In the studio – working methods

work in progress
detail from work in progress

I am always amazed with how a painting evolves from just a vague idea into something with a life of its own. I’ve been working on this particular painting for a few months. It has been constantly changing, but I think I may have arrived at the final layout.
The section above has seen the most changes. Originally it just had the settee with the two figures on it, but that left the composition unbalanced. So then I had the idea of adding the Three Graces; or a contemporary equivalent: three archetypal women. I already had an idea for the faces I wanted to give them, but I still had to find a model to pose. This provided me with the sketches at the top for my reference.
But still this little corner of the painting looked a bit empty. And then these two male figures in the background almost inserted themselves. As well as balancing the composition, they also tied up a few loose ends in the narrative.

Creating a Portrait

initial drawings

I recently had a callout for volunteers to pose for portraits. These are some images from the sitting I arranged with the first volunteer. I think they give a good idea of how I set about making a portrait.
I start with initial drawings, and once I’m happy with the pose and lighting, I commence with the painting. This painting is still in its early stages, but I’ll be able to finish it now using reference photos I took in the sitting.

First marks on canvas
Still early days, but the structure is there now.

This is an ongoing project, and I’m always on the lookout for volunteers. If you can get to my studio in London SE12 and can spare a few hours to pose, please do get in touch.

Works in Progress

works in progress

I’ve been struggling with a few smaller paintings recently.  A week away from the studio seems to have helped, and I have managed to finish a couple of them in the past two days.

New Model

I had a life drawing session with a new model last weekend. I want to start collecting material for a new series of paintings, where the model is set within a domestic environment, in natural poses; either relaxing, bathing or doing chores. It’s a return to a theme I worked on about ten years ago.
The sitting went well enough. As it turned out, we didn’t move out of the kitchen, as the light was so good in there.