Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mods 'n' all that the Art Project - "Loolie at the bench No.1".

Loolie at the bench No.1

2017 and a new project this time I'm feeling it a bit more and I've gone about it in a different way. The painting that you'll see come together here is the third in this series I'm calling Mods 'n' all that. The first painting which has come together as a result of a series of trials and experiments over a number of years as I've worked through the idea and concept is a self portrait. As yet not seen anywhere, but 95% complete. The 2nd painting is a 2nd version of the first self portrait which is probably about 30% complete, but coming along okay. The idea is that I'll finish all three of them by the end of March.

But this blog page is dedicated to...

 "Loolie at the bench No.1" 40cm x 120cm Arylic on canvas.
Prepping the support with a pink colour ground, yesterday.
 After working on some sketches where I was working out the background in relation to the subject I've drawn out a really rough approximation of the pose (Stage #10.
 This evening I've roughed up the basics - so this is stage #2.
This is the bloke I'm painting and combining these images with old images of him when he was 15 - 20 years old, the painting hopefully will be an approximation of him when he was around that age.

Time spent on this so far 5 hours and 30 minutes... research, prep, photo-shoots.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

New activity

I've not been completely idle for the last couple of years and I've been looking around for inspiration and ideas. In the last year or so I've been looking at the work of a number of painters...

Hogan Brown who as far as I can make out is a bloke just starting out, he was introduced to me by a bloke at work who paints - Andrew Graves. You'll find Hogan Brown website here

The reason I like his images are the connections and similarities with my initial influence which was Jack Vettriano...
Vettrianos work has a theme to it that has captured the publics eye and it's the idea and concept behind Vettrianos work that I'm interested in and why is it that it works so well?

In recent weeks I've found an American Artist Alex Katz who produces massive wall size painting and sometimes knocks the final painting out in a single day and again you'll see that there's some similarities with both the artists above. What I like about these artists - and it was Vettriano that I first realised had these attributes is the simplicity of the whole thing, they look as though they're easy to do, but when you get down to it they're actually not. Listening to Alex Katz in interviews one of the things he speaks about is knowing when to stop and in my earlier efforts when trying to paint my son Joe, the issue was exactly that. In the earlier stages of the painting he looked too cartoon-esque and this drove me forward to keep on trying to add detail, but as I did so the painting then changed and I realised that I was starting to produce something that was beginning to look like a photograph.

The artist that kind of got me back on track was Chantal Joffe, who's work is far from 'Photo-real' and far more expressionistic and less Pop-art as the two previous artists discussed seem to be?
This is her work here...
Out of all the recent stuff I've been looking at Alex Katz work has been the most inspiring because he works on such a vast scale and in the past I've scaled up my paintings and produced image that are much larger... 4' x 4' and I quite enjoyed working at that size. What I also like about Katz is the fact that it is very cartoon-esque/Pop Art and some of it doesn't look anything like the people that it's supposed to be. I was quite excited to read when doing my research that he'd painted Kate Moss. Most of his work is very personal - people in his family and people he knows and so when you're looking at them there's no point of reference. Kate Moss we all know, she's everywhere, so once I'd read this I went searching. Better still, when I found the image it was on the website that had recently sold it, so there was a price and details about its size. This is Alex Katz version of Kate Moss...
This sold at auction for $180,000 dollars - the image is 6' x 5' the details are here.
Another American artist I like is Kenton Nelson again he produces images that are like Alex Katz enormous in size, using American themes and life, in Nelsons case laced with essences of fantasy and memories. Nelsons work is far more vibrant in its use of colour and light...
Others that I've been looking at have included David Hockney, Rosalyn Drexler, Elizabeth Peyton and a bloke who's name escapes me for the moment, but I'll get his images and a link on here in a couple of days or so... 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Progress update

I've had a bad week with this if I'm to stick to schedule e.g. finish by the end of January. I've kind of got stuck with the afore-mentioned problem of when to stop with the detail and I'm kind of there. I reckon I'll do some more detail in the white jumper, but not a great deal. As you can see I've made a start on the face and some of the smaller details, but it's a long way from being finished, but after today having not touched it for a week I'm a little more optimistic about the final outcome.

One of the things I have done is to darken the sight screen even more today as I felt that the jumper wasn't standing out from the background enough.

Acrylic Art - Diary

Yeah it's not easy this stuff and I've probably in some ways chosen a very difficult subject to paint in that primarily it appears to be white, whereas it's hues of whites containing a whole bunch of colours and getting the depth of the hue correct is proving to be quite a challenge. The other aspect is knowing when to stop. Years ago I wouldn't have been happy unless the painting looked like a photograph, but I'm a lot more laid back about the work and I'm hoping that the painting will look like a painting rather than a photo in this instance, but the old style painter still lurks beneath the surface wanting the detail to be there so that it feels complete. Painting a white jumper with texture in using acrylics does seem a bit of a mammoth task and at the moment I am struggling with the question of how much detail do I need to include. Another worry is whether at the expense of going for a more painted approach, the image might look carton like and I also want to avoid that as well.

Another issue is the artist that I'm being influenced by has an unusual style that includes hideous mistakes and his work retaining various levels of detail differing from one to the other. While I'm not copying what he does, I'm using his approach and parts of his technique/style to inform my own work and develop my own style when painting with acrylics.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Update - Joe Cricket #1

I started this project back in October and the first attempt went okay, but I need models to shoot some pictures for reference to finish the work off. In the meantime I've set myself the task of painting my son Joe as a practice run and to continue learning how to use the paints and their properties as I've never used acrylics before and the work I'm producing now is the first paintings I've worked on since 1987.

There's some earlier stages posted elsewhere at
but now on I'll post up any progress images on here for the time being. This project I started in early Jan with the intention of working on the picture and trying to get it finished by the end of January giving myself a deadline. Half way through January and it looks as though I'm going to meet the dealine unless of course something drastic goes wrong. So here it is the evidence of whether I can paint or not!

This was where I was this morning (above) and this is the progress today with another 4 hours or so of work.

I don't think I've done myself any favours choosing a subject that I know so well (My youngest son) and having the subject made up of 90% whites including a cable knit jumper!!! Anyway - it's proving to be a good learning process - possibly because it is a particularly tricky subject to paint. It's unusual too in that I've adopted a totally new modus operandi with regards to the order that I paint the elements. Normally I'd have painted the face and all the body details first and then the backgrounds. The problem with that was - when I did that I never felt compelled to finish everything else off once the face was done. So I'm going about it in a totally different way this time and so far it seems to be working.