Monday, 25 February 2013

"You either have or you haven't got, style"

       2 & 5 minute poses at 'Fashion Illustration Shoreditch'

Once upon a time, long time ago, I used to think that one developed ones own style by copying and learning other artist's styles. Learning from other artist's work is necessary, it gives depth and credibility but style is another matter. Everyone's work is derivative of someone else's, because afterall 'there is nothing new under the sun'. But how one uses a pencil or a paintbrush is something instinctive. I love Rembrandt's drawings but I don't sit there thinking "WWRD?" 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Consumer Heaven

Pretzel Bar Westfield Stratford London. Pencil 297 x 210 mm

I needed to get back to buildings, weird angles and relative proportions. I started this westfield drawing near the Great Eastern Market sign and worked down to the watch surgery, then up the lower ground floor escalators to the Pretzel Bar. I guess I am always on the lookout for the 'human interest story' and here the girl snipping up the pretzels gave me just that. A drawing starts out as a search; and with this one, the thing that mattered most came at the end.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What do photographers think of Photorealism?

Alan, at Watercolour Club. Pencil 148 x 105 mm

Seriously, what do they think when they see artists getting credit for what they do anyway, especially when using pencil? Do they think that drawing like a photograph from a photograph, degrades their art? As there is no movement, no 'dithering'*, the whole thing becomes a technical exercise in tone and shape, rather than line and form. which is what pencils are for. A photorealism 'portrait' may look 'life like' but I feel the life is squeezed out. The artist brings out the 'life' of the person, in particular when the drawing shows development, a layering of discoveries in the sitter, with the observations and intentions of the artist.
* Harold Speed's term.   

Thursday, 7 February 2013

This is me

After the Haircut. Webcam

I spend a lot of time looking for connections between personality type and artistic approaches to subjects. Having spent a very pleasant time at Satori's in Loughton, the wonderful Donovan commented that I now had "an unstructured fringe" Brilliant! I said, then followed up with "I prefer my hair to look like it had grown like that, rather than been cut like it. I like the appearance of imprecision but to get the likeness in the portrait, the look which says "this is me" in a haircut, one has to be very precise and have the experience and the knowledge to say, enough is enough.