The Face of Homelessness, London Bridge

FACE OF HOMELESSNESS figures homeless london London Bridge oil oil on board people studies The Anders Zorn Palette

This is another guy I encountered at London Bridge. He was actually begging inside London Bridge Station and this isn't allowed. Sometimes the homeless get away with it. So I didn't have much time to stay with him before he was moved on by the Travel Police.

The Face of Homelessness, London Bridge, 12" x 12", Oil on Board, 2012

 He had the kind of face that I always love to paint and explore. I started this by doing 3 studies from random close shots I took from different angles, to see which one I would love to expand on.

3 studies for the Face of Homelessness, London Bridge,- I just decided to play around with shapes, temperature, drawing and a bit of colour planning. This was purely an experiment and the freedom here helped me to get fired up for the main piece. In some ways I enjoyed  the fluidity here than the way I approached the main piece.

Once I finished these studies, I was able to make up my mind on which one to work on.

These are a few stage shots. The photos are not that clear but at least shows a bit of my procedure here.

Stage 1- I started this piece very tentatively, I wasn't really sure on what method to use in my approach.  So  I started playing around with values, as if I working with pastel. In fact, I would have just stopped here, because I really liked the statement of his face. I think everything I needed to say had been said here! But I couldn't resist completing it, probably to the death of the piece......Sometimes I guess it just right to know when to stop!

Stage 2- Here, things begin to make more sense. I seem to have resolved the face and I'm tempted to leave the under-painting as the face average tone. I think it works so well with the rest of the applications. Up till now, because I am still trying to work things out, I don't use thick paint as usual but thinned paint.

Stage 3- This is the final stage- I  switch from thin to thick  here and  I  paint shape by shape-until the whole surface is covered with thick paint. I work in some calligraphic strokes into the background -these strokes have words on homelessness worked into the background.

I am using the Zorn Palette here, which consists of Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black. I am working on a Masonite board toned with a warm orange tint.

"I cannot  stress enough that the answer to life's problems is in peoples faces. Try putting your IPhones  down once in a while, and look in people's faces. Peoples faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, nauseous or asleep."-Amy Poehler

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