Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Painting 2 - Week 8


Last week was the final class time for the Landscape Painting. After something like 5 weeks this painting is still not going anywhere I like so I'm going to leave it for a while and see if motivation to finish it finds me later.


Today we started some exercises in painting techniques, beginning with Grisaille which simply put is painting in monochrome. We were asked to bring to class a small sculptural object to draw from. Most brought wooden carvings of animals and tribal figures but I don't own anything like that, so I took my torch. Wet looked at examples of  renaissance and earlier Italian paintings where Grisaille was employed as a visual trick to give the impression of sculpture or as under painting which was later covered in coloured glazes (which apparently is the destiny of this painting). I spent the next 45 minutes painting my torch (the one on the right) and stated packing up but was urged to use the brief time left to do it again, QUICKLY! I'd run out of the special grey I'd mixed from all the colours of the rainbow (black from a tube is a no no) so instead I used blue. It looks crappy but it was fun.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hello Sunday Morning

This week I made another illustration for http://thenative.com.au/ The article by Young Australian of the Year, Chris Raine encourages us all to think about our drinking choices and the consequences of misusing alcohol. In it he states that Sunday Morning may well be one of our greatest lost resources. So instead of sleeping half the day away, stay sober and make yourself useful this Sunday morning. Check out Chris' website at http://hellosundaymorning.com.au/

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Native Press goes live


I was invited to submit an illustration for the inaugural post of a new Brisbane culture blog, The Native Press. The guys there were pretty pleased with the drawing, particularly with their tight deadline, so hopefully you'll see more of my doodling there in the future.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oliver likes to draw - A tribute to Maurice Sendak

I just couldn't leave it alone. That great mass of light on the left just looked wrong. I took it along to my painting class for a critique. I was thinking about ghosting in some window stiles. Sally Duhig suggested the impression of a figure or a tree outside the window and the inclusion of some blue to tie the left side to the right."That mass of white is just sliding off the edge, you need to restrain it", she instructed.

Then I had the notion of making it a door. The boys forgiving mother brings him his supper after sending him to his room without any. A tribute to Maurice Sendak! After all, Oliver is something of a Wild Thing. As I'm sure most boys are.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Drawing from Life - Billie's Portrait


Today I left the kids at home and visited Billie so I could sketch her portrait. I'd jokingly told her several weeks ago that I needed the practice and with her being 90 I figured she'd happily sit still for an hour or so. But nothing could have been further from the truth. She looked this way and that, up and down. I had to keep talking to her so she'd look at me so I could look at her. Yet despite all that, I managed to get what I think is a good likeness so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oliver Likes to Draw - Portrait


The circular artifact in the top left was there for compositional reasons. It served as both a distraction for the eye, keeping the focus moving off the main figure and also as a substitute for a light source. Then I thought, why substitute, so the circle becomes rectangle. Still not sure but perhaps I'll leave it there for a while.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Portrait of Oliver - Almost Finished?

You start these things, not really sure how they are going to turn out. And it's not that I had a clear vision in mind but if I had, I don't think it would have been this. Perhaps it's simply a testament to my limited experience, this hit an miss feeling I get with my paintings. This picture certainly lacks the painterly energy that I think my last portrait has. And there were a number of times over the last few days that I felt quite badly about how this painting was going. I've tried several different backgrounds, and various combinations for skins tones. It's been a lot more like hard work than the last. It's the clumsiness of the "Application" and a lack of confidence in the brushstrokes that disappoints.

Having said all that, I'm not totally displeased with this painting. There are some fine moments around the highlights at the top of the pen, the edge of the face, the crown of the head and the back of the right hand. And the paper and desk are still free and fun. And I'm pleased that with persistence I got it somewhere I can feel comfortable about.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Portrait - Oliver prelim


Buoyed by the success of my last portrait I've made a start on another picture of the wee man.


Still working from a photo. This time I pinned the photo to the wall, sat back a metre and a half and made a sketch. Maybe not the same as if i'd sketched him from life but i'm working up to it. I like it, it's a good likeness and i'm comfortable with the process.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Landscape - Stage 2


I decided the blue and green colour scheme just wasn't working so I've fleshed it out with some red and orange, and knocked back the intensity a tad. I'd like to add some more detail to the foliage and perhaps some texture in the fore ground. Not sure how but I guess I'll just hack away and see what comes out. And maybe a couple of small figures on the path to give the scene a little story.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Landscape - preliminary painting

Here's the beginnings of my current landscape painting, albeit a few stages on. I prepared a 60x90cm board and blocked in the shapes from the collage and sketches. I'm trying to stick to a palette of analogous colours on the blue green side of the colour wheel.

I've been told a few times recently, by a few people, to step out of my comfort zone but I have to say, I feel as though I left that country behind a long time ago. I know I want this painting to be realist, though not necessarily realistic. How i do that, I really don't know. I'm making it up as I go along. I've been looking at paintings by Colley Whisson, Terry Miura, James Hart Dyke and even Arthur Streeton and wondering how I can copy what they do/did. I'm not so much displeased with my work as I am just unsure HOW to make it.

One step at a time I guess.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mainstream Press Coverage - Awsome

Made EXTRA in the Courier Mail, that worthy Brisbane rag, next to the chicken and salsa recipe and opposite the crosswords, which means keen puzzlers will have that page open for hours at a time. Maybe even folded back so the person opposite on the bus can see it. Awsome!! Thanks Gen and Crystle for the tireless efforts. This really is better than I had hoped for.

Our plumber Ashley Bowman whom we haven't seen for a couple of years, called today, said he'd opened the paper and saw a picture of HIMSELF. Read down further and noticed my name and started thinking something spooky was going on. And while it isn't his portrait, he's younger and thinner for starters, I suppose there is some resemblance between Bill and he. Similar chin I think.