Tag Archives: painting degree

From Inside Looking Out 2 – Hard or Soft Landscapes

Living in Bangkok it is very hard to find any rural landscape to draw or paint for this exercise but luckily enough it was a very busy month socially and within the space of a few weeks I had travelled to the seaside town of Pattaya and Koh Lan (Coral Island) to my girlfriend’s home town of Chiang Khong, just across the Meekong from Laos. This helped me get in quite a few studies of both rural and urban studies in a matter of days.

Urban Sketches

Chao Phraya River Bangkok

Wet on Wet Watersoluble Pencils

Wet on Wet Water Soluble Pencils

This is one of my favourite sketches of a hard landscape to date and it was a very different style for me. I made the sketch with wet water soluble pencils in a side to side motion on wet paper. The problem though was that I did not capture enough information to turn into a painting and another trip to the spot was needed before I could consider this for a painting.

 

 

Pattaya Pier

Watercolour Pattaya Pier

Watercolour Pattaya Pier

This watercolour sketch was drawn from a photo that I took arriving at pattaya from Koh lan on the ferry. Although it is quite a week sketch there are parts of it that really stand out, mainly the ripples on the water and the sky.

 

 

 

Cranes on the Chaophraya

Watercolour Cranes on the Chaophraya

Watercolour Cranes on the Chaophraya

There is some pretty interesting construction going on at my side of Bangkok at the moment that needs documenting. I passed these cranes on the way to work every day for about three months and eventually managed to get the day off so that I could draw them. This sketch had all the information needed to be developed into a painting but at this stage I’m not sure if I would be able to depict the water using acrylics

 

Emporium Park – Sukhumvit

Watercolour Sketch Sukumvit Park

Fig.1 – Watercolour Sketch Sukumvit Park

Watercolour Sketch - Sukhumvit Park

Fig. 2 – Watercolour Sketch – Sukhumvit Park

I wouldn’t have thought about going here as I live at the other side of the city but my girlfriend landed a private yoga class in the park and so it was a great opportunity to do a bit of sketching after I had helped her take photos of the Yoga class.

 

 

I did a lot of the sketching in the park and then finished them off at home and over did it with the water which looks too muddy.  The water in the park is very discoloured but should have more reflection on the surface in the sun.

 

 

 

 

Watercolour Sketch - Sukhumvit Park

Watercolour Sketch – Sukhumvit Park

 

The third sketch was a little better and I actually thought about using it for the coming linear perspective exercise. It was also great practie for mark making for the leaves of the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Temple at Rama VII Bridge

Acryic Sketch of Temple and River

Acryic Sketch of Temple and River

This sketch was a very fast sketch in acrylic of a temple by Rama VII bridge that sits on the Chaophraya river, the UFO type building in the background is the Nonthaburi campus of some Technology university. I thought it was a good contrast of old and new buildings. I sketched the buildings very quickly over a wash of blue and red which gave me the colour of the sky and those colours reflected on the water.

 

The water however was the only thing that stopped me developing this further in acrylic as again i’m not sure if I would do a good job of it an acrylics I think I may have to look into techniques for painting water.

Silhouette of a Local Temple

Silhouette of a Local Temple

Silhouette of a Local Temple

 

On the way home from painting the last sketch I took a photo of this temple on my side of the river which come out as a silhouette. It was a bit too easy to paint but it did give me some practice painting the sunset which I painted in watercolour before drawing in the buildings with a Pentel Brush pen.

 

Chao Phraya River – Khrung Thon Bridge

Watercolour Study Chaophraya

Watercolour Study Chaophraya

 

I took another trip back to the place where I completed the first sketch in watersoluble pencils. This time I wanted to capture more detail that I could maybe use in a final painting. Unlike the other sketches in watercolour I wanted this one to have more fluidity to it and so this time I used a wet on wet technique. It was my first time using this technique but I think it worked quite well. The only thing that didn’t really work was the boat.

 

Rural Landscape

Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai

The laos Bank of the Meekong River

Fig 1. The laos Bank of the Meekong River

Charcoal Study of a lake

Charcoal Study of a lake

The next sketches were part of a series of sketches I drew in charcoal in Chiang Rai while visiting my girlfriend’s home.

Fig 1. is a sketch of the banks of the Meekong river which I really liked as there were many layers to it with the trees and mountains in the background and the river in the foreground.

 

Fig 2. is a sketch of a small resevoir at the back of the girlfriend’s house. This was drawn at sunrise which I couldn’t really get over in charcoal. Being the most appealing of these sketches to be developed as a painting I took a photo of the scene so I could use the information from that for the colours I needed to use for the final painting. I just hoped that I could manage to paint the water as easy as it was to draw it in charcoal. Could I use a similar technique in paint?

