New Project start: Selves

After my long (or so it felt) break from painting, I managed to get started by buying some stretcher bars (from here) which meant I had to stretch the canvas I’d bought a while back (Jackson’s 183cm x 10m primed 339gsm cotton duck roll). And with these stretched canvases, I figured I’d better get going again.

This project will eventually be fully documented on the portfolio page, Selves. At the moment it only has some thoughts about the Theme and Process behind the project. All progress will be in these blog posts tagged #selvesproject.

The first painting:

I was quite pleased with this: the figures had the same sense of their individual characters that I’d observed while taking the photographs and the whole conveyed their closeness as friends.

I began composing the next painting using two unconnected men who seemed to be of similar ages and couldn’t decide which of two compositions to use, so ended up painting a diptych of the two.

I painted the two pictures at the same time, but let the same faces in each develop independently, sparking off the other face in the same picture, and building on the differences in the loose inking of the underlying sketches. It amazed me how different they turned out with each face having a different ‘feel’.

I realised that I was leaving long gaps in between painting sessions so that I could ponder the work and decided to prepare several canvases in advance:

I was so excited to begin that I started painting without inking up the sketch. I was also trying to use some new paint that I’d bought: Royal Talens : Van Gogh Oil Colour. I’d always used Daler Rowney : Graduate Oil Paint in the past because of its low price but the Van Gogh wasn’t much more expensive so I thought I’d give it a go. It seems more highly pigmented, taking very little to overwhelm the Graduate colours. All in all, the painting ended up a horrible mess, so I wiped it back then used an extra long liner and Payne’s Grey to produce something like the inking.

I needed to let that dry a while before starting again so inked up another canvas:

I’ll get started on that next.

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