Tag Archives: figurative

Life Drawing

Alan Reed

Detail of Figure Painting No 2

One cannot underestimate the importance to the artist of regular drawing, particularly when painting the human form. Don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few quotes from some of the experts:

“Work hard and don’t on any account neglect your drawing. Draw Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and don’t waste time”. Michelangelo.

“Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is it will be worth while, and you will do a world of good.” Cennino Cennini from The Craftsman’s Handbook c 1400.

“You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” John Singer Sargent.

With this in mind I like to work on Life Drawing studies on a regular basis. Whenever possible I prefer to work on a single pose for at least an hour to two hours to give myself a chance to resolve the figure proportions as well as capturing the pose, tonal values and form.

Once the Life Drawing pose has been established and the model is comfortable I use the “Sight Size” method to ensure I can fit the whole pose on a tinted canvas board, usually 16″ x 12″.

Alan Reed

Figure Painting No 2

I then begin to “draw” with the brush using a thin mix of Yellow Ochre, Light Red and Lamp Black. I’ll use this colour to block in the darker shadow areas, using the tinted board colour as a half tone. As soon as I feel I’ve captured the pose I then begin to paint in the highlights using a flesh tone made up of Lead White together with the same Yellow Ochre and Light Red.

The painting can look quite monochromatic like Figure Painting No 2 as it’s more important to get the tonal values right than the colour.

During this stage it’s important to keep all the edges soft, almost slightly out of focus because after the model takes a break, they may not be able to resume the pose in exactly the right position. I sometimes go over the painting with a piece of kitchen roll or a dry brush to achieve these soft edges. It’s at this point that I also aim to capture a likeness with the portrait which you can see in Figure Painting No 1.

Notice also in the detail of No 1 the mix of hard edges and softer, more blurred edges.

Alan Reed

Detail of Figure Painting No 1

 

After an hour the model needs a twenty minute break. When you step away from the painting and review your work afresh you begin to see areas that need immediate attention. Once corrections have been attended to it’s time to start refining some of the shapes and building up the colour, particularly on the flesh tones where there is strong light.

Alan Reed

Figure Painting No 1

On Figure Painting No 1 above you can see how the tinted background has also been used as a flesh tone, particularly on the models thigh.

It’s also in the final stages of the sitting that I often load the brush with the lighter flesh tone which I’ve been using and begin to describe the form and muscles of the nude with some more direct, expressive brush marks. On the Figure Painting below of a male model I’ve used long, fluid strokes throughout the pose, especially on his right thigh.

Alan Reed

Figure Painting No 8

The detail photograph below shows the tinted canvas tone coming through to describe highlights on his hair. It’s this combination of thin areas of paint verses thicker applications of paint, hard edges verses softer edges, loose brush marks verses more detailed areas that help to create a study of the human form that is engaging for the viewer on so many levels.

I’ve added several of my figurative oil painting studies from my Life Drawing sessions to my website which are available to purchase online and from my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

Alan Reed

Detail of Figure Painting No 8

 

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Spring Exhibition 2013

Watercolour of my grandchildren

Looking for Crabs & Collecting Shells

My Spring Exhibition starts Saturday 13th April at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland and finishes Sunday 28th April. The exhibition will feature a number of new figurative paintings including these two new original watercolours of my grandchildren Ewan and Anya.

Ewan can be seen “Looking for Crabs” and Anya is “Collecting Shells”. The paintings carry an optimistic hope for some brighter, sunnier weather after what seems to have been one of the darkest, coldest, wettest and longest winters that I can remember for some time.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the preview weekend then please contact me.

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Shell Catchers by Sherree Valentine-Daines

Shell Catchers

Shell Catchers

One of the current featured paintings in my Spring exhibition is this limited edition, hand embellished canvas by Sherree Valentine-Daines titled Shell Catchers. The print is no longer available from the publishers so it is doubtful that there will be many copies left in retailers as Sherree Valentine-Daines is a hugely popular figurative artist.

This delightful painting shows two small children, nestled amongst the rocks, inspecting their catch before depositing them into the little red bucket by their side. The brush marks are fresh, spontaneous and yet carefully expressed to ensure that the children’s lovely features are correctly defined. My wife and I are great fans of Sherree’s paintings since we first came across her work at the Henley Royal Regatta back in the mid 90’s when we both used to show our original paintings in the Stewards Enclosure during Regatta week. We also have 4 other paintings by Sherree Valentine-Daines on display at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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End of a Perfect Day

End of a Perfect Day

End of a Perfect Day

End of a Perfect Day is the title given to this delightful study of two little girls returning to the beach after exploring the shallows of the sea. In the background, looking into the late afternoon sunlight, are some simply rendered architectural features of a pier indicating the locality of the scene, Brighton.

This is one of my favourite paintings by Sherree Valentine Daines who is one of the UK’s leading figurative artists. I love the fresh, lively brush marks which capture, not only the movement of the sea and the sunlight dancing on its surface but the translucency of the girls dresses and highlights in their hair.

One of only 195 hand embellished  canvas prints, signed and numbered, which is available framed from the Alan Reed Studio & Gallery in Ponteland or online at alanreed.com

 

 

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