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Figlio mio

November 12, 2009

Contrary to expectations the half-term school break was immensely enjoyable and hectic. Friends and relatives filled our house and some evenings found us limp after repeatedly replaying the silliest bits of Jim Carrey movies until we were choking for breath and whimpering like…well, whimpering things.

My eldest step-daughter’s betrothal announcement saw me delightedly catering for celebratory feasts with lashings of rich food and wine and I was honoured to be selected as chief wedding invitation designer – which has me terrified and excited in equal measures.

Despite being busy herewith my latest offering of a watercolour portrait. The hair was done with the handle of my paintbrush.

This is one of twelve that I’ve already done (and discarded) and will be attempting a few more until I feel satisfied at achieving the paint handling skills as set out in my Charles Reid book. Don’t worry Ryan, I’m pleased at my progress and I assure you, this is a huge improvement on some of the others. I will attempt to find another muse before this becomes a blog about my son. A big thank you is overdue to Leslie White for all the helpful advice she has e-mailed me.

Fret ye not if I do another disappearing act – precious wedding invitations require a steep upwards curve in abilities – which means practise, practise and…you get the idea.

  1. eclectnik permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:36 pm

    Hah! I knew I should have checked your blog before I replied to your comment on mine. I have just typed “look forward to seeing your watercolour of your son” and here it is. And it is fabulous! Not for the first time you have given him a real haunting look. The eyes are so engaging and full of emotion and the lips are fantastic. I love the shados tones of the eye sockets, and everywhere else really. The hair is great, I remember you something similar before where the unreality of the hair framing the realistic face somehow makes the whole portrait all the more believable. Lovely work, and good luck with the invitations!

    • November 12, 2009 7:54 pm

      Snort! Yea, he’s a natural with the sulky, frowny, pouty poses that I ask him to do. I get all the colours and techniques from the Charles Reid book which takes some studying but I like doing his kind of unfinished style of painting so…not getting any commission 😉 …although the psychedelic, wild hair is my idea, so pleased you like it.

      I really, very much like the portrait you painted – especially because you used such a different style, paint medium and technique from mine.

  2. November 12, 2009 8:59 pm

    O.K. you took my comment way wrong, so don’t make me across the ocean to set you straight… actually my wife is dying to come over there so maybe it’s not such a bad idea! After all, anyone that includes winking smiley faces, can’t be to down.
    I love the way you incorporate so many colors in your painting, and yet they still come out amazing. I’m such a traditionalist and afraid to leave the boundaries of realism. Great talent!

    • November 13, 2009 8:10 am

      I do often get frustrated, am always positive, but am also one of those annoying people who rarely get down.

      Don’t you agree that all our different approaches are what makes art so interesting? I enjoy taking risks with my work with a dash of quirkiness if possible. Also, I confess that every time I tried to paint the hair realistically it ruined the picture.

      I guess you’ll be leaving for your European trip soon?

  3. November 12, 2009 11:49 pm

    I have always said that boy has some glowy skin, and you captured it perfectly! (I know a lot for someone who hasn’t actually met him 😛 ) Next step: sign ‘im up with L’Oreal and rake it in!

    Seriously, some lovely, lovely work. You are kicking so much ass lately! I love seeing new posts, because I know it’s going to be something amazing and different from the previous post, and something only you would see and paint.

    The brush handle technique – you so rogue! Vincent Van Gogh used to rock out with it too, only in oils.

    • November 15, 2009 10:52 am

      There was me thinking I was being original with the brush handle…so I’m an ass-kicking rogue who sees things differently?…I can go with that 😎 Also, you were my saviour from creative constipation so thanks for unleashing releasing me.

  4. November 13, 2009 3:41 am

    June, you rule! I love how the color you used in the shadow area granulated. The hair is great and painted with the end of your brush handle, no less. You have a touch with knowing just what to include and what not to. Don’t ever lose that. I like how your images include drawing and painting. Maybe a style coming on here? I’m totally impressed. You don’t need to cut yourself down anymore. Oh! The eyes? WOW!

    • November 15, 2009 10:58 am

      Praise indeed from you Leslie. My art teacher has helped me a lot with the wet-on-wet as have your wonderful Autumnal tree paintings, which I’ve studied very closely :wink:. Your comment way back on the couple in the museum persuaded me to continue with watercolours and your helpful tips and encouraging e-mails have made my confidence grow.

      • November 18, 2009 3:16 am

        Then I’m going to keep encouraging you because these paintings are very pleasing. You don’t give yourself enough credit.

        • November 18, 2009 3:12 pm

          Good! Don’t stop Leslie. We’re all our own worst critics though.

  5. November 13, 2009 3:44 pm

    I am speechless! This is so well done!

  6. November 14, 2009 3:37 pm

    Another fabulous portrait of your son. He is becoming famous in blogland! His haunting, pouty look should be featured on all the fan magazines soon! What does he think of your portraits of him? (Does he know he AND his mom have a fan club?)

    • November 15, 2009 11:22 am

      Hurr-hurr! He’s too busy practicing his guitar to care – but he doesn’t complain so I take that as approval. As for the fan club…I prefer to think of it as a “Mutual Appreciation Club” don’cha think???

  7. November 14, 2009 6:20 pm

    Very good work! I like it!

  8. November 15, 2009 1:29 am

    This is a lovely piece. I watched Charles Reid give a demo. he wipes the excess water from his brush on the side of his shirt. Be sure you do the same while attempting to duplicate his style.

    • November 15, 2009 11:27 am

      Hah! That’s interesting…I wondered where you learned your brush-wiping technique from!! 😀 I start out shaking it neatly onto a piece of kitchen paper but once the adrenaline kicks in I enthusiastically flick it onto the floor….it did cause comments this week from the other students.

      • sjqzoom permalink
        December 1, 2009 6:22 pm

        Hey – another flicker – great – the files in the shelf behind where I sit are all splattered – and I have got to where I know just how hard to flick to get the moisture I need in a brush – S

        • December 2, 2009 4:44 pm

          Ahaha! I couldn’t understand your comment when it arrived in my e-mail inbox, but obviously in context….glad to have joined the ‘flicker’ club Stephen.

  9. November 18, 2009 2:42 am

    Gorgeous mix of soft and hard edges. 🙂

    • November 18, 2009 9:06 am

      Well you should know…your incredible art site blew me away, I just had to add it to my blogroll and will be loitering – a lot. Thanks for your comment.

  10. November 20, 2009 6:13 pm

    Hey June

    this is amazing work – you are so good.


    • December 2, 2009 4:46 pm

      Great to have you back blogging. It’s a start Stephen thank you – and I hope to soon show some bolder brush strokes.

  11. November 22, 2009 2:33 am

    I love this one, keep up the good work!

  12. November 27, 2009 1:03 am

    Hey – you can’t rest on your laurels no matter how good they are or how comfortable – back to work!

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