Friday, 23 June 2017

Italian salesman

Back in winter I found a great reference to paint from. It's from my friend back in Czech Republic Nikola Adlerova, who is a great photographer and she posted the picture on her fB Pages.

FB of Nikola's pages

Here's the photo of an Italian salesman that she took on her trip in Naples:

It is gorgeous, isn't it?

I was especially drawn by the expression of the face so I cropped the image and started with burnt umber underpainting and after that I proceeded with opaque paint starting with darks (more transparent) and finishing up with highlights (put on with palette knife)

step No.1 Burn umber underpainting

Step No. proceeding with colour (from darks to lightest areas)

Italian salesman (Oil on canvas board, 6x8 inches)

It was just a small quick endeavour to have a fun and I hope you can feel it from this little sketch :-)


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Gouache master studies

It has been a year ago since I stumbled across this great video of Jeffery Watts showing his extraordinary skills in action:

On the basis of that video I did a series of studies on a rough watercolour paper in June 2016:

From top left to right bottom - my own character design (it's painstaking to paint from memory - I don't like it too much), Frank Frazetta's destroyer, Barbarian from Deviant art and some old warrior again based on some reference from deviant art.

After one year I decided to revisit this idea in more depth. I think I will continue to do these master studies in the future because it is so helpful in developing the sense of design, brushmanship and so on. I did all tree master studies based on the video. The hardest part I have to admit was to draw the pencil underdrawings. To see all the shapes properly in space and put them right. Skill of drawing is essential really - so If you can, don't trace your subject and draw it free hand like I did. Here's my final takes on those master studies.

Stranik after Watts after Cornwell

Stranik after Watts after Leyendecker

Stranik after Watts after Frazetta

I approached all the laying of the paint in style of tiling as Jeff Watts describes. I watched a chunk of the video for a few minutes, paused and tried to emulate the Jeff's handling of a brush. All of this took me three times more that on the video. 

Keep learning whatever it is guys, Pete

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

It's been a while

Hello all the good people from the internet,

I have to admit that I've been quite inactive for past few months - I mean blogging wise. I'm at the beginning stage of learning that beautiful craft of painting, art, illustration etc and I strive to get better every possible given time - that is - when I'm not at work. So I train how to draw, move paint around. There's too many topics to master - portrait, landscape, figure, still life. If I train in one realm for a while I can see almost in an instant that I neglect another area - It could be so overwhelming. Nowadays I seldom do my own finished work and if so I have this feeling most of the time that it is not worthy to put on the web - maybe because You can see all the beautiful work from another artists all around the world by just clicking the button. You can see that you have so much to learn ahead of you.

But, I feel that It's helpful to share my personal journey of learning in order to keep pushing, so I have decided that I'll share with you even my study progression and some of my finished work as well. At times, there would be something for sale on my DPW (Dailypaintworks) pages.  

I would be so grateful for your feedback in comments - What do you thing about my work, what would you improve and If you're from Yorkshire area I would be really grateful for suggestion of collaboration if you're a fellow artist for example. We can do an plain-air trip together or to share some knowledge about techniques etc. 

I intend to have my posts shorter and brief to maintain some kind of frequency. At times I'll post just a link to my new instagram endeavours to keep you briefly updated. 

Sorry to be inactive and there's just some bits of training endeavour that I've been working on:

Drawing from life - my sleeping corner (it's quite laborious)

Quick sketch of my "moka" gadget 

These following pictures are master studies of my favourite artists:

Jeff Watts master study

Jeff Watts master study

John Singer Sargent


Joh Singer Sargent

All the well for all of you, Petr

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Still life: Pete's essentials

Another try of my painting from life has happened merely 3 months back when it was still quite cold to go outside. I set my self a little still life made of things that I use for cooking the most. Healthy stuff, Isn't it? On the attached pictures you can see my setup in the final stages. Unfortunately in the beginning stages I don't usually feel compelled enough to make some photos because these moments when I don't know what's gonna happen always put a lot of anxiety in to my soul. But briefly - I started on stretched canvas over the drawing board with tape. I Use rolled primed canvas ( Than I proceeded with underpainting in this case directly as a colour wash. In this case it is more difficult track your values so I had to be especially conscious about value changes. Afterwards I stared with all the high chroma objects (i.e. yellow pepper, vinegar bottle and tomato) One may start with oil can but I thought that I needed warming up :-) It looked so cumbersome to start with the oil can. Once I gained confidence the finish was quite pleasing process. Only thing that I edited was the background of the picture towards the edges - I made it more darker so that my subject could appear with a more gleaming effect.  

Picture of my setup and a "selfie" with a better expression than at the beginning stages.

Completed thing - Pete's essentials (oil on canvas 9x11 inches)

Friday, 7 April 2017

Why I try to maintain a physical fitness

My regime of my sportsmanships conveys 4days per week of disgusting exercises - Why Do I do that? Basically It's three-fold!

