Learning by Sketching from Paintings in Galleries/Museums II

2B graphite pencil Andrew Festing biro exhibition Mall Galleries oil RP sketchbook sketches tombow wash pens

This is my 2nd post on the usefulness of sketching in galleries and museums, the first one can be seen HERE. It really helps one to tap into the way the artist works and that also helps increase the ability to see and learn from seeing. Seeing does sound a bit common but for the artist it isn't, it means so much more and I keep learning that everyday.

Learning from Andrew Festing PPRP.

I love The Portraits of Andrew Festing and I always lookout for his work during the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibitions at The Mall Galleries annually. The sketches I made in this post were of detailed parts of complete portraits he had on show at the RP Exhibition in 2007. I'll just share below, all the notes I jotted down while getting absorbed into the paintings.

1. Portrait of the 55th Grand Prior of the English Knights of Malta, Oil, 80" x 46" (detail)

I have sketched this face because I love it, it communicates! Simple! It's fascinating to paint from life and Andrew Festing makes it look like a delight. His BRUSH condition is his strength and the marks in specific places delineating the structure is very interesting. The cool parts of the skin around the chin are just great, it makes the skin flow with life and it definitely depicts the form.
A few lights (2) midtones (2) greys (2) and there is no mark in dark but colour.
He must definitely use black because it has a "carbony content" appeal. But it's great! I love it! It's a delight to watch and observe this guys strokes- Adebanji Alade(thoughts going through my head)

The real painting (detail)

2. The Master and Past Masters of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, Oil, 50" x 70" (detail)

2.1 Every mark is a sketch, stroke paint-placed mainly broad
2.2 Draughtsmanship, even though executed fast is precise!
2.3 Kolinsky Round Sable brush sketch, stoke paint, "It's Sick!"

The sketch and draughtsmanship is everything
There's no feat, no hesitation
It shows he enjoys this
The Background is a pinkish warm colour
The strokes mould and model the figure in clothes
Enough colour has been mixed
The light must have come straight on
-Adebanji Alade(thoughts running through my head put on the page)

The real painting (detail)

While researching for the images for this post I discovered a wonderful blogpost on his working methods by Joseph Galvin Winner of the Bulldog Bursary Award in 2007, which can be seen HERE

Links and information on Andrew Festing can be seen below
Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Commission a Portrait
How to paint a portrait-Very Useful on Youtube
Painting a portrait-Very Useful on Youtube

Special Quote
"One of the most frequently asked questions from students is "How do you know what to paint" It's a question that comes from painters working at all levels: beginners who really haven't done much subject searching and more experienced painters who are trying to discover their unique style. Here's what I recommend: Buy a small notebook-one that you can easily carry around. In the book, write down the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Carry the notebook for three weeks and as you come across them, jot down things that really wow you under the appropriate sense category. These should be the things that take your breath away. For example, under sound, one of my horse students wrote, "The sound of my horse running in the meadow at night." By the end of three weeks, try to have 10 to 20 things listed under each category. These are the things you should be painting. Once you've focused in on what you should be painting, there aren't enough hours in the day to paint that subject."
-Mary Whyte on Why Workshops work-in Watercolour Magic Handbook

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