A tribute portrait of my late sister, Clare Boylan, writer, novelist, journalist and play-writer.
When you are on a tight budget and are purchasing an inexpensive framed canvas, remember these usually have a somewhat porous fabric. If you wish to avoid using a large amount of paint/thinning agents for the finish you require, buy a large carton of Gesso (a type of chalk based bonding agent) and prime the surface with several coats of this quick-drying material. The results will give you a smooth and relatively non-absorbant surface which is ideal to work on and which gives very good results to your artwork. I have to stress, however, that in order for your portrait work to maximise your art skills, only the very best quality canvas will suffice. And even they, may require a coat of this primer to give you the very smooth surface you may require.
Perhaps you work in watercolours? In this instance, a small bottle of artist’s gum arabic or drawing glue is an excellent investment. This permits (a) colours to flow freely and easily under your brush and (b) it does not allow the paper to become saturated and thus unworkable. However, if you are painting with acrylics or gouache, then conventional water is probably still the best material for use as the spreading agent.
Now I come to a somewhat contentious piece of advice. Artist who work in oils, know that they can take a very long time to dry, even when used in conjunction with a drying agent. Water-based oils, though, dry quite quickly, but aren’t all that popular as to date their finish and spreadability and colour range is frankly not the same as their oil counterparts. I have found, that adding a little bit of acrylic to an oil colour (obviously exactly the same colour, hue, tone, etc.,) enables the oil paint to dry very quickly. A word of warning though. This mix has to be applied with a soft brush and brushed very well onto the canvas, so as to avoid brush marks when the colour dries out.
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Thank you for reading this, and I hope it will be useful to you.
Drawing and painting are therapeutic, creative, educational and above all, hugely enjoyable occupations. My Studio (just 35 mins. from Rennes) is open to visitors all year round and you are welcome to enjoy the 2 hour (1-2-1) highly acclaimed art sessions that I hold (indoors and outdoors) during the year. For further information, please fill in the form below and e-mail it to me. For artists and non-artists, there is residential accommodation too.
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As a working Artist-Painter, I have many years’ experience ( In Ireland and in France) of teaching people how to produce lst class illustrations and paintings – in all fields and in all aspects of drawing and painting mediums and materials.
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Our lives to-day are totally dominated by colour, usually 3D and in very High Definitation.
In this motoring artwork, I have taken a step backwards if you like, and re-produced one of my own motoring artworks (the original oil painting is in full colour) in black and white and honestly, I am astounded at the result. . And, here, I think, that feeling of a more gentle era, is so ably demonstrated by the lack of harshness both in the portrait of the Racing Driver – Eric Comas, the French F1 and Rally champion and (still very desireable – perfect fit for me…the beautiful iconic Renault Alpine A110,
As a demonstration of the dramatic use of oil paint, I have demonstrated here, one of my artworks, a portrait of the late (and very great) Graham Hill F1 and World Champion Motorsport Racing Driver.
This is not a large work but the use of oil paints in this instance, make, I feel, a very imposing artwork.
In this portrait of the fantastic British Actor, John Hurt, instead of the conventional oil portrait, this painting shows only part of the face in colour and the rest in cartoon form. The work has been illustrated using oil paints and charcoal on stretched canvas.