Well I had a brilliant weekend workshop, thoroughly enjoying getting covered in paint and coming home with blue fingernails, which is my idea of a good day! The room was packed, and although the subject matter was “Sea and sky” which sounds like a simple subject, it was a far from simple way of learning to paint it. The tutor showed us his techniques for painting on the canvas with acrylics, blocking in the sky and sea with contrasting colours, and then turning the canvas one revolution so that the horizon became vertical instead of horizontal, and then dribbling paint down the canvas to make the lovely subtle undulations of light and shade within the sea itself, knowing that the line had to be vertical because of the wet paint following the straight line down. And turning the painting back to the horizontal format after it had dried, next using that favourite of my way of getting life within a picture – splatter. Which sounds very simple, but I can assure you it isn’t. You have to get the right consistency of paint, and the right sort of brush that you can flick the bristles of, that isn’t too soft, and not too hard. Only practice will show you which is the right sort of brush, and the right sort of flick, and how hard you do it, and how wet the paint is. But the effect, when you get it right, is very small spots of colour which optically mix on the paint below it, to make the picture come alive, and zing with light and movement. I use the effect alot around my animal portraits, to show movement of whiskers and fur, and ears. So I was used to it, but not fine tuning it as much as we did at this workshop. Of course, your fingers are covered in paint very quickly, but thats part of the fun! But added to this, the tutor also showed how he used fine sand to add texture to his paintings in the foreground, at the seashore. With the aid of PVA glue he stuck the sand to the canvas, using a palette knife, and then painted over it with acrylic paint, and I loved doing that, glue AND paint AND sand, yep, a totally messy day! 🙂
By the end of the session, my painting wasn’t fully finished, mostly because I had to wait for bits to dry before I could finish off the contrasts, and delicate but bright sunlight on the water, and in the foam of the waves as they washed over the seashore. But it won’t take too much more time to finish it off, and I’m loving the effect already. Exciting, inspirational work, and day.
At the end of the session I went to thank the artist and had taken one of his business cards, so handed him one of mine. And waited whilst he looked at it…. “Oh… Erotic Artist…?” and smiled back at him “Yes, that’s what I do” and he was instantly interested to hear more about it. So very different from the art he does, but at the end of the day we are both professional artists making a living from selling our art, and our expertise, and both recognised that.
When I got home, I found an email from a client who wanted me to paint him from a photo he’d sent to me. He hadn’t wanted to spend a large amount on the painting, but I didn’t mind because I knew I could do a good picture for him even with his limited budget. The painting is in watercolours and is 14 x 11 inches, and shows him naked with nature as the backdrop. I had fun doing it, but then I have fun whatever I paint, and however its done. He’d emailed me to say how much he loved it, and its now winging its way up to Scotland. A country I’ve not sold a painting to before…..although I have artwork in various places in England, Wales, USA, Canada, France and Cyprus. I wonder where will be next, and will it be beside the sea… 🙂