 

The Final Painting – Soft Landscape

Final Painting after 1 Sitting

Final Painting after 1 Sitting

Once back in Bangkok I began the final painting in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment. Firstly I prepared the support the support with a wash of pink and blue that met in the middle this gave me a blue to work on for the sky and pink for the reflection of the illuminated clouds on the water. Then I begun to paint the clouds using a scumbling technique.

In fact I used the same technique but with different thicknesses of paint for most of the first part of the painting which I did in one sitting using only the the primary colours, red, yellow and blue plus white, mostly layering them on top of each other or mixing them on the canvas rather than mixing on the palette, applying the paint with a medium filbert.

Finished Painting 12 x 16 inch

Finished Painting 12 x 16 inch

When it came to the water I had no idea how to go about depicting the reflection on the ripples of water and tried several different techniques until I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at Monet’s Water Lily paintings. In one of his paintings, Water Lilies and Reed he seemed to use small horizontal strokes, this helped me a lot and I finally got it right, applying the paint in small strokes with a small detail brush.

Thoughts on Final painting

I really like the final painting for a number of reasons. Overall I’m quite proud with it as it was the first time I had painted using only the primary colours.

Composition

I originally chose the composition because even though this was a simple composition it was very soft with several focal points that would draw the viewer in such as the sky, the water and  the flow of water between the mountains. I wasn’t sure I could do a good job painting these areas but I am very happy with the results.

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From Inside Looking Out 1 – View from a Window or Doorway

The brief of this exercise was to:

‘Choose a view onto the world outside. Decide how much of the interior you wish to include and where the main focus of the picture will be.

Decide on the purpose of the composition and the mood and atmosphere that you wish to create. Choose whether or not to use the framework of the window as the external edge of your picture support or whether to actually include the window or door frame as part of your composition.’

To begin with I looked online to see how other artists had tackled this type of composition.

Edward Hopper - Office in a Small City

Edward Hopper – Office in a Small City

I was already very familiar with Edward Hopper’s paintings and I’ve always liked the way (as the brief stated) he creates links between interior and exterior worlds. Although there is generally a good balance between both in Hopper’s paintings the cityscapes, landscapes and even seascapes seen through the windows in his paintings are made up of very basic shapes and fundamental forms.

Raoul Duffy - 1953 Window at Nice

Raoul Duffy Window at Nice

Raoul Duffy’s paintings remind me a lot of the works by many Urban Sketchers. However, as these would usually lock in the outlines first and then sketch, Duffy seems to have sketched the buildings etc first and then defined with dark outlines. The interiors in his paintings are very obvious and therefore the exteriors could be as sketch as he wanted. This sketchiness also helps to create depth to his paintings.

A Corner of the Artists Room in Paris - Gwen John

Gwenn John, A Corner of the Artist’s room in Paris

In comparison to the first two artists, in ‘A Corner of the Artist’s Room’ by Gwenn John the artist has exploited the light shining through the lace curtain with a faint blur shape depicting the buildings outside.

My attempt at this exercise – A View from my Apartment

To start with I walked around my apartment with a camera looking through the lens trying to find a view that would make a good composition in which hopefully I could include part of the walls and window frame. Unfortunately the views from my windows are very complex pretty difficult to simplify which I tried to do in the cityscape exercises in Drawing 1. The best I could do from my apartment was the view from my side window.

2 Sketch from my side window

The watercolour sketch above wasn’t brilliant but it showed potential. I really liked the ‘Industrial Landscape, Leeds’ painting by Joash Woodrow, in the course material and this view would allow me to do something in a similar style. Although the buildings seem cramped through the window the many different colours of the buildings would make the painting pretty cheerful. The only problems I could see was that 1. The window frame and walls were so boring there was no point including them in the painting and 2. The shadows changed very rapidly throughout the day.

A View from Debsirin School

As a teacher in a Thai school, where teachers rotate classrooms rather than the students. At Debsirin School, like my apartment, the views are quite complex as most of the balconies and windows look out on to the metropolis of Bangkok. Though I did find one view, with a good perspective that was quite nice to draw, looking out towards the city over the tops of the red Eurasian style roofs of the school buildings. With this one I could include part of the wall of the balcony at an angle but not looking at it full on.

3 Sketch of the View from Debsirin

A View from the Balcony at Debsirin School, Bangkok

A View from Wat Makut School

1 Sketch from Wat makut School

The view from the window of Wat Makut School turned out to be one of my favourite sketches so far. I’ve been looking at this small street for 7 years and I did draw it before for my Drawing course but it was drawn in pen.

 

 

 

 

 

Debsirin Temple Gates

A View through the Temple Gates

A View through the Temple Gates

This was one of three watercolour sketches that I thought would work out really well, one looking into the temple and two looking out but I just couldn’t get the sketches right. Instead of giving up I should have changed mediums as these would have been ideal for charcoal or even ink sketches.

