lifedrawing, Workshops

May Life Drawing

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Conté crayon and collage on A2 cartridge paper 20  mins

I loved this pose would be a good study for a San Sebastian painting!

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Oil pastels and collage on A2 cartridge paper 30 mins

No quick gestural poses this session 2 x 15 min poses charcoal on cartridge paper

Head studies. Oil on canvas sheets

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drawing, Workshops

Portrait workshop with Simon

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2 minute warm-up sketches in charcoal on cartridge paper

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Charcoal finger-drawing

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Charcoal and white chalk on toned paper

I was tutoring this portrait session but was able to do a bit of sketching in between -stops me peering over people’s shoulders too much and making them nervous!

Workshops

Portrait Workshop

Below are a few images of work in progress during today’s portrait workshop in Belmont Tower, Belfast with the lovely Ceardha as model.

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Shirley Barlow working in acrylics on board

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Roberta Lindsay working in soft pastels on pastel board

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IMG_6255I love this pose – Ceardha looks like she could have stepped straight out of one of Manet’s paintings!

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 Edward Cartin working in oils

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Kay McCrory’s pastel drawing

Sometimes as a tutor there’s a danger to hover over peoples’ shoulders making them nervous so during the longer pose I took the time to sit down and draw. The only space left to sit was right at the end which luckily enabled me to draw her profile

Interestingly early portraits by the Renaissance artists were always profiles

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Rosie McClelland – Willow charcoal on cartridge paper

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Latest Portrait (Dr Ivan Pollock)

Just finished another commissioned portrait.

I took a few photos of the process and am sharing them here.

The first sitting is always scary –  exchanging a few awkward niceties with someone you have never met before and then starting to sketch them.

As if it isn’t bad enough sketching in front of people let alone someone who doesn’t know you!

At this stage it’s sometimes more about interacting with your subject and  the drawing is an analytical study more than creating a “likeness”. (just as well!)

1

15 min charcoal line sketch

At the end of the sitting, a couple of nervous sketches and a batch of photos later I get to work on the next stage – tonal sketches and layouts for the final composition.

This is a head and shoulders commission so I worked to the same dimensions as the canvas itself.

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Looking at this now after several weeks more of studying the subject, I can’t believe how unobserved it was.

Below is a reworked study – much more satisfying!

Study for Dr Ivan Pollock Portrait 2

Willow charcoal on hot-pressed watercolour paper

However next stage is transferring the image to the canvas. I prefer to work on stretched linen for these portraits and I often start with a terre verte underpainting.

This is when I request a second sitting and, using raw umber and white , I start a tonal painting.

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Time for dabbing on some colour. Now the terre verte underpainting comes into play. The skin tones resonate immediately with the green contrast:-

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The subject was to be painted in his academic gown and hood and I felt these would work best with a dark background:-

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In the course of painting – studying the planes, lines and characteristics of the face I tend sometimes to over emphasise them creating an image which looks older than the subject really is so this is the point where another sitting is necessary to reduce this effect and check skin tones, hair and costume colours  – also realised I had major corrections to do around the mouth area :-

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Final stage – waiting for approval from the person who commissioned the painting – another scary moment but thankfully they liked it!

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Portrait of Dr Ivan Pollock

Headmaster of Campbell College Belfast 1987 – 2005