First reason: TIREDNESS

As an artist who always strives to learn more and more artistic stuff I always have a feeling that I don't have enough free time to do my learning. But If I had just a free time and wasn't tired physically I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the process of learning as much as I would want. If you're tired you can relax more and you have a feeling that you deserve your relax time. And because the pure essence of relaxation for me is art it's a good idea to wreck myself with some exercises.

In addition to that reason I would like to mention that I've learnt how to compress my exercise time to a minimum with a same amount of tiredness. The only problem is that is so painfull! :-) It's a usually crossfit kind of training for time with some handstand pushups, pull ups, squats, deadlifts and so on. It takes me usually 20 minutes per session. I have this kind of training twice a week usually on Tuesday and Thursday straight after work. Through out a weekend I have both days a Sprint session in park in Beeston here in Leeds at 5:45 sharp. It's literally 10 minutes of compressed pain which contains 8 bouts of sprint at my top speed (nothing to brag about I think but I have to mention that I always put 100% effort on them)

It always help me to collect some references of facial expression (before and after session :-D ):

My self-portrait after session - endorphines at their best
In the picture at left that's me with my cuppa before session (not so exited) and on the right that's my self-portrait straight after session with endorphins at their best.

Since I believe that for maintaining an optimal body composition it's wise to look in the mirror instead on the scale I took photos of me in the mirror to evaluate the hard work and to see If I'm able to maintain solid shape - I know it is somehow narcissistic but it is way more accurate that a scale trust me.

But that's not a point. These images provide me a great learning tools for anatomy of a human figure. Some of the studies are shown down below:

Third reason: I CAN EAT MORE! (I know - not art related)

I don't eat junk food and I eat considerably low carb diet so I know that If I want to binge on carbs, I have to deserve them. I think only appropriate time for carbs is post exercise and that is the time when I have my high healthy non simple sugar home baked sweet potato pancake with some yogurt, strawberries and nuts on top. For sweetening everything up I usually use stevia powder.  

If you would be interested for exact recipe for this pancake give me a shout! Here's the picture of the final product down below. It doesn't look so great because there's a loads of cinnamon and cocoa powder on top but trust me it's gorgeous! Maybe I'll do a still life in the future from the ingredients of that pancake - I think that would look alright - strawberries, sweet potato, eggs, yogurt in some nice glass jar... What do you think?

My sweet potato pancake with some heavenly stuff on top...(caution! - only allowed after exercise)

Have a blast all of you,

Best regards Pete!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My first sold painting overseas...

It's been almost a month since I received a mail from my main art-selling pages that someone wants my picture!

I was so thrilled because it showed me that some can appreciate what I do and all of my effort is worthwhile and the idea of my painting hanging in someone's home is so exiting! So I'm happy to announce that my painting "Chill" have it's own place for chilling in California!! (on the picture right bottom).

It looks happy - isn't it?

After this success I managed to sold another painting "Delivery" this time to Massachusetts! 

I want to express unbelievable happiness of mine. Knowing that the pictures could last on these walls for god knows how long wherever in the world - What a lucky me!

Be grateful, happy and enjoy your day wherever you are.


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Importance of master studies

I think and many successful artist that I know and learn from have a same opinion. In order to get better it's not a bad idea to copy some of your favourite artist. You can observe their brushwork, colour mixtures, edge work and how loose or tighten they are/were. Since I love portraits and it's always a challenge to do them correctly I've decided to give a try and study one of the greatest - John Singer Sargent.

I started with his rapid studies of some people because this unfinished pieces can reveal the most of the procedure. I wasn't that cautious about to have the same likeness of the subject which you can see on pictures down below, but I was more eager to capture how the paint is layed out on the canvas, how colours are vivid/gray or his edge work.

On the pictures there's original on the left and my copy on the right - Under first comparison there's an example how I approached this copy for a start - I used raw umber for an underpainting. The rest two master studies were started as Sargent would do it - just lay in the proportions with charcoal...

Few things that I've learned:

1. My final studies are lot more cooler because my lightning in my studio is warm  - So I have to change the bulbs for neutral light (5000K) to get my colours truthful. Pictures of the studies are captured in day light (more neutral) so it's even more conspicuous. If I would make a shoots of the pictures under my artificial light it would be that vivid.

2. My darks are on some places little bit duller because I polluted them with white in order to lighten them a little bit - That is mainly in warm darks - So in future I'll try to lighten them with a mixture of yellow and white.

3. Sargent made me definitely more aware of the edges and I thing that was the most valuable thing that I've acquired from this lesson.

Sargent master study 1 

My tonal underpainting for my first master study of Sargent work

Sargent master study 2

Sargent master study 3

So my fellow artists please give me some suggestions/advices/tips how to improve my oil painting portraiture. From this comparison I can tell that I have lots to do.

Have you all blast! Petr