OCA BA hons Painting – some exercise tasks

I’m right at the beginning of what could be a five to seven year haul towards the degree and, coming as it does some fifty years since I did the Foundation year, I need to get a shift on or I’ll be grabbing that scroll while they’re nailing the lid down! My blogs (learning logs for the course) are elsewhere but, as it’s going to take up much of my artistic effort and there might not be much else to post, I’ll be popping some bits and pieces here from time to time. Maybe there’ll be visible progress, you never … Continue reading OCA BA hons Painting – some exercise tasks

Art, meaning, and communication

This is a reblog (a copy actually as you’re only allowed one reblog and I’d already parked this on my other arty blog). It’s the result of some mental scratching around, trying to understand the incomprehensible in art and literature. Buckle up. I’ve been having a think about art and creative output generally, and two things strike me, the first being that I like all sorts of things and I appreciate others even if I don’t like them. The difference? The first will likely be attractive in some way – a well written, zipping along story or an immediately engaging … Continue reading Art, meaning, and communication

Self portrait – is this it?

Whatever else, I may have found a better use for cling film than wrapping cucumbers. Here we go, what do you think? What’s the cling film thing all about then? In a selfie-obsessed world I hate them; possibly because however I hold the phone, I always look like a witch. I haven’t got round to applying filters though, instead I go old school and aim the camera at a mirror where at least I can keep a bit of distance between me and the eventual image. So I took a photo of a reflection and then made a painting of … Continue reading Self portrait – is this it?

Not quite ‘last’ – painting revisited

Art is a lot like writing, an ongoing process of edits, revisions, and the murdering of darlings – who knew? This is where I left off a day or so ago, thinking that’s it, no more, it is what it is. But no; it sat there looking heavy and lacking while at the same time seeming to have some potential, even if of the sort that only its creator could love. I’ve gone for the ‘edit-by-gesso’ strategy under the dubious influence of BST jetlag (one hour forward and I might as well have flown to New York, I’m that discombobulated) … Continue reading Not quite ‘last’ – painting revisited

Follow that painting, day last

I may have killed it. On the other hand, it may have more life in it than before I decided on a background to make it ‘pop’ then began fiddling around with the figurative elements. This was yesterday, a fairly ordinary portrait with not much to recommend it. And here’s today’s version which, to my surprise, looks better on-screen than out there on the easel. There’s more gouache (also some white watercolour because I ran out of white gouache), oil crayon, conte and charcoal, a calligraphy pen for scratching out top layers to reveal lower ones, some paper towel dabbing, … Continue reading Follow that painting, day last

Follow that painting – day something-or-other

I’ve been picking over the detail and adding/removing parts of the background and figure elements to bring out the main features. This is where we were at close of play last time and that wrist was bothering me, along a bit of a Herman Munster forehead. So here we are after the application of some ‘pop’ colour (the orange) and an adjustment of the background with more gesso, half-dried then scrubbed with a grout brush to make texture. I think the wrist is better but now I can see that all that vigorous scratching has dislodged a patch of colour … Continue reading Follow that painting – day something-or-other

Follow the painting – day 3 maybe 4

I’ve done a lot of prowling round this portrait; viewing it close up, sideways, from a distance, on screen, good light, poor light, glasses on, glasses off. Why? To get different impressions of the shapes, tones and shadows, movements and statics so I can get a view from outside my painter’s bubble. I’m happier about the face and glasses now but the wrists and the watch need more attention. In monochrome, that dark patch stands out and it shouldn’t – it looks as though it weighs an absolute ton too! Forehead could do with some lightening up after I pulled … Continue reading Follow the painting – day 3 maybe 4