Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting to know you

Getting to know you
15x15 inches
Mixed media on board

Continuing my series of mixed media contemporary figurative work that I started with 'Reserved for you' and 'Bond with a blond', here is the next work.

This one took a little longer to do until I was happy that I had got down my original concept. Its certainly tricky to do this compared to working in a representational way from life or photo (where your reference is right in front of you). An imagined image- even with preparatory sketches and colour studies- always changes.

It's weird that the images look simplistic and naive
(deliberately!), but the work invovled to do this as an adult is so tough!!
Picasso put this really well when he said, "It took me four years to learn to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

The way I've been working with the mixed media is controlled but intuitive so I don't always know how an image or effect will turn out or fit in with the overall piece. I was unhappy with the walls originally as I wanted a different textural effect. My original attempt with collage, inks and acrylic were too powerful and made the overall image look messy. I had some collage work there that added text elements that were relevant to the narrative of the painting- I realised I was being too precious about it and it was restricting my processes. My eureka moment was adding oil pastel over this. I did this in layers of subtle colours till a had a fairly thick layer then used a damp cloth to gently rub areas- this blended the oil pastel a little but also gives a nice waxy finish as a texture (a happy accident discovering this!!)


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Oil on canvas
14x18 inches

Here's a portrait that I've just finished. Painted using classical glazing techniques to build up layers of colour

This is a portrait swap with another artist so looking forward to seeing her portrait of me.