Wat Debsirin Lake

Wat Debsirin Lake in Wc, Pastel and Pen

Wat Debsirin Lake in Wc, Pastel and Pen

On a walk behind the temple for the first time one lunchtime I discovered these buildings that seemed to be built on rafts or piers on a small lake. From my viewing point it looked like I was viewing them through a window with the scene perfectly framed by the shade of the trees,  fence and plants.

 

 

Preliminary Sketch in Acrylic

Preliminary Sketch in Acrylic

Preliminary Sketch in Acrylic

I decided to do another sketch of the view outside my window in my mixed media sketch book in acrylics so I had some insight into how the painting would look and what mark making techniques and of course brushes I would use in the final piece. Using the filbert for the arched windows of the condominium facing the road helped me to make up my mind.

 

 

 

 

The Final Painting

Final Piece - A View from my Apartment

Final Piece – A View from my Apartment

A friend of mine always said, you could tell that westerners aren’t allowed to be architects in Thailand because all the buildings look like cereal boxes. I’m not sure whether the first part of that statement is true but it is true that most of the buildings here are very boxlike, especially the older ones and I intended to take advantage of that here.

I regret that I didn’t take photos of the different stages of the painting but I managed to get most of the painting done in one day.

I started with the sky daubing on large brushstrokes of blue and white paint mixing the colours on the canvas to depict the white clouds in a blue sky, the orange tint on the clouds was added afterwards.

From there I painted in the two skyscrapers under construction in the background mixing in layers of burnt umber, Payne’s grey, orange and white.

Continuing to work down I then painted in the shapes of the buildings in mixes of orange, yellow, white and pink to give me the different pastel tones with the red and white sign of the pawn shop giving the viewer an alternative focal point from the tops of the skyscrapers.

The arched windows at of the building in the right of the foreground gave me a great opportunity to do some mark making with the filbert brush and I also had a small flat brush that was perfect for the windows of the two apartment blocks.

As I started the painting there were no shadows on the building but by about 5 o’clock the shadow of my old 28 floor apartment block began to fall on the buildings which I think really gave the composition depth.

On the whole the painting did turn out as I imagined albeit a bit too neat. I wanted to be rougher with less defined forms depicting the clutter and mismatch of buildings here in Bangkok where every available space has been built on and buildings have been designed to fit in the smallest of gaps. Moving from the 26th floor of the building next door to this low-rise with the skyscrapers under construction opposite makes me feel really penned in and it will be good to remind myself of that when I move back to England this year.

Regrets

I regret not painting the view from the school window as that had a window frame that I could work with unlike the interior wall and the window frame of my apartment here. However I have paced  the painting against light coloured boards which enhances the feel of the composition and does make it look like you are viewing the buildings through a window frame so I think I have achieved what I set out to do

 

 

 

People in Context 3 – Telling a Story

The brief for this exercise was to create a simple narrative, involving one or two human figures and produce a painting that gives the viewer the clearest idea of what is happening.

I came across a photograph of a monk reading a book and praying in a temple in Ayutthaya which gave me an idea for this painting and also ideas for how I would go about depicting the stone wall inside the temple. To avoid plagiarism I would adapt the scene to my own painting in myself as the monk and also adding a twist to what was going on. I wasn’t sure of how it would turn out but I was focused on what I wanted the end painting to look like the problem was getting there was to be very time consuming.

1 - Trying Colours

1 – Trying Colours

The first thing I did was to look at the colours I would use in the painting by drawing the main figure from the already existing photograph just to give me an idea of what colours I would use in the painting. I completed this in water soluble oil pastels, a medium that I had started to use a lot lately.

 

 

 

 

 

2 - Background with Dripping Technique

2 – Background with Dripping Technique

From there I continued to examine the photo to figure out which painting techniques I would use to complete the surroundings. I decided on a dripping technique to start with which would hopefully help me to depict the water stains on the ancient stone walls. As I stated in my previous post I begun this exercise before the ‘A Figure in an Interior’ exercise and so like most of the other exercises I completed it on backing board. I only wish I had painted it on a canvas panel to see how this technique would have turned out on a canvas support.

 

3 - Backgroud Detail

3 – Backgroud Detail

After first using the dripping technique I begun to define the stones themselves. These were very irregular with all different colours, shade and patterns so I wasn’t to worried about doing a brilliant job. When finished it did look like the wall was catching light shining through a window somewhere but the source wasn’t clear it was the figure in the painting that would help determine where that light source came from. I then went on to do some figure studies…

 

Figure Studies

4 - First Figure Study

4 – First Figure Study

With my camera mounted on a newly purchased but cheap tripod I set the camera up on remote and started to snap photographs of myself sat in my best attempt at the lotus position and the orange monk cloth, that I have used as a prop in a lot of previous exercises during the last two courses, draped over my left shoulder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 - Second Figure Study

5 – Second Figure Study

I already new I was going to paint something in the window to the right of the painting and so I positioned a lamp to the left (my right) and faced in direction of the window in all of the photographs, making simple gestures with my left hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 - Third Figure Study

6 – Third Figure Study

Looking back at the these three drawings, which to me were really great studies, especially the ‘Shhhh!’ pose in figure 4. I didn’t really need to paint anything else apart from one of these very suggestive figures which had ample information to complete this exercise.

