Sunday, November 28, 2010

One painting finished, another started

I have to admit a lot of the time spent when the weather was warm was spent on working on my 1968 Plymouth Fury VIP. But that didn't mean I had stopped painting altogether. I finished a three quarter length portrait of Charlotte Harwell and have started another painting based on a photograph of Valerie I took recently.

The painting below is a birthday portrait of Charlotte Harwell. I have written elsewhere about her personal significance to me as an artist so I won't repeat all of that here. What is different in this painting is that it was completed in three working days, but if you broke it down into actual hours perhaps less than twenty four from start to finish. While Charlotte has been a decades long inspiration to me, I think that what is happening is that my style is undergoing some changes that are becoming more manifest in the last year or so. It has been commented to me that my style while continuing in the Victorian/English Pre-Raphaelite/romantic influence has begun to pare down somewhat.

Portrait of Charlotte Anne Harwell, 2010, acrylic and coloured pencil on cold press watercolour paper, 22x30 inches. Collection of the artist.
 By paring down, I mean I seem to be getting more to the core of the subject and less on large amounts of detail that slow down the actual act of painting. Last year's portrait of Charlotte also went very quickly though that painting would certainly seem to have more overall detail. In some respects I may still be too close to what I'm doing to properly get across what I think is happening. Whatever it is, I hope it results in better paintings.

Portrait of Charlotte Anne Harwell, detail

Below is a painting I pencilled out about three weeks ago but have only just started putting down the coloured pencil under painting today. Again, reduced to core elements. This doesn't yet look as much like Valerie as I originally intended but while taking pictures of her in a wonderful sort of Goth/Medieval/Pre-Raphaelite batwing sleeve dress with a lace overlay Valerie assumed the pose that led to this painting. I eliminated the other background elements and objects that would have otherwise distracted from the lady and the gramophone.
Untitled, acrylic and coloured pencil, 22x28 inches
Like pretty much everything I do on watercolour paper, I like to combine the coloured pencil and the glazes of paint together keeping the virtues of both. As the painting progresses, I'll post work in progress photos. In between these posts, I may also have additional postings on the Lost and Beautiful Past Facebook page which is accessed from the lower front page of the website. Next to my link to return to my main website there is now a link to the Facebook page. If it seems too quiet here, check there. I sometimes post painting in progress photos there.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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