Part 3, project 1, exercise 3 – tonal painting

This is based on one of two earlier sketches that I quite like. The other I am reserving for a later exercise. It doesn’t quite meet the criteria in that there are no limbs in view but for now, this is what I have.


I used the sketch on the left for this painting which is limited palette comprising mars black, Naples yellow, titanium white, cad red, cad green, and a 1/2″ flat brush. The support is A2 cartridge (A1 folded and with the other sketch/paintings on two other aspects). It is a recognisable face but it is nothing like me. I somehow manage to represent myself as either older or considerably younger than I am, and this is one of the latter. Arguably, it is tonal though. No lines.


I was surprised to find how much difference the ‘warm earth’ wash made (Naples yellow and Mars black). I haven’t done this before but I can very much see doing it again.

Taking another run at this using the same image from the Aristides book I used in the previous exercise. Again on really old cartridge prepared with transparent gesso I applied a wash of dilute burnt sienna before describing the figure using Mars black and titanium white and a 3/4″ flat brush. I was about to say that quitting before you’re ahead was sometimes the most judicious approach, but now I see this on-screen, I think I can also see where a few extra marks would make an essential difference to how the shape of this model’s back appears up near his shoulders.


So, not perfect (when would it ever be!) but better, I think.


For all sorts of reasons – including over-working and associated creep, this woman’s head is wider and heavier than it should be and I shall try to fix it. Again, this is from Juliette Aristides atelier for figure drawing.


Not entirely fixed but passable for now, and also the support won’t tolerate any more scrubbing with a damp flannel!


This has been a useful exercise and the book (there are others too) is one I’m likely to return to during this part of the module.

As a note for the chronology of this set of circumstances, and because the relevance of those circumstances may not immediately come to mind in the future, Europe is now the epicentre of the Coronavirus (CORVID-19) pandemic. Here in the UK, those of us over 70 years of age or with health vulnerabilities are advised to stay away from enclosed spaces and to keep a social distance of 2 m between themselves and other people. In the next few days, the expectation is that we will self-isolate at home perhaps for several months. The university has in the last few days, moved the submission of assignments from physical to digital, and may be doing so for formal assessments too. 



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