The water soluble oil pastels gave the drawings a really oily effect, which I loved and so I shall be working on larger paintings from these studies, hopefully in oils in some future project.

 

 

 

Painting in the Figures

7 - Painting in The Robes

7 – Painting in The Robes

After choosing one of the studies to work from, the pose with the pointing figure, I began to paint the figure onto the larger painting. So I wouldn’t mess up the already painted background I drew in the figure in the same oil pastels which could be removed by my battery eraser if I made any mistakes. I was to find out that I could actually paint over any section of the wall if I needed to with a thin mix of paint in thin vertical strokes to keep up with the effect of the water stains.

 

8 - Starting the Figure

8 – Starting the Figure

With the  basic outline drawn out I began to paint in the robes using a medium paste mixed in with the paint to make them stand out more, then I started to paint in the figure. By this time I was having doubts to how the painting would turn out, the pose I had chosen looked quite weak but I carried on nonetheless.

 

 

9 - Painting in the Shadows

9 – Painting in the Shadows

After painting in most of the figure I began to work on the shadow and other objects in the painting. Firstly I began to paint as though the floor was a mirror forgetting about distortions that would be caused by the ancient wooden floor. By this time I had already deleted the photo so I couldn’t copy it making the painting quite hard to paint I decided on painting the shadows by puling the brush down in a slight zig zag motion.

 

10 - Painting in the Second Figure

10 – Painting in the Second Figure

Once I had most of the reflections painted I set about painting in the second figure. At first I though about painting myself hising in the shadows with a lasso around the vase on floor attempting to pinch it, Then I thought about just a pair of evil eyes in the darkness but after another photo shoot with the girlfriend I decided on painting her standing in the shadows to depict the fight with the temptation that all men of the cloth in all religions must go through.

 

11 - Correcting the Pose

11 – Correcting the Pose

A this stage I realised the pose I had put myself in as the monk in the painting was just too weak and so resorting to looking athe photos I had taken earlier and the studies to see which would be a better pose I put together a mixture several poses.

Unfortunately then I had to spend a lot of time changing the reflections on the floor to suit the seated figure.

 

The Finished Painting

The finished painting was very time consuming. over a month with working 7 days and I still think that it is not really a finished piece but more of a study to something that I can can work on later.

My regrets are not working on the solo figures in the study rather than this larger scene as the solo figures were much stronger. The figures in the final piece seem weak, it was a great idea but it needed a lot more time to finish, this maybe something I will continue with but at this time I had to tell myself enough is enough so I can finish this course in time for submission.

12 - Finished Piece

12 – Finished Piece

Observing the Human Figure 3 – Tonal Figure Study

The brief: In this exercise you will concentrate on conveying form by exploring tonal  values. Set up your model’s pose with a light source casting clear shadows and highlights. If you use directional lamps you may need more than one to combat the problem of hard outlines around shadows. For a tonal study it’s best to work in natural light.

Due to the times I work and the days, all seven of them could only do this exercise in the night time. So to try and combat the hard outlines as it instructed in the brief I left all the lights on. Including the bathroom which adjoins the living room.

Preparation

Before starting this exercise I cut two almost square sheets of thick card the shape of the card influenced the poses in the following sketches and the final piece as I wanted to fill as much of the surface of each one up as possible. I painted one of the pieces of card with an opaque coat of Burnt Umber and the other with naples grey.

Tonal Sketches

1st Tonal Study

1st Tonal Study

The first tonal sketch was very week, I had drawn better tonal studies in the first figure drawing exercise, Drawing the Human Figure. A week first drawing is getting to be a habit with me, it .takes a couple of drawings for me and the model to relax. Everything is in proportion though so it seems like I am improving as I go along.

 

 

 

 

2nd Tonal Study

2nd Tonal Study

The second sketch also in charcoal was much better, although there are hard outlines in places, particularly under the thigh. Again proportions are good and a lot of the tones are really nice but looking back on this pose as with all the poses I could have draped cloth over her or even a towel as I had secured the only sheet of cloth I had as a backdrop to stop the light reflecting off the white wall.

The second pose was drawn quicker and smoother than the first pose, the speed was down to the position of the model. Giving her her I-phone took her mind off any aching for the duration of the drawing. I think.

