Three small paintings

Three small paintings I did as a commission in 2013 as Christmas presents for a couple who had celebrated their anniversary and for a wife portraits of her husband. The biggest one was the couple. About A4 on  acrylic on canvas. The other two were a little bigger than A5, same media.

I like Facebook memories as the pictures I’ve forgotten I do pop up on the page.

Good memories. Time flies.

Old portrait

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This portrait of a friends three children must be twenty years old or more. All I have as an image is an old photocopy of a photo of it….which is why it’s blurred..

The three children were having breakfast when the photo was taken. There was strong sunlight shining into the room. The main colour was pale pink but the pin board behind them and the deep shadows made a good contrast.

I’d like to share a photo of my painting but I haven’t seen it for years. I used to do a lot more portrait painting but I guess now selfies are the fashionable thing they are less likely to be commissioned.

If you would like a portrait don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Tonight’s sketches.

These are the best of the bunch of sketches I did at the Beehive pub in Honeywall tonight. Some of the others were not too bad, but when you are trying to draw moving people it is difficult to get enough information down rapidly enough. That was what happened with the other ones – I was not speedy enough.

One image I do want to get is my friend Kate playing the trombone. It’s a wonderful sound in a small pub. I’m also in love with the gleam and reflections on it. Next month I will try and get closer and do a better drawing if I can.

These drawings were done in a Seawhite of Brighton Plein Air Sketchbook size A5 with watercolour paper. Using a Bic grip roller black roller ball pen.

Wedding painting

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When we got married we stood on the steps of the local registry office and had a few group photos taken. I have the album somewhere (it was full of photos taken by friends as we didn’t have a photographer).

I decided to do a painting of the occasion. I used two photos, because faces and people were not posed I had to take figures off two photos to make a nice composition. (By the way my sister is that tall!)

I apologise for this photo, it’s not very good. I should really take better ones with lighting etc but I don’t have those resources.

I will say it was a good wedding. We only spent £300 and that was including our clothes, the food and our honeymoon!

How did we do it? Everyone bought food for a buffet at our house. We got a barrel of beer in. Friends made and iced the cake (shaped like a cat with a blue and pink cat on top). We held the reception at home. The honeymoon was two nights in a posh hotel, two in a bed and breakfast and the rest of the week in a caravan!

Portraits

Here are three portrait paintings I did a few years ago. They are all Acrylics on canvas.

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing a likeness, but there are other things like the proportions of a figure to get right. I painted my mother and sister in one painting. My sister was taller than my mum but their heads are level in the painting I did. That’s because my mom was standing on a step so their heads were at the same level. To be honest it looks odd, not because it’s wrong but because you don’t expect one set of legs to be so much longer!

When I was learning to draw and paint figures I would often draw the heads bigger and the legs shorter. That’s because I was not looking properly and not taking account of foreshortening, especially when the model was sitting on the ground.

I enjoy painting people but not many ask for portraits these days. I am also good at painting pets, and  I don’t need photoshop to put two figures together from two separate photos.

Anyway feel free to contact me if you ever want a portrait or a painting of an ancestor for instance

Self portrait from a selfie.

Taking a selfie is bad enough, but trying to draw yourself from it while trying to hold a sketchpad and a tablet computer in one hand and an old felt pen in the other is quite difficult. I did try and use pointillism to do the shading but I think it didn’t really work well. Somehow the eyes in the drawing are looking at me, when in the photo they look up and to the right. The other thing with selfies is you see yourself the right way round, where when you look in a mirror everything is back to front, in mirror image.

I had been trying to take a photo of my reflection in a mirror but the tablet keep getting in the way. The only decent way to take it was by holding the computer tablet to one side but I ended up with the toilet in the background because my decent sized mirror is in the bathroom!

Anyway I don’t generally do selfies and its been a few years since I did a self portrait, but this was a bit of an experiment.  I like painting people and drawing them. Soon the life drawing class I go to will be starting up again. Then I can get in some proper practice.

Till then I’m going to try and do a few more quick portraits, this took about 15 minutes.

 

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

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P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .