I can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned this before but I have, in the dim and distant past, worked as a professional artist and illustrator. Recently in an effort to relive my youth (and fund some of my more extravagant projects) I’ve accepted a few commissions and thought I’d take a little space on my blog to show you some of the artwork I’ve completed and how I go about putting it together.
In preparation for my painting of Vigo the Carpathian (which is still in progress by the way) I’ve been researching traditional painting methods from the Italian Renaissance and refining my portrait skills. To this end I’ve produced a number of reproductions.
|This one in the style of Van Dyke...
|...and of course the Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer.
Obviously with an interest in movie memorabilia I’ve also been looking at movie portraits to recreate:
|Boy with Apple: Grand Budapest Hotel
|Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore: from some movie I can't remember.
So how do I go about producing these? Well to be honest it varies from project to project but for the majority of my work the short answer is: I use a (mostly) traditional grisaille technique. For the long version, see below:
I plan my pictures thoroughly, usually using photographs for reference. I draw out the image on either canvas or board in pencil.
|My initial pencil drawing.
I quickly rough in an under painting in monotone, usually in black and white but occasionally in brown and white depending upon the final effect I want.
|I put down thin washes to build up the tone.
|The completed underpainting.
I put a wash of colour over the grey painting. This helps me refine my colour choices for the next stage.
Next I mix up a palette of colours to work with and start applying these over the underpainting. Having the tone already in place means I am free to concentrate on the colour.
The painting has to sit for a few days to dry before I can work on it again and paint in the adjustment washes and fine detail. Once this is done the final stage is to fit an appropriate frame that compliments the piece.
Here are a few I’ve already completed:
And here's one still in progress…
|Only the underpainting complete so far. Can you tell who it is?
I was taught to paint in oils by Mike Skidmore, an excellent artist and teacher whose tuition I highly recommend. To see more of my artwork you can visit my website: Can't Stop Painting. I'm currently selling my paintings in the Magic Bean Emporium in Northampton, with signed prints also available.