3rd Tonal Study in Pencil

3rd Tonal Study in Pencil

One of my deepest regrets so far of this course is overlooking the potential of this third tonal study in pencil. The angle, proportions, muscle tone and features were all spot on. There were hard outlines on the legs and arms but I could have overcome this in the final painting. Instead I opted for two different poses to turn into paintings.

 

 

3rd Tonal Study

4th Tonal Study in Charcoal

This next pose like the previous drawing in pencil was influenced by the painting by the Painting ‘Curled Nude on a stool’ by Euan Uglow that was shown as an example in this section of the course material, which I really liked and being flexible I know she would be able to hold this pose as long as I needed to draw it.

In this pose I included the chair and some background, The course material said a tonal figure in space. Did I go to far. Again, as with the first two poses I drew this in charcoal which was easy to blend to remove any hard outlines, but there are still some hard outlines on shoulders, beneath  the elbow and on the hip but there were heavy shadows here. I decided to take this one further and work from this sketch for a painting as I wanted to see how painting from the charcoal sketch would turn out.

First Painting

Drawing with a light mix on Burnt Umber

Drawing with a light mix on Burnt Umber

Working from the charcoal sketch I began to draw the figure and build up tone with a lighter mix of white and burnt umber to attempt to build up the tone on the painting. At this point I realised it was not going to be a pure tonal painting and was already planning the next painting.

 

 

 

 

 

Painting Almost finished

Using mixtures of Burnt Umber, white and black I began to imitate the charcoal study while trying to do away with any hard outlines some of which I chose to paint in at first probably down to insecurity. What I should have done was just slowly continue to build up the tone from the mid-tones something that I would do in the next painting.

 

 

 

9 - 1st Painting Painted from Charcoal Study

9 – 1st Painting Painted from Charcoal Study

I am happy with the final painting but as an experiment rather than as a tonal study. There are some very hard outlines which were almost unavoidable due to the darkness of the shadows and trying to get rid of these which I did try but wasn’t satisfied with the results.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Drawing in Pencil

Drawing in Pencil – Drawing the human figure

This was a sketch for the Drawing the human figure exercise of one pose that I was particularly happy with and wanted to come back to for this exercise as I thought it would be really great for a tonal painting for this exercise. The one problem was proportions were slightly out and I had no girlfriend around or a photo of this pose for reference so I would be working solely from this sketch and using knowledge that I acquired in the drawing course such as central axis and that the head fits into the body roughly about 3 and a half times from the crown of the head to the bottom on a seated figure.

 

 

 

I started this painting trying to picture Edgar Degas’s nudes in my mind’s eye but not using any particular one as a reference.

 

Tonal Study - Finished Painting

Tonal Study – Finished Painting

Working on the board I prepared with the mix of Naples Grey I used a very light mix of Naples Grey and Burnt Umber to paint in the figure starting at the crown of the head then working down to the bottom and then back up the leg and finally painting n the arms knees feet and face. I like to have the shape of the face completed to some degree so that I can use the entire head as a reference for the measurement of the rest of the body.

Once I was happy with the shape and proportions I began to build up the tone in the neck shoulders and back as well as the tops of the arms this gave me an idea of the tones and mixes of paint I would be using. A certain ratio of these two paints can look ginger and that was something I wanted to avoid.

The soft tones were quite difficult to achieve and it take quite a while to complete, slowly layering the paint using more of a scrumbling technique than anything else with a small detail brush.

I was reluctant to add in the shadow as I was worried it would look like she was having a pee so I really had to play with that, and I did mess up. This resulted in me painting the whole floor in a dark mix of the two paints and then going over that with the Naples Grey and shaping the shadow from there hence the floor looking a different tone.

My thoughts on the final painting

There differences between the painting and the primary sketch such as the length of the neck, length of the arms and also a longer more curved back but I think I don’t think anything looks out of proportion. However, this was a tonal exercise and I think I did well with the tones in the final painting. There are some parts that look flat but overall I think it works well.

My Thoughts on this Exercise

Although I am very happy with the finished piece I could have gone about the whole exercise differently using  cloth draped over the figure and maybe other props. It would have also probably have been nice to do some standing poses especially from the back as she does have some nice back muscles but I can come back to this.

Further Tonal Studies

I have been invited by my girlfriend to her yoga classes to do some studies there but so far I haven’t had the time but this did inspire me to look on the internet for some interesting naked yoga poses.

4th Tonal study

Tonal Study in Oil Pastel

This drawing was originally going to be a linear study in oil pastel but then realized the potential of the colours I was using and so I went onto smudge the colours together with very interesting results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th Tonal Study

2nd Tonal Study in Oil pastel

I wanted to do more experimenting with these colours and chose another interesting pose to try to create what I had done the result was slightly different but still very interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Drawing

The following drawings were of models on the life drawing site Pixelovely.com.

