better ones, and/or cases where I could get the camera to reproduce the colours reasonably decently. It remains a source of frustration that the photos are almost all rather pale, washed out versions of the originals.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

A few recent daubings

Wildlife art is not my strong point, but hanging in there with this cheetah portrait was a good exercise. Acrylic on board, 210 cm x 297 cm (which is the same size as A4 paper):

For the rest, I mostly did miniatures. For some reason I can't get the camera to reproduce the colours well, so in the photos they tend to look either garish or washed out. Hence I'll post only the ones where the photos worked out at least marginally well. These are all in acrylics on board ACEO sized, i.e. 2.5 x 3.5 inches, or 64 cm x 89 cm:

I rather enjoy miniatures; free from the pressure to produce a large-scale masterpiece, one can relax, have some fun and try out a variety of styles and subject matter.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A bunch of new ones

Been busy and did not post all the new updates, so here they are in a single post...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Plate and bottle, bread and egg

Oil on board, 297 mm x 210 mm.

Can't quite decide whether I am happy with it or not. Perhaps I oversimplified a bit? Or perhaps it's the beginning of a style!

Monday, 26 October 2015

A few paintings

I have recently been playing around with oil paints again. I discovered something: I really hate canvas board as support. The paint just sinks right into it, making it almost impossible to blend or work wet-in-wet, and the brushes tend to pick up bits of fluff from the canvas, and then roll it around all over the place. What's more, the surface is murder on your brushes, because you have to scrub and scrub and scrub to get the paint worked into the surface.

So I returned to a support I have not used in a while: humble hardboard primed with a layer of acrylic. It seems to give better results: the paint flows onto the surface far more easily, showing the brush strokes (which is an effect I happen to like) and one can do some blending on the surface. On the negative side, the paintings do take longer to dry, and you have to work with extreme care when working wet-in-wet to prevent colours from turning into unsightly mud.

I may or may not try canvas board again. If I do I'll probably first put on a few layers of acrylic to properly seal it. For the meantime, a few small paintings (210 mm x 148 mm) in oil on board, all done from direct observation (as opposed to reference photos):

Rather frustratingly, I can get my photos to really capture the colours and light as they appear in the original, so these reproductions are less than accurate.

Back in the land of the living

It appears I am not done with art after all. Or perhaps I was done with art, but art was not done with me. In recent times, I once again found myself drawing and painting. Once the bug bites, it never lets go, it appears.

I spent some time working from reference, such as stills from a film (in this case, The Name of the Rose):

Or trying somewhat detailed sketches from various reference photos:

But, as I have discovered before, I seem not to really enjoy working from photos. I am not too sure why, but whatever the reason, I am now back to working mostly from life. One evening during a power cut, I sketched this self-portrait by candlelight:

It's a bit lopsided, if you ask me. In my defense, it was really dark and by the candlelight I could hardly see my own image in the mirror, let alone the drawing. You can it was winter by the way I am bundled up in wool - when the power goes, so does the heating!

Under better conditions, a sketch of a pine cone, a challenging but interesting subject:

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Mexican poppy

Mexican poppy, Argemone ochroleuca. Originally from Mexico, it is now a widespread weed in southern Africa.