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 .

Exhibition time

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It’s that time of year when I have a small exhibition of work at Etruria. An area of Stoke on Trent in the Staffordshire.  This year it came round fast.  I didn’t really know it was going to happen till a couple of days ago. I think I was feeling a bit down and so I hadn’t organised things very well.

The building it is in is an old warehouse next to the Trent and Mersey, and Cauldon canals. It’s a very old building, with an old canoe up in the rafters, and half a model canal boat up high at one end I the room. It also has some of the largest long legged spiders I have ever seen….but thankfully once I had set up they went into hiding.

Anyway its happened, its up. I’m selling cards and necklaces as well as paintings. I am not really good at doing that. I can be polite, helpful, and enjoy explaining the work I have done, but I don’t like selling, putting a price on things.

I’ve spoken to a few artists recently and they feel the same way. They want to be creative, because they are creative, not because they want to run a business. …

Anyway I think people enjoyed what they saw at the exhibition, I had some good feedback.

What  want to do now is start working on new art!

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.

Twins?

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One of the things about being a painter is being asked to do copies of your work. This was the case with these paintings. The original was painted by looking at the photo on my mobile phone. The second was copied from the first.

Question, can you tell which is the original? When I asked my husband he recognised the first one straight away ( although he had seen both of them being painted so that was not difficult).

It’s actually quite hard to copy a painting, especially as I do it free hand without drawing it out first. I think I didn’t make a bad job of it and I hope its new owner will like it.

Why this painting? Because I like both the colours and the challenge of painting her hat/snood? Trying to get the colours and details right. I hope you like it too….