|30 Tourists. Drawing on Canvas for Acrylic Paint (20x50cm).|
After picking up this long canvas for a bargain price at Dunelm Mill, I wondered a little about what to do with it. I had one or two photos in mind and ended up choosing a cropped photo of a crowd scene outside the gates into Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, London. It was eventually a toss-up between this and a thin wide view of the buildings from the parade ground. All of these young tourists were busy taking photos of the guards in their bright red coats guarding the venue. It must have seemed quite strange therefore to them that I was only interested in taking a photo of them. But you see, being an artist, I have constant subconscious thoughts of what would be a good subject for my next painting project!
Well, getting back to SLAGs, the reaction from fellow members on seeing my photo and blank canvas was to laugh, and quips like "You've got your work cut out there" and "You are a gluten for punishment"! Well maybe I have and I am, but one thing's for sure, I'm going to have a great time working it all out and getting to know all the little quirkiness of the characters on the