What am I working on?

What am I working on?

I thought I’d start adding some behind the scenes on some of my own work if I am doing anything in particular of interest. So, this will consist of either maquettes or finished pieces on what I’m working on or just a new challenge or mediums that I have access to that I want to try.

Initial Inspiration?

Around this time last year I was thinking about an idea for the Sky Arts portrait artist of the year entry. I did end up entering it and got told no… then received an email an hour later asking for a clearer picture asap which I didn’t see until 3 months later. Sad times. Two things I took from that; 1. Check my email a lot more. 2. Maybe my work may be good enough for it after all. (So upset to see a trailer for the new series I could’ve been on had David Tennant in it ;-; lets hope it was in Scotland). I had had a lot of doubt about it, and if Ross hadn’t have urged me to do it, I certainly wouldn’t be doing it now. (HaB_Art tip#6), even if you doubt it’ll be good enough, apply for anything anyways, what’s the worst that can happen right? Anyways, since I knew they must’ve liked my style, I knew to play to my strengths, but what to do this year that’ll be different from last?

Inspiration comes in mysterious forms sometimes when you’re expecting it to or not. In this case I wasn’t. Two years ago, for my year 13 final sketchbook on a theme I can’t quite remember. I looked at Colin Chilag, his pieces are very interesting as he likes to ruin to the illusion of the piece, despite being a hyper realist, and draw aspects of his thinking, plans and even palette onto the canvas itself. It’s the concept of bringing behind the scenes into the foreground of a piece that really interested me. So when I was scrolling on instagram and stumbled across a post from James Charles (link here), it really reminded me of Chilag’s work.

James Charles – A lot of his looks are very good for inspiration. One of his most recent posts even looked like a piece of art I was going to include in my artist’ research sketchbook (Thermal post). He’s very creative, check his Instagram out!

I really liked the contrast and juxtaposition and it gave me an idea for my entry for the competition. James’ caption of being a canvas really got me thinking about ideas for the self portrait entry.

*Small edit: currently finalising post, and see that this sort of look has blown up to be a little viral at the moment. Pretty cool to see other people doing this too. None that I’ve seen looks like what I plan though which is good*

My Ideas/Plan.

If you ask any of my classmates from sixth form or my teacher, they’ll all tell you I loved working on a blue background. I loved using the different layering of tones, giving the skin tones a cooler base. I’m currently getting my logo to also have a blue background so you can see my obsession is very OTT. However, if I have to or feel like it’ll work better, I do occasionally work in yellow ochre/ burnt umber or crimson tones. This gave me an idea to develop a triptych, which two can be submitted alongside the main. I intend to bring my “signature” backgrounds further into the foreground. Bringing the behind the scenes to the front, so far in front it’s part of the subject. So instead of the white used by James, it’ll be my background style, and instead of being a blank canvas I am my canvas. As far as what I’ll actually do for my background. It’ll either be plain with black bold accents, similar to Guy Denning’s style, or my actual background as well as the subject feature. I’m unsure at the moment with the last option as I don’t want to overwhelm the piece too Michel take away from the feature. May even take an idea of adding dripping texture in the background with cornstarch & water like I did for my year 13 final piece. Either way its up in the air at the moment and the only way to find out is to experiment.

Initial sketches/drawings.

Because of a lovely illness I mentioned at the beginning, I haven’t been able to make the other sketch I wanted to. However, I do have one to show you below which I posted on my Instagram a few days ago.

trials pens and wc
If you read my Inktober ’17 posts, you’ll know pretty much what I’m going to say. It’ll do for initial planning, but it needs WAY more improvement before I put it forward to apply with.

HaB_Art Tip#7, If unsure on colour schemes you want to use, it’s best to do a little pre -practise, practise version, e.g. (here). Always good to have some personal primary inspiration rather than looking at secondary inspiration. (I will do a full blog post on this at some point)

I used the Spectra pens, water colours, fine liner and black pencil (featured on my previous post here) and took my time layering it up. The pens do not cooperate well with the fine liner ink or pencil in general, so I had to do most of it free hand, which is way out my comfort zone when using (in my opinion) such permanent mediums. However, despite it not looking 100% it is just one of many trials, more of like a maquette in a way. So I look forward to improving it more and more, especially when I get better.

Until Next Time.




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