Thursday, 5 March 2009

Painted sketch

I have been finding working in the college studio a bit stressful of late, which means that unfortunately not much work has been done. There are so many students and not enough space for everyone to work, it doesn’t help that it seems like more people than usual are working on large pieces, there are assessments going on tomorrow and next week so I have been moved (for the umpteenth time!) next to the bloody sink! I do completely understand why I needed to move but it’s a bit of a pain, I covered the painting with plastic last night which turned out to be a good idea because when I got in earlier the plastic was wet! I can’t wait to move back to a safer place and hopefully I will get to stay put. I really wish I had a bigger flat so I could take it home and get on with it.

Anyway, enough moaning, back to my work, I have now done the painted sketch, it’s a little more detailed than the pencil sketch because I will be using it as a guide under the next layer of paint. I am looking forward to getting more done tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Next step

Ok, as promised here is an explanation of the first stages of one of my paintings. I began by figuring out a good size for the canvas, I prefer to paint life-size or larger, I was originally going to paint this picture as big as possible but it would have cost a lot and it’s hard enough finding space in the college studio for a normal size canvas, let alone one that’s huge. I ended up settling on 280 + 68cm.

To transfer the image onto the canvas I find the easiest way is to use the grid system, I start by placing a grid on the image using photoshop then draw the grid onto the canvas with pencil (usually around a couple of centimetres square) then transfer the basic areas of the image onto the canvas.

I am always tempted to draw in a lot of details at this point but have found there is no point really because the next stage makes fine detail hard to see. The next stage is basically just a coat of titanium white with a little bit of thinner to make it flow better. I paint it on quite softly so it leaves the pencil drawing visible underneath the layer of paint. As can be seen in the following pictures you cannot see the fine detail, just the basic areas. This means once this first layer is dry I will still have enough of a guide to put down the first painted sketch.

My feelings at this point is trepidation, before I start a painting I always have a strange fear that I will have forgotten how to paint, I can’t seem to remember what it is I do until I am doing it! I am hoping by explaining each stage on here I might be able to alleviate this fear in the future.

Whilst preparing for this painting I have decided I want to do yet another painting of Kevin, he has basically become the main subject of my final project! I am so glad he got in touch with the college when he did because I don’t know anyone else that I could have done so much work with, I think this shows how good a model Kevin is, he is the most diverse model I have ever had! The image I am going to do is a close up of his head/face, I love painting really closely cropped faces and I think it’s what I do best so it would be stupid not to do one for my final project. I am also going to do this one as large as I can, probably about 8ft wide by about 10ft high. We are going to do the photo-shoot on Monday and I will post the photo I chose as soon as I have decided which one to use, this might take some time because I know he will give me a lot to choose from!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


I don't really know where to start with this blogging malarkey! I don't usually like writing but it seems like such a good way of documenting my progress and feelings whilst painting that I thought it would be worth a try. I usually go through a lot of emotions whilst painting so I expect there will be a couple of rants along the way, so I will apologise in advance for any bad language and obscene amounts of moaning! I am hoping by being able to look back once the paintings are finished I will realise all the stress is worth it.

Luckily I have just started a painting so I will be able to show the whole process of my work, I plan to photograph the painting along the way so anyone interested can see how my work is developing.

The painting I am currently working on is of a great bloke I have recently met called Kevin, he has a blog too but I don't know how to post links yet! I am planning on doing quite a few paintings of him because he has inspired me greatly. It seems I am not the only one to be inspired by him, there is another very talented artist called Peter Orrock who is also blogging about a painting he is doing of Kevin, yet again I would post a link if I knew how.

I work in a photo realistic style which obviously means I work from photographs. The picture I am working from was taken from a photo shoot I had with Kevin a while ago, it was our first photo shoot and it was really successful, he is a great model and I got loads of great pictures to choose from. I decided to choose the one I am using because it seems like the most classical style pose from the set and this was important to what I am doing for my current college project.

This is the image I am going to paint...

In my next blog entry I will show the first stages of the painting.