what we want from The Force Awakens
colour building tips with acrylic paints
While I work in a variety of mediums including just about everything from graphite and ink to charcoal and oils, I enjoy the flexibility of acrylics: they can be used direct from the tube to create thick dense colour or, as we’ll do here, watered down and layered to give depth and an almost ethereal quality to light.
I’m currently focussed on a body of work for a show later in the year at Antler Gallery in Portland, and this painting is part of that.
Living in the countryside I constantly find myself inspired by natural forms – as much by death, bones and decay as pretty flowers and cute animals. My work embraces these themes, exploring the beauty to be found in the complete cycle of birth, death, growth and decay. Melancholic but romantic.
As well as a focus on nature, I enjoy using heavily stylised female figurative imagery, often with a focus on the hands. I use a variety of reference material, from fashion magazines and websites through to working with live models, but I find that the imagery becomes my own only when I’m able to tap into an emotive or expressive quality. My method of painting and my interpretation of forms, the exaggerated hands and the stylised figures enable me to do this.
As a self-taught artist, it’s a style of painting that I have developed over the past few years, and I’ve learned a few tricks and techniques that make it work for me. My process is very much a stream-of-consciousness flow. I seldom start with a clear idea but really enjoy seeing how my work almost takes on a life of its own, growing from absent-minded doodles, through development in my sketchbook to painting the finished piece.
I try to embrace a spontaneity in my work, and the drips and splashes of watered-down acrylic lend themselves well to that process – even accidents that seem disastrous at the time. Let me take you through my process of painting when working with acrylic paints.
My work always starts in the sketchbook. It’s a riskfree environment to explore ideas and hopefully surprise yourself. I’m a constant doodler and I try and keep things as loose as possible throughout this stage, allowing for room to explore the idea as it progresses.