Category: Figurative

Does my face really look like that?

My husband and I were in London recently taking a tour of Chelsea.  Known as the epicenter of Swinging London in the 1960-70s, it was home to artists, musicians, and models.

Though today it’s a more sedate upscale neighborhood, we were lucky enough to find one artist that still calls Chelsea home. Nick Bashall, one of England’s leading portrait painters (who has painted British royalty), offered to do a head sketch of my husband during our visit.  It was magical how he transformed paint into living flesh right before our eyes (my hubby also got to watch through a well-positioned mirror.) Nick talked about how important it was to paint from life instead of photographs to truly capture the essence of a subject. The shiny areas in the photo are because the oil paint was still very wet. Nicky’s finished sketch on the left.

 

 

While getting my MFA, I took several figurative and portrait drawing classes. I always worked from photographs as I couldn’t coerce others to sit for me for hours at a time. Watching him work while we watched makes me even more impressed with his talent. If you ever get the chance, I’d highly recommend getting a portrait painted by Nick Bashall.

This is a painting I did of my husband done around 2009. He’s is still a handsome devil, isn’t he? Or would we call him a silver fox now?

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Painting a self-portrait is hard. You have to get past that knee jerk reaction to paint out your wrinkles or drop the extra 10 pounds (20, 30, or more) when painting yourself. One method to get past this is to abstract your self-portrait. Concentrate instead on using new funky colors, disproportionating your body parts or leave your face as a blank oval. Who’s going to notice a few flaws with all that going on! Here’s my rainbow self-portrait, saggy eyelids and all.

Self Portrait Rainbow

 

Self Portrait, Oil on panel, 20″ x 16″

Monkey see, monkey do.

I’m still learning to paint abstract figures.  This week’s assignment titled “Copy to Learn, Learn to Copy” means we are to copy the style of two other famous abstract figurative painters using our own models and then create paintings in each of their styles. My first “emulation” was of the artist Nathan Oliveira‘s work.  This is my son, Devon.

Exercise 10.1_Ferguson

The second painting is a full body portrait but it’s a nude, so the model (my husband) said I had to heavily crop it for public viewing.  It’s styled after paintings by the artist Kim Froshin.

Exercise 10.2 Closeup_Ferguson