The Making of a Musician in Monoprint

It's been a manic few weeks and Im in need of a holiday! Now the kids have broken up and I'm on top of my deadlines I can start to unwind a little.I've had a big response from my special offer last month and am still working on several commissions. Here's a pastel portrait of two siblings that I've just completed for a lady. She wanted to see how the portraits evolved so I sent her pictures of the commission in all its stages. We thought it would be a lovely gift for her husband to present the portraits to him along with a visual diary of the process.

It's been a month of music and gigging with my band. We have played at several festivals over the last few weeks and our last performance of the summer is the highlight for us next week at Wickham Festival. Also, I am proud to annouce that our band Rehab won the award in the best Artist/Entertainment category at the Petersfield Awards ceremony, it was a great evening and alot of wine was consumed in celebration!

After winnung the award I feel all the more inspired with my drawings of musicians. I'm continuing to enjoy using the techniques of Edgar Degas and have done several drawings and monoprints. A monoprint is where you paint an image in ink onto a non porous surface and then make a one off print of the image by laying paper over the top. This is a method that Degas used alot and it instantly creates atmosphere and texture and the print can then be refined by layers of coloured pastel.

I especially like painting Joel our trombone player. He's an exceptionally talented musician, currently at the exclusive Royal Academy of Music in London but we are lucky to have him back to gig with us in the holidays. He plays with such passion and emotion and this is what I wanted to capture in my pictures. Most of these were taken from photos that I took of him in my kitchen so the challenge was to put him in a different environment and create a bit more atmosphere

The above are quick sketches in charcoal and pastel. The ones below are monoprints enhanced with pastel. I wanted to make the composition more interesting so I patched it with an extra sheet of paper (as Degas often did) to show more of the background above his head.

I love monoprinting and the way it is so instinctive and rapid and there is plenty of scope for a happy accident. I've been working on these images below mostly taken from my own photographic reference of my band performing. I'm in the process of framing them in time to enter into the Petersfield Art Exhibition which starts next month. Please come along and see them, its starts on the 23rd August and runs over the bank holiday weekend and is held at the Festival Hall.

That's it for this month folks. Next month I'm looking forward to a family trip to Devon and am hoping to get inspired by the beautiful landscape and gather some photgraphic material to bring back to my studio. I'll also be working on some more portrait commissions in oil and charcoal. Have a wonderful August and fingers crossed the fine weather returns :)

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