Gustavo Alla Prima

Study Hals, says Sargent, and only when you’ve learnt all you can from him, move on to Velazquez. Hals epitomises that “drawing with a brush” which we see in Sargent. Hals work is formulaic: a limited palette with a focus on tonal accuracy and capturing the gesture. These are the building blocks for Sargent and vital in understanding how he worked.

I tried to go back to such basics with this oil sketch of one of our models, Gustavo. Worked up from a 15 min graphite sketch it is painted wet in wet with a traditional palette, with no effort to hide the brush work. Indeed, the idea is to emphasize and celebrate the limitations of the brush…

Study Hals. I would say I’m just starting the journey…

iPad therefore I paint

I’m not sure about iPad painting. There are instantly a number of limitations with it, the main one being (with the sketchbook app I use at least) that the degree of precision available when using a pencil or brush is just not there with the iPad.

But it does offer the excitement and anticipation of a new medium; it is also fun to play with. In any event it is here, and I suspect there will be a lot of iPad masterpieces emerging out there, just proving me wrong.

Glazing Over

I have sung the praises of alla prima painting on this site, but this oil portrait, for a change, is an attempt to work up a painting using more traditional techniques.

I set in a warm pink ochre ground, did a grisaille underpainting, then added (fairly opaque!) layers, finishing with a glaze.

As with the other pictures this is based on a short 15 min life drawing.

Clifton Arts Club 104th Open Exhibition

Visited the private view of the Clifton Arts Club 104th Open Exhibition at the Bristol School of Art next to the RWA.

There is some high quality work there. I was fortunate enough to have the following two paintings selected:

The Golden Gown


Approach the Shore

David Gamble, another regular at Will Stevens’ life class in Bristol, came away with a selector’s prize for his portrait of Mark Watkin.

Well worth visiting, it is on from Saturday 14th July 2012 to 28th July 2012, daily from 10.00 – 4.30 pm, entrance free.

The Prestige

Using the same palette as my previous painting, juxtaposing warm/cool complementaries, this is another large  oil based on a 1 hour life drawing.

Again, hope you like it…