To start off this post, I have some good news I can't keep to myself, even though I'm going to do a separate post on this later, but I'm pleased to announce that I was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters!! It was an early Christmas present-as I got a phone call from The President on Sunday the 23rd of December, last year (I just had to chip this in)....;0) and received a confirmation letter this week from the Secretary!
The Face of Homelessness Kings Road II, Oil on Board, 2012
I'm continuing this year with my project on the Face of Homelessness Series that I started last year. I still have a few more to post. In these pieces, I normally show my painting process and this particular painting has a slightly different approach. I am used to painting with the "inside-out" method, in which I just start from a particular point inside the painting and then spread out. But in this painting, I adopted the "outside-in" method, I have started from the outside areas and then I have finished off, inside. This method is a more Traditional way of approaching Oil painting. In which one starts with Lean colour (Oil colour mixed with more mineral spirits or turps and less Linseed Oil) and then gradually finishing off with Fat colour(Oil Colour mixed with more Linseed Oil or just pure Oil Colour straight from the Tube and less Turps or mineral spirits).
Richard with the Sketch I did of him, in Oil Base Pencil
I have painted this guy before, click HERE to see. This is my second attempt. Above, is a picture of Richard with the sketch I did in Oil Base Pencil.
Stage 1-without any definite drawing, I go straight into this head with paint and turps, the paint is almost watercolour like. The ability to sketch freely helps here, as all the proportions and measurements are quickly assumed while painting. I start with light values and increase them as I go along. This method reveals a lot about the versatility of oil. If I wasn't planning to take this further, I would have loved to just stop here! I love the bleeding and dripping and lean oil application. Everything is attacked. In other words, the full painting is seen almost right from the start. It's a good method to use but I really enjoy painting shape by shape more, as it makes me full of anticipation of how it will all come out to be.
Stage 2- this is the stage where I switch from lean to fat. you can see the difference in application around the eye and cheek areas. I already have a base to work on, so it's easier to pull the strokes on the solid underpainting done below.
Stage 3-Here I attack his hair, it's the most precious part of the painting. His hair is what drew me to him in the first place and I really pound on pure oil with vigorous strokes here. Each stroke is placed with keen observation and also with a flair of emotion, I always like the interesting parts, like his hair, to tell a story. So, I forget I'm painting hair and just feel I'm painting rugged branches on an old tree. It takes me away from thinking normal!
Stage 4-With the hair completed, I take on a bit of the background with strokes to echo a bit of the texture in his hair. I could have stopped here too, but I couldn't resist working on his beard with thick colour too!
Stage 5- Finally I complete the background with some words and calligraphy embedded into the background . These words are positive words to overcome homelessness. Lest I forget. The whole painting was done with the Zorn Palette-(Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black)
This is a picture of the painting in progress with the palette and mixtures.
SPECIAL QUOTE "You get motivated by doing things, not thinking about them. Action gets you excited and action reveals opportunity. Take the plunge".- Andrew Matthews