Saturday, 12 August 2017

Self portrait from mirror - "Nocturnal creature"

It is not that long ago that I decided to paint portrait from life. The reason to paint from life rather than from photograph is that is more challenging because your subject matter is not still and the colour are more truthful then in the photograph. So you learn yourself to be ok with a moving subject and learn to see colour properly. 

And since I'm so slow in process of painting and I don't have enough confidence to invite any sitters into my humble room to keep them moveless for several hours yet I'd decided before I'd ventured to paint with oils someone else to put a mirror in front of me. The great example of this approach is Rembrandt - Throughout his life he made a copious amount of self-portraits. 

I began with heavily stained canvas of burnt umber - it was an unpleasant endeavour from past that I'd had to scrape down (therefore I don't want to talk about it :-))

You can see the settings while I was painting and final painting down bellow. Since I've done it throughout evenings after work it is somehow on the dark side - I have to rethink lighting setting of my work place :-). The final picture is really really dark. But I think it conveys some kind of mystery at least about a person depicted. If you don't stick the picture under a strong daylight the face is barely visible. 


Me painting myself...


Final painting - Nocturnal creature (oil on canvas 11x14 inches)

Best wishes to all of you, Pete





Thursday, 10 August 2017

Late quick invitation

Hello all you good people from all around!

I have to admit that I'm not the most disciplined person when it comes to keep people updated. Maybe reason is that I have a still life to work on and that lemon in it turning already green (ouch - gross)

I have an announcement to make - Tomorrow (I know :-/ ) and day afterwards I'm exhibiting my work at Ilkley art show that runs from 10:00 till 17:00 daily. Venue is in The Kings Hall/Winter Gardens, LS29 8HA, Ilkley

http://www.ilkleyartshow.co.uk/art-exhibition/

Here's a rough staging of the pictures that I will exhibit - They're all gonna be for sale! (Caution - Not all work in this photo has made it to final selection!)


Thanks to all of you for your time in this overwhelming age! Petr
 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Brief flashback No.1

Back in April when I was on my holiday back in Czech Republic I brought up my gouache sketching set to record my visit somewhat differently than just with a camera. I think that to record things from life with paint or pencil improve one's appreciation of any given moment - because this sketching usually takes some time not like a mere fragment of a second with a digital camera.

Here's some of my sketches of my family and home surroundings:


Mom - pencil portrait  4th of April


Father sleeping 06th of April 2017


In our living room 6th of April


Pilská nádrž (date unknown)


My mother's cat


Mother sleeping 


In the cellar 

Enjoy your summer wherever you are. Petr

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Recent oil painting from paint my photo pages - Turban fellow

In May I found a nice and interesting photo of an old woman from east Asia at "paint my photo" web pages when I was seeking some photo reference:

https://pmp-art.com/john-warren/gallery/170518/seated-chinese-lady

I began with an unstained canvas with rough charcoal sketch and proceed with a colour transparent wash after I'd sealed it with some spray fixative. After the transparent wash I started to apply paint opaquely with the most difficult area - face, just to get it rolling. Once I was happy with the face (apparently more mannish in my opinion than in the reference) I put some effort in the collar. The rest of the painting leave some space for breathing of that initial wash and I think it helps to keep a main focus on the face. Since I converted a woman to a man I won't try to deceit that so the name of the final painting is Turban Fellow. (I must admit that from very beginning I thought that it is the man) 


 Initial sketch + wash (I put that transparent wash after sealing the drawing with fixative - I think it was pastel fixative)


Turban Fellow (oil on canvas 10x11 inches)

This is one of the few paintings that will make it's way to the party of paintings for sale - Once It's completely dry and in a frame.

Regards, Pete 



Sunday, 2 July 2017

Plein-air in June's hot weather

One lovely Saturday - on 17th of June to be precise, I set myself out with my french easel because it was unbearable in my apartment - In England attic apartments lack isolation so in the winter its super cold and in the summer red hot. No worries, at least I'm forced to go out!

It was a sunny afternoon and I was looking for some lovely view of a simple landscape where I would not be burdened with heavy drawings demands - I wanted to avoid any architecture or any geometric shapes because in that case it would be possible that I would not start to put colours at all :-) And the main purpose of painting from life is to observe colours so I wanted to start mixing/putting colours in as soon as possible. 

I set my easel after 2 hours of walking around the landscape near Aberford, which is the rural area of Leeds. I was not satisfied with the view and I had to alternate the shapes to my liking. I made a curvature of the nearby road little bit more stronger and I trimmed some of the trees as well. 

After initial struggle I felt in love with all the colours that the landscape provided me with and I spent lovely 3 hours of painting this piece. 




Aberford Landscape plein air (oil on canvas 11x14 inches)

Have a nice summer you all,  Pete

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 :-)

Pete


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