Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Kit again!

Kit 2
12" x 16"
I had a fabulous evening down at the Mall Galleries once more for the ROI (Royal Institute of Oil painters) portrait painting evening. I don't know how many artists were painting but it was a large number and we were tightly squeezed in around three models. The painting starts at 6.00pm and the model arrives just before then so you actually set up your easels around an empty chair and don't know who you are going to paint until they come and sit down.

I found my model was Kit again, which I was pleased about as he has an interesting face and hair. Luckily I had a spot very close and his chair was raised up on a plinth which was helpful. The only drawback was that I had a wall behind me so I couldn't step back from the easel at all, not even a couple of feet. Being 'up close' like that made it difficult to see how everything was working together and I really struggled at first with the 'drawing in' stage.

As usual the gallery was packed with painters and spectators and it was good to see old and new friends alike, although there's not much chance to chat once painting is underway!

Kit felt tired under the lights and for about twenty minutes didn't open his eyes at all... and I desperately wanted to paint his eyes! I don't know why I didn't call out to him, just that old ingrained politeness I expect! At one point Peter Barker clapped his hands to wake him which made me chuckle.
I expected that after his next break Kit would come back with open eyes and to my delight he did. By the close of the evening I was really pleased with how my portrait had turned out. Pleased that I'd achieved a likeness, pleased with the colours and freshness and lively brush marks.

I completely forgot to take photos of the event (caught up in all the excitement!) but I've noticed on my friend Peter Barker's blog there are some good ones, so click this link to see those.
I think that fellow bloggers Katherine Tyrell and Adebanji Alade will have a report on the night's events too so I'll keep an eye out for those for you.

While in London I managed a quick visit to the brilliant Peter Brown's exhibition at Messums. Have a look at the online catalogue here.

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