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: