This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Experiments - For the RA and beyond...

As I prepare my entry for the Summer Exhibition I seem to be taking some time out from getting paintings together for the June exhibition to try out new working methods which may address some long-term concerns I have about all of my work. I find that I have a tendency to work up to the lines of the preparatory drawing and start filling them in to an extent. This produces a certain rigidity to my paintings which has always bugged me. Whilst I have been doing the early reductive paintings i.e. laying down areas of tone and then wiping away with a rag to produce the highlights etc I have started to do something that I have been thinking about for a while, painting without an under-drawing. I am now no longer interested in finding an image from abstract shapes brought about by random application of a monochrome oil wash and have moved on to developing a new way of working (hopefully!) for all my future paintings.

I am trying out in the painting above just putting in a rudimentary "drawing" in thinned oil paint to indicate the basic design and content and then blocking in a tonal underpainting. Any necessary adjustments can be made by rubbing out the lines etc. with turpentine and re-"drawing" the correction. When dry for tomorrow morning I will then paint over it and finish in my normal manner. I am also going to try taking a painting a lot further in acrylic first as an underpainting before going on to finishing in oil as a lot of textural surfaces can be achieved quickly in acrylic which would take so much longer in slow-drying oils. I am hoping that by starting with a more hand "drawn" and simpler under-"drawing" the resultant shapes will be more idiosyncratic and less photographic on completion of the painting. Success  will hinge on having the confidence that I can bring out all the required structure and detail from a much less organised and tight matrix of shapes than I have been previously used to. I have always loved the image quality of etchings and indeed tried a short course a few years ago but could'nt get on with the processes that are involved but as an adjunct to the earlier reductive experiments I have happened upon a painted "look" that kind of mimics an etching. Although the painting below has a slightly dodgy composition, there is something about it that I like and over time I will try more of these.

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