Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Frenchman

Oil on Linen Canvas

I have been playing with some oil painting ideas and designs and this is what emerged.

I have a love for 'unfinished' edges and suggestions. I seem to have a habit of avoiding the corners. I tend to use diagonals to 'anchor' the subject or background to the picture frame or boundary.

I wanted to re-use a linen canvas which had been sitting in my studio gathering dust (I had used it in class and knew that those images would not be exhibited) and this canvas was too good to waste. The reference photograph I took of the bold French holiday maker, who had spontaneously posed alongside this gorgeous moris minor in the old French village, was the perfect image to experiment with.

The old images on my canvas had been blocked out with black (the only colour that worked) so instead of working over a raw umber underpainting, which is more subtle, I had extreme contrast right from the beginning. It actually made my midtones sparkle and the highlights more striking. I have always loved the muddy turquoises and the Frenchman's outfit couldn't have been more perfect, with his neutral trousers and skin tones, white shirt and hat.

150% enjoyable.

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