Sunday 8 June 2014

Portraits, portraits and yet more portraits

I've been on a portrait binge. Painting them that is.

This all started during the last week of Sketchbook Skool when students started doing portraits of the Fakulty members, and Tommy Kane in particular. Tommy became so enamoured of our efforts he asked us to send the portraits to him - he had an idea for a new book. The trickle of "Tommy" faces became a flood. The link above is to Tommy's marvellous book - but more about that in another post.

Here is my first - a portrait using the humble Bic ballpoint pen with a wash of watercolour. I took at screenshot of one of Tommy's videos. He's standing outside Muscle Park.

Tommy Kane - Bic pen and watercolour on watercolour paper

Then I decided to do another one, this time I used Tommy's Facebook profile photo. This one is also done using the black Bic.

Tommy Kane Bic pen on A4 Hanemuhle paper

These first two drawings  were done slowly, building up the values gradually. Over the past weeks I've been working on a portrait commission - a family of four: Mum, Dad and the two children.
It's been slower than I would like but the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter and I'm almost done.  I wanted to paint a portrait in a faster more spontaneous way. I decided to use a limited palette of Schmincke gouache which was a recent purchase. 

So who would be my subject?

While watching another video, this time Danny Gregory talking about Sketchbook Skool - I took another screen shot - Danny's expressive features made him the ideal portrait subject. I painted this in a Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

 Danny Gregory - gouache in A4 Fabriano Venezia sketchbook

Happy with the result I wondered - who should be next?

Aha Jean-Christophe Defline! 
He's a fellow klassmate and very talented artist - check out his work in his blog here... It's a good thing he loves pink!

Jean-Christophe Delfine - gouache in Fabriano Venezia sketchbook

Now on a roll, I found a photo of the beautiful and talented Elsbeth McLeod,also a klassmate. Please have a look at her excellent portrait of Tommy on her blog here.

Elsbeth McLeod - gouache in A4 Fabriano Venezia sketchbook

These portraits were done relatively quicky. I didn't make note of the time but I would say they each took a couple of hours at the most. The difference with these portraits is that there were no big expectations. I didn't have anything to prove, I could just have fun trying to capture the essence of these wonderful people. 

Tomorrow it's back to complete my family portrait. 

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