My youngest, newly arrived in Melbourne, ready to take on the world of ballet.Her mouth is determined, and she has the brash self assurance of youth. Or was it that I asked her to tilt her head back till the light hit her bottom lip? I suppose it really doesnt matter how you arrive.
Adele is a friend who lives in Canada. She is a woman of great enthusiasm who cannot stay still for long, and is a lot of fun to be with. You can see her mischievous nature in her portrait. Technically this was interesting because her face is primarily in shadow, and I had to use reflected light to reveal the form.
" Choose the largest brush that will do the job, then use one bigger" Good advice. I use hog bristle filberts for the impasto, and square taklons for the glazes, usually No 10 or bigger for most of the painting. Only at the very end will I use points and small brushes for the earrings and light in the eye.
I have never seen any model keep more still than this man.
She looks uncannily like a girl in the Victorian National Gallery, and looks Dutch.Why I think that , I have no idea.
I have included this shot to display my fashion sense, the despair of my daughters. No, really, its about scale.
Having worn one hat, I am drawn to more.
Bronwyn has such an easy smile and friendly manner.
After a years agonising,I had finally come to terms with the academic palette ,preparations like the imprimatura and frotte,oiling out,using titanium or lead white etc. This layering is quite different from the Italian technique I have used previously,and the fact is,I had to paint 15 nudes from life to get sufficient knowledge of what I was doing.There can be no turning back now.
Dobells "Cypriot" I always admired.My appreciation is not diminished by my increasing expertise.As I gain in experience of these old master ways, new possibilities open up. The image is derived from a photo I took of my reflection in the window of our Melbourne unit. This is what my daughter Willow would have seen as she looked out. I was suprised at how easy the glasses were.
A portrait that has taken ages and gone through several transformations. I will put a slide show together. Entered Archibald prize 2013.
Portrait workshop with Robert Hannaford. Refer to my blog.
This was one of those "What am I doing here? Why am I alive? Who put me here?" moments. In the desert I do get them sometimes, moments of awe that approach a kind of terror. So here I am under the stars. Now what?
Detail of my large self portrait under the stars.You can see very clearly here that the shadows are glazed and the lights impasto.Below the cheekbone, you can see the greenish "verdaccio" underpainting weaving its magic
This portrait of Lara appears on the splash page of my website..The portrait was purchased by a complete stranger to the sitter from a mixed exhibition. This is encouraging, because the woman who bought it obviously did so for the painting itself, rather than any link to the sitter.
On the front of her locker, Lauren had a photo of herself with a much prized award. The tutu struck me first,though. The more I looked, the stronger the structure of angles got. This painting got me started again. It has an acrylic underpainting. I started doing that instead of going to all the trouble of making oil tempera. Part of the point of that medium is that it can be mixed with water, and with oil or resins. But the old masters didnt have acrylic. If they did, they would have used it.
It is a deliberate presumtion to aspire to Vermeer. Why not? Olympians do because they believe they can. Surely artists,too, can aim to be as good as, or better than. Anything else is cant.
One of my first efforts at portraiture in the layered technique. It was clear from the beginning that the treatment of shadows was going to be the real point. The glazing and scumbling in the half lights needed real finesse.
AS I worked on my portrait Lily walked in and said I needed a hat. A three year old is hard to deny.So is a pirate hat.