My Theme Book is all about people. I’ve collected many pictures and postcards that have inspired me, and developed pieces of my own from these using sketches, paint and fabric.
I found these beautiful portraits painted by Francoise Nielly, they are made with thick oil paint and a knife. I’m not quite that adventurous yet, so I made a similar one with acrylic paint and a brush, I feel it is a good start but needs much more colour adding to it. I had a second attempt using larger areas of brighter colour but I don’t feel that it works, it seems too flat and lacks the depth of the original pieces.
Here I took inspiration from Picasso’s ‘Girl in a Chemise’. I love the colours he used, and the gloomy, grubby feeling they produce. My first attempt at a similar colour scheme had too much white and not enough red and yellow tones, so I spent some time mixing and matching the colours I could see in the painting. I then used these colours to attempt a self-portrait in a similar style, and although I feel the painting worked out well, unfortunately, it doesn’t look much like me!
These pieces of work I produced whilst practicing drawing figures from photographs using pencils, watercolour, felt tip pens, oil pastels and acrylic paint.
After drawing figures from photo’s I thought it would be interesting to try drawing a real live person so I attended a life drawing session where I produced the above sketches. It was much more challenging than I had anticipated to produce good sketches, but I discovered I enjoyed it most whilst using charcoal, this is something I’d like to try again in the future.
I then moved on to experimenting with different colours, to try and bring more bright saturated tones into my work. I felt drawn to hot fiery orange in the picture of onion skin cells, so I tested it out with different colours, and shades of it’s complementary colour blue. Eventually I ended up producing this very bright collage, which I absolutely adore, but most other people seem to find a little scary.
I found this black and white picture of a face in a magazine, and found it beautifully clear for copying as a sketch. I later went on to use it a number of times in different colours and styles. I enjoy the simple feeling of black and white pictures, however, my attempt at a black, white and grey watercolour painting didn’t work out quite right, her features are not quite in the right places and the shades of grey I used are very different to all the ones in my inspiration pictures.
More playing with colour, and taking inspiration from pop-art paintings and Matisse’s cut-outs and other work.
I really enjoyed looking at Matisse’s work when researching his cut-outs, so using the face I previously sketched I attempted my own version of ‘The Green Line’ (Portrait of Madame Matisse). I was worried after my first sketch in Intense Pencils that the light and shades were the opposite way round in my picture compared to the original, so for the acrylic painting I flipped my sketch and tried it the other way, but I think the first one worked out better. I then attempted another self-portrait, this time inspired by Matisse’s ‘Self-Portrait in a Striped T-shirt’, I am really happy with how this one turned out, the colours and textures are fantastic and it even looks a little more like me!
A lot of the work here was inspired by ‘Sandcastles’ by Dan Parry-Jones. I loves the pale, yet vibrant colours that he’s used, and his mixed media approach. I found it really interesting how he’d used collage, paint and screen-printing to build up the layers in his work. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the equipment to screen-print so I drew on mine with black marker pen instead, I could potentially make a lino-cut to experiment further but I find it very time consuming. My final page draws inspiration from portraits done in pastel which I’m just starting to look at – so far all I’ve completed is a large scary eye! Before finishing my Theme Book I would also like to investigate Pointillism, as I feel it would be interesting to translate it into french knots in a textile piece.