About a Boy

Welcome to this month's blog.

It certainly doesn't feel like March with the subzero temperatures, as I write I am wearing 5 layers, thermal socks and a woolly hat and still just can't get warm! But watching our dog experiencing snow for the first time is heart warming and what with the school closures, there is much merriment and frolicking in my household :) It's been such a busy few weeks with commissions and getting my new classes up and running but I finally managed to make some progress on this oil painting of my son, Miles. I feel like it's finished for the time being at least..

I wanted the pose to showcase his defined profile- and I felt the headphones and his averted gaze added to the feeling of detachment and how he is pretty much deaf to me most of the time these days! The main challenge I found was the lighting- The cold winter daylight coming from the left of the picture contrasted with the warm, artificial lamp light coming from the right hand side. So I wanted to make a feature of the warms and the cools so that the temperature change is evident from left to right. Depicting light is always challenging, rather like painting a landscape or sky which relies heavily on warms and cools for effectiveness. In fact the background colours reminds me of a winter sky.. Here are a few more pics of the process

I've also been working on a few commissions this month. Here's a charcoal portrait below of two brothers that I've just finished for a lovely family. Their Dad commissioned them for a present for their Mum and wanted both personaities to come through in the portraits. He explained that the older boy was mature and comfortable as an individual whereas his brother was more of a team player with a bit of a cheeky side. I added a bit of warmth to the drawings by working on creamy background and adding hint of warm colour to the cheeks and forehead.

I ran my first new tutored and untutored life drawing classes this month which I think were a sucess. Both classes were fully booked, we had a lovely bunch of artists and a great model. There are varying degrees of experience in the groups, some having not drawn since school. But I was amazed at the high standard of work from everyone and what they may have lacked in experience they certainly made up for in ability. Some people just have a natural flair for observational drawing and may not even realise it as life, kids or careers take priority, but it's never too late to back to it. As a few people noted after the group, drawing from life can be a very mindful and meditative craft that makes time stand still and daily worries fade into insignificance. I enjoyed the classes and am looking forward to watching the artists progress and grow over the months. I got a chance to do a few sketches myself too.

My paintings of musicians that have been hanging in Winton House in Petersfield this month have gone down well. I was a tad concerned about the 'acid' yellow walls when I first saw them but I think they actually work quite well with grey frames.

The musicians that feature in the paintings have all played at my local pub the Good Intent. I've made alot of friends and met some interesting characters at this friendly establishment over the years. So I've decided that my next project will be series of portraits of individuals that frequent and play here, to celebrate the coming together of friends and the great community spirit in this little market town. Then hopefully there'll be an exhibition at the end of it. I'll keep you posted :) That's all for now, see you next month when it will be officially Spring!

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