5th Tnal Study Life Drawing

2 Minute Sketch in Conte

6th Tonal Study Life Drawing

2 Minute Sketch in Conte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8th Tonal Study Life Drawing

10 Minute Sketch in Conte

This sketch is really starting to grow on me, being an Egon Schiele fan it does remind me of some of the scrawny sketchy figures in his paintings.

Looking at Faces 1 – Research Point – Artists’ Self Portraits

Rembrandt

The dozens of self-portraits by Rembrandt were an important part of his oeuvre as a painter. Rembrandt created nearly one hundred self-portraits during his lifetime including approximately fifty paintings, thirty-two etchings and seven drawings. – Wikipedia

Rembrandt self-portrait 1629

Rembrandt self-portrait 1629

Rembrandt’s  self portraits create a visual diary of his aging and progress as an artist over a 40 year period. In these self portraits he managed to capture various facial expressions and it is clear that many of his self portrait drawings were studies in capturing facial expressions for his paintings such as the painting seen here which he painted aged 23.

I can only comment on what I see in this photograph of the painting but to me it seems like he has painted this with almost blur detail as to depict not just facial expression but the movement of his head while laughing. The slight halo around his head and shoulders helps to portray this movement. Everything about this painting works, he wants to look jolly and he does

Gustave’ Courbet

Self-Portrait by Gustave Courbet a Desperate Man 1843–45

Self-Portrait by Gustave Courbet a Desperate Man 1843–45

Gustave’ Courbet’s brilliant self portrait ‘a Desperate Man 1843 is painted with almost photo-realism. In this painting he has managed to capture not just worrying facial expressions which is the theme of the painting but an energy. The light and shade in the folds of his shirt gives the painting even more life.

In this painting as with Rembrandt’s self portrait above the artist uses soft skin tones for the face but his emphasis on his red cheeks brings real emotion to the painting.

The title says desperation but with  the facial expressions and the position of his hands that seem to be going through his hair this could be mistaken for fear.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait 1889

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait 1889

Van Gogh is an artist who is well-known for his self portraits. Although painted in different moods, using different techniques and painted in  several different styles most of these resemble each other giving us a good idea of what the artist looks like or what he saw himself as. There are a few photos on the internet which people claim to be of the artist at different stages of his life although there is doubt about if they are really him is recognizable to us through his self portraits.

These paintings portray the artist in different hats, different clothes, with a pipe in his mouth, bandaged ear and even through some of his personal items without him being in the painting.

Van Gogh seems to paint his self in a fairly aggressive style, with thick paint and lively brush strokes, most of which to me seem like he painted them in an agitated manner, although colours and composition were clearly thought out.

Self-Portrait 1889 above was the one that stood out as I was going through the images of van Gogh self portraits, I try not to glance at SP with Bandaged Ear anymore, it’s like the boring part of a movie that you skip through to get to the good bit.

In the painting above like most of his paintings he portrays himself an artist I don’t kow what kind of an impression he tried to convey but serious, artist in thought is the impression we get or is it just because we know van Gogh?

Gauguin Portrait of van Gogh

Gauguin Portrait of van Gogh

Through this portrait of van Gogh by friend Paul Gauguin we get a chance to look at the artist through someone else’s eyes. In this painting Gauguin depicts him painting one of his famous sunflower paintings wearing a jacket with lined lapel that he can be seen wearing in his self portrait Spring 1887. The painting by Gauguin is painted at an angle that looks to be slightly from above as though Gauguin was standing or on a higher chair than his friend.

The painting does resemble van Gogh because we know it’s him and he’s painting sunflowers, however if the painting was cropped to just his face and I was seeing this image for the first time it would be pretty difficult for me to guess it is the famous Dutch painter.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Self-Portrait Negro Period 1906

Pablo Picasso Self-Portrait Negro Period 1906

Pablo Picasso like van Gogh and Rembrandt is an artist famous for his numerous self portraits. These self portraits were painted in different styles throughout the different periods of Picasso’s work. When I first saw this painting a while back searching for something completely different I guessed it was a Self Portrait by Pablo Picasso and then checked straight away to see if he was of mixed race typing in the words ‘Pablo Picasso’ and ‘Negro’, the latter being the first word that came to mind when I saw this painting.

I found out that the artist had an African Period which lasted from 1906-1909 and in this self portrait he seemed to be influenced by the masks and sculpture that influenced the rest of his paintings during this period. He was experimenting and I’m sure it’s not just me who sees this when we look at the painting. It’s hard to put a finger on the technique he used here, background first? Drawn last?

