Wednesday, August 30, 2017

camels kind of

Enjoying the big brushes and tonal stuff here!
And did a bit more on on the proportions of the third KW

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Studio buddies

 Loving the colour and perspective of J's Simpson Desert scape that's emerging as my dancers' skirts gradually come into being!

Also enjoying the images of KW working  (at J's studio where we're painting above) . . , tho dealing with the whole 'tilted head' issue of working against the intuition of making everything vertical so the chin and lower jaw still need defining

 Restretched the middle one so it's the same height (but still a bit wider) then those on either side.  Apart from the technical issues of re-gessoing and getting the gesso even across the old and new bits of linen, think it works pretty well.  Less distracting so the line of ranges will make more sense too.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

dancers . . . on the left

being quite disciplined here. .. moving left to right as I work on the (almost) final pass (apols for the dodgy light blur on the left)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

still on the proportions and a bit of chroma too

Interesting working with the backlight and reflected light from the pinkish purplish top . . . and still redrawing some elements (mainly right eye and nose downwards)

Friday, August 25, 2017

proportions and size

Ah yes, the additional excitement of not only getting the proportions ok but when working triptych getting the proportions and relative size across three pics making sense.  Strangely enough it's been fun.
 So this was what I mainly worked on: quite majorly changing her profile and feature location.  Happy that it's more KW now.
These last two:  fiddled with the range backdrop and then realised the RH image needed to be smaller to make sense across the three, so the last image is of reducing the size of her features to balance the LH image. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Big picture, lots of paint

but big brushes make it fun rather than overwhelming.
Got lots of paint down today on this:  the dancers on the left are pretty much done (apart from a slight adjustment to the back of the sarong and  brightening up the whites in the pattern) and I'm happy with the slight changes to the length of the red dancer's t shirt and skirt and the colour and tone of the layers of her tshirt.  Went away from Alizarine and more into Cadmium for the reds of her skirt and that works better I think.  So, barring any unhappy accidents, I should finish skirt and feet tomorrow! (think I'm doing the whole delayed gratification thing of 'must finish some ones that have been hanging around for ages before getting too engrossed in the KW triptych', but quite happily :) )

Monday, August 21, 2017


Finished this from a flight many years ago to the Bungle Bungles

and playing with different tones on this, from a small aircraft flight over central Australia

Sunday, August 20, 2017

KW triptych

 Ok so this isn't the portrait(s) but what I did after an arvo of big thinking work:  this is a big brush, fun kind of landscape (big scale too) which is a great antidote to thinking too hard.
 So, the third of the KW images.  Decided to go with a straight to the colour mode after a very rough sketch on of the proportions in charcoal.  As you can see below, my initial sense of the scale was completely off!  So it was kind of cool to be playing with blocking in in colour and tone (three brushes, loaded with brown, red and white) rather than working in monotone with line and shade.

 Also worked out the idea for the background too.  Still needs work but happy with the tones, the composition and the idea of the hills in the background mirroring the hills of Santa Teresa in KW's image.
 This (out of order) is the next stage to the second of the images.  Will have to work to get the tones corresponding across the three.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Skirts make the feet move

lovely day at J's studio working on the dancers . . . getting the skirt patterns and movement happening before moving back to the feet, which already seem to be more 'active' now the skirts have some swing to them

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mainly colour and loosening up

For both the KW

and the aerial landscape

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Frontier camels complete, KW playing with colour and proportion (still!)

 It's funny that it's often after I've cleaned up and am glancing around for final time in the fading light that I notice something that's majorly not right and have to dig out a cleaned brush and use the paint that's not yet dry on the canvas to block in the change.  Here it's to do with the width of KW's face.  Still need to bring it in more, on both left and right sides, but at least I can 'see' what I need to do now .  . . dodgy quality of second image is due to aforementioned fading light . . .

Not happy with the background colour, but will play with that when I'm fed up of fiddling with proportions.
 Strangely enough my favourite  bits of this are the extreme left and right, half a camel and a fence . . . the first which took no time at all, the second which was more complicated than a bunch of straightish lines would suggest . . .

Monday, August 14, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017


well not really.  But  two paintings I'm working on that involve more than one or two figures.  lots of low key movement in one and lots of quiet waiting in the other . . .

 Main fellow seems to be the only one who's actually got any sense of anticipation . . .
Not sure if the joy and beauty of the women's skirts makes up for the sheer pain in working out how to paint such complex and colorful moving patterns (working left to right and I've just started on the long blue skirt in the middle . . . lots to go!)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A bit more redux

From minor . . . re-stretching this landscape onto a narrower size, which I like better than the previous composition
   . . .  to slightly more major.  Restretching one of the People of the School images to remove some of the sky and the right hand side and Antony (sorry mate) who was sitting on the face behind his grandad.  Even tho he had been very happy up there, as an image it all looked a bit precarious, so I'm enjoying the calm of this now.  I'll rework the range at the back, perhaps put in a tree at the back left and a rope in Raymond's right hand.

 . . . to pretty major, which involved ditching about 3/4 of the original painting of Mia and her granddaughter Cassara.  I've been working with the class Cassara's in over the last term (before my leave) and cant quite manage to link the image I painted of her with the girl I've got to know (even though she was a bit younger then).  So, she came out and Mia became a small square study, with a composition that's intentionally unusual (more room at the back of her head than the front).  Initially I was going to have a landscape there or some writing, but I'm playing with just leaving it.  Or re-stretching onto a narrow frame.  Really enjoyed going back to her and bringing out skin tones, light and character . . . and her headscarf too...