Tuesday, 23 February 2016
new work - gouache portraits
Cape - gouache on Fabriano paper
Alongside other work, over the past several weeks, I've been working on a new series of gouache portraits. My starting point was perhaps over the Christmas and New Year period when I did several sketches in sketchbooks and contemplated the figure in gouache.... As mentioned previously, I return to gouache every so often because it is one of the most versatile and gentle of mediums, with so much to offer. It's what I call a (metaphorically speaking) elastic paint - meaning you can stretch it and you can keep it dense, you can take it from one extreme - as delicate as watercolour - to dark and matt coverage.
As I worked on this series I began to re-consider how I enjoy seeing figures on paper - and how the whole figure is interesting to me as a shape/form.... I've painted detailed and evocative faces in gouache, but this series is much more about the figure as design and story. A long time ago, as a teenager, I would design my own art deco-inspired fashion plate figures. I just liked the shape and colours of them. One summer, whilst staying at my grandparents' home, I covered a bedroom wall with figures. My Granny kept them on the wall until they fell off....
Over the years I've experimented with different papers. I still enjoy textured watercolour paper but more recently I've been using Fabriano artistico paper, which is quite beautiful stuff: smooth and creamy white, and takes paint or ink very well. I'm using Fabriano paper in both my painting and monoprint drawing. It's a good quality artist paper and as you may know using the best materials for you does make a difference.
Below you may see: Outsiders - gouache on Fabriano paper
These and others will be in my shop tomorrow - please note the slightly later time of 7pm UK time. Thank you. I hope you may enjoy seeing the complete selection.
ribbon - gouache on Fabriano paper
I have always enjoyed pink and red together - this is a delicate pink and not so easy to photograph but in person this portrait has a gentle yet eye-catching look....
Just as a side note: I made the papier-mache jug several years ago and it's still yellowing beautifully. The paper is from old Penguin paperback novels. I may just be making new papier-mache objects some time in the coming months.....