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon Three Studies for a Self-Portrait 1979-80

Francis Bacon Three Studies for a Self-Portrait 1979-80

Francis Bacon painted his pictures ‘as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail leaving its trail of the human presence… as a snail leaves its slime’ – Francis bacon. This can be seen in his self portraits. Unlike van Gogh we know what Francis Bacon looked like as there are many photographs of the artist and so looking at the three studies for a self portrait we can see some resemblance to the artist in all of the three studies such as receding hairline, parts of the nose and jaw and he has managed to keep these resemblances even after mutilating himself in the artist’s familiar painting style.

Lucian Freud Portrait of Francis Bacon 1952

Lucian Freud Portrait of Francis Bacon 1952

In Lucian Freud’s depiction of Francis Bacon painted in Freud’s very familiar style in which he uses a blocking-in technique to give the face great tonal qualities. Although I recognize  the features such as the deep set eyes, prominent eyelids, rings around the eyes and the shape of the face, together the portrait is not 100% recognisable as Bacon. Is that Just me, or do others see it the way I do?

 

 

 

 

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud Reflection -Self Portrait 1985

Lucian Freud Reflection -Self Portrait 1985

I really love Freud’s style though, his portraits have what i would describe as heavy, rubber-like features. He’s a fairly new artist to me as I only discovered him during my drawing course but I wish I had discovered him sooner. Like most o his paintings his features in his self-portrait are also heavy and rubbery helped along by the heavy brush and impasto technique that he uses in this and most of his other portraits

 

 

 

Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud

Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud

 

In the ‘Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud’ right, Francis Bacon’s portrait of the artist in Bacon’t unmistakable style looks as though he has literally had his face smashed in with a paving maul, in his own words “If they were not my friends, I could not do such violence to them.”

An ear and a nose are the only features here that are recognisable but I think what he was trying to do in his portraits of others is to push the boundaries as far away as possible from the subject to do as much ‘violence’ to their features as possible while still keeping them recognisable to him.

How he got to these disfigured shapes, I can only guess that he daubed large amounts of paint on the canvas in a compact area and then spread it outwards like stretching Plasticine or Dough or that’s how they look.

 

Observing the Human Figure 2 – Linear Figure Studies

I began this exercise with my watercolour field set, XL sketchbook and a medium sized tank watercolour brush (if that’s what you call them). I have used this brush for sketching quite a while now and I am really comfortable with it.

For the first few studies I sat down with my model as I messed up a lot in the drawing 1 course due to being sat on a high chair which made her head look bigger in the drawings.

1 - Watercolour with Backround

1 – Watercolour with Backround

1 - Watercolour with Background Notes

1 – Watercolour with Background Notes

Drawing the background of the above study wasn’t planned, it just happened. Once I had drawn the figure I decided to add some shadow and then with not wanting to waste paper I took the chance to draw the background which worked out quite well as it contained everything that I had been painting so far in this course,

The drawing of the figure itself was not brilliant, the light came from different light sources such as a lamp, the kitchen and the bathroom so I found it quite difficult to depict the shadows using line. The figure is in proportion but the eye does get lost in a confusion of lines in the legs and arms.  The face bares no resemblance, although it does look Asian.

I started to experiment with drips here but soon stopped it was a nice clean drawing and it was a shape to ruin it.

2 - Second Watercolour Sketch

2 – Second Watercolour Sketch

2 - Second Watercolour Sketch Notes

2 – Second Watercolour Sketch Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the second watercolour study I sat at the front of the model  with her in another comfortable position, one leg behind her with the other in front and her right hand gripping her ankle. As with the first study I painted the lines with a lighter colour first and then went over the outline with black. This time I only painted in simple shadows rather than a complex background. The body is in proportion but I was unable to depict the foreshortening on her right arm especially from her elbow to her hand which looks straight and therefor to short.

3 - Third Watercolour Sketch

3 – Third Watercolour Sketch

3 - Third Watercolour Sketch Notes

3 – Third Watercolour Sketch Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third sketch was my favourite, it was a standing pose and I sat on a low chair to draw her so she was taller than me so as not to depict her as a midget (she is only five foot). The piece gave man idea to maybe do a piece with several poses my the same model on a long support wearing these simple clothes that made her look quite cute and I think I managed to capture that in this drawing with her knees and feet together. At this stage I planned to do a larger painting from this in acrylic but I don’t have a great track record of enlarging smaller studies freehand.

4 - Fourth Watercolour Sketch

4 – Fourth Watercolour Sketch

6 - Sixth Watercolour Sketch

6 – Sixth Watercolour Sketch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 - Fifth atercolour Sketch

5 – Fifth atercolour Sketch

The next three went brilliant especially the fourth which made her look like a witch the body on all three however were in proportion and I even coped alright with the foreshortening on the reclining poses, something that I do manage to have a problem with most of the time when drawing from life.

