Friday, 21 May 2010

Art Class - Week #5

A work in progress
I have become more ambitious. Our tutor wants me to spend more time over my work, and it looks like I have no choice in the matter considering my current project. Gone is the three hour time limit on my work, for this time I am embarking on a more elaborate piece of work.
When we visited Cotton Manor the other week, I took an interesting photo of the coffee shop, well, the outside part of it anyway, looking across all the tables where everyone sat in the coolish spring sunshine. Back home, looking at the photo on the computer I could see close up all the different groups of people at each table. At one, there was even a panda holding a baby panda, obviously a cuddly toy of some sort, but it made another interesting little spot in the busy picture.
Then I had the brainwave of wondering whether or not I could summon up enough skill to paint the scene. A lot of work would be involved its true, but what a challenge eh? Eventually I made the decision to do it. I printed the photo out A4 size and as I would be painting on an A3 size of paper, realised that I would have to do some squaring up. The squares on the printout would be 1 inch square and on the painting, they would be 1.25 inches square. One thing puzzled me a little here, me not being a mathematician, then why would the large size work out at over one-and-a-half times in size when I was only making the squares a quarter of an inch larger? 1.5625 times larger to be precise.  Well it soon dawned on me that if I had made the larger size squares two inches wide each way, the larger image would actually turn out to be four times the size, not two! Ok, I'll move on ...
In preparation for the art class, I had the paper stretched on the board and the squares laid out very faintly on the paper. When I got there, some people were gasping at the complexity of the photo I was going to try to paint! Immediately I started and got the first parasol drawn, then realised I had done it in the wrong blooming square. It was then that the tutor advised me to number the squares horizontally and vertically – doh, why didn’t I think of that?
I knew the drawing would take a long time, but by the end of the session, less than a third of the drawing was done, and I ended up taking it home and working on the rest there. The truth is, it took more than five hours to complete the drawing – a marathon for me!

I’ve just shown you a snippet of the drawing, and a small photo of what I am painting. I am not going to rush this one, but I hope the painting part doesn’t take as long as the drawing .

Wish me luck!


  1. Yes ... quite adventurous Frank, but worth the effort I think. The subject matter is great - can't wait to see it finished.

  2. Hats off to you Frank, this is a biggey. I've often told myself I must include people in my paintings but studiously avoid doing so. I'm really glad you're doing this as a WIP and am looking forward to following your progress with much interest.

  3. Everything I am scared of is in this drawing - chairs and faces in particular! I admire you Frank. Can't wait to see the finished painting!

  4. Alice - thanks, I only hope I don't stuff this up after spending so much time on it.

    John - I'm getting less afraid of drawing people, after all, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in real life! There's likely to be another WIP posting on this one.

    Sandra - those chairs are pretty difficult, not nice and square but round tops, curvy slats and arching sides! SInce dabbling in portrature, faces are becoming a little easier, but that one on the far right looks wrong. Hope I don't let you down with the finished painting...