One thing that I am happy with is that in all the watercolour studies so far I have managed to get the models legs looking quite nice and in linear figure studies from what i can see so far, that really helps.

 

 

7 - Experimenting with Lino Ballpoit

7 – Experimenting with Lino Ballpoint

9 - Linear Study in Ballpoint

9 – Linear Study in Ballpoint

8 - More Ballpoint Sketches

8 – More Ballpoint Sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there I decided to experiment with line in a completely different way with ballpoint inspired by an earlier sketch that I did in the style of Alberto Giacometti  In these  4 drawings I decided to build up the three dimensional form of the figure by using a spiraling/squirkling technique.

The first drawing was fine but was  too tight for my liking so I worked on another three, none to perfection although I can see that with a bit of practise this would be a really effective technique but could it be used with a painting medium?

9 - Linear Study in Ballpoint

9 – Linear Study in Ballpoint

I wanted to find out if I could recreate the earlier standing pose on a larger scale and still keep the feminine qualities that I depicted in the watercolour skretch. I began by painting a piece of card with a semi-opaque wash of light blue then once it was dry used a more opaque mix of the same blue to draw the outline before painting over it again with black then I depicted the light and shade with Mouse Grey and Burnt Umber. The result wasn’t brilliant as I messed up on the face and there was  more length in the body but it wasn’t that bad either.

 

 

 

11 - Acrylic Linear Study - Messing Up

11 – Acrylic Linear Study – Messing Up

This next study was painted on a semi-opaque wash of Yellow Ochre. I thought it would be a really simple pose but when I came to paint the outline, this time in Burnt Umber I messed up really badly. I thought I would be able to correct it by painting over the messed up lines with the same colour as the base coat but messed up even more as the top layer was opaque. I probably shouldn’t have stopped there but by this time I was totally put off this pose but I will try it again in the next exercise, Tonal study.

 

 

 

The final piece for this exercise was a linear study painted from the watercolour drawing in the previous exercise Drawing the Human Figure. I used the Mouse Grey again to paint the outline onto a semi-opaque wash of Burnt Umber which gave the board a wood grain look. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next but then imagined a darker line over the top of the light grey and so went with that. The result was that the painting had an almost tiger feel to it, I included some shadow but it looks like she has peed herself.

13 - Going over LInes in a Darker Paint

13 – Going over LInes in a Darker Paint

12 - Axcrylic Linear Study on Transparent Wash

12 – Axcrylic Linear Study on Transparent Wash

Queen Sirikit Gallery – Best Art Thesis 2015

The Queen’s Gallery has continuously taken a role in providing an opportunity for young artists to exhibit their works. Year 2015 marks the 7th year that The Queen’s Gallery presents “The Best Art Thesis Exhibition” displaying the best thesis works of arts that are well selected by professors and instructors from renowned art institute. With the total of 121 art pieces including sculptures and paintings, each institution had selected 2 outstanding works of arts from master degree students and 3 outstanding works of arts from bachelor degree students who have been developing skills and identities throughout their college years, in order to publicize their talents, to open their visions and to offer experiences in terms of becoming professional artists.

The Exhibition

(unfortunately the photos for this exhibition were left in my tablet that I recently forgot in a Taxi, the driver of which would not answer his phone)

I was very fortunate to visit the gallery at a time when they were exhibiting over 121 of the best art students’ art thesis of 2015 and it was very inspiring. Learning painting myself now, I could see how the students had employed the techniques and the mediums that they had explored in their art degrees.

Pen and Sepia Ink

Pen and Sepia Ink

There were sections for watercolour, acrylic, oil, mixed meda and sculptor, the paintings in all sections were very impressive and looked very, very professional. In the mixed media section there were even paintings painted in rubber sap from the rubber tree which was a sepia colour. This inspired the self portrait to the left in pen and sepia ink.

 

 

 

 

Even though the beautiful photos of the paintings that I took were lost in my tablet in the taxi I was lucky to make the following sketch of one of the paintings at the exhibition and note the artists inspiration for the painting.

Sketch of a painting at the Best in Thesis 2015

Sketch of a painting at the Best in Thesis 2015

Apart from the watercolour paintings that were mostly of flowers and plants the paintings in other mediums were of some really interesting subjects, but my favourite paintings were by students from king Mongkut’s university of technology that were mostly of industrial subjects such as miners and foundry workers as well as surrealist paintings with characters made up of wires and nuts and bolts.

All-in-all it was a very inspiring exhibition just a crying shame that the photos were lost. All I could find on line were photos of the following paintings.

 

Kannikar Permkittikul - In Room

Kannikar Permkittikul – In Room

Nidtaya Sornpo - Beauty of Women

Nidtaya Sornpo – Beauty of Women

Somsak Junto - Untitled 2015

Somsak Junto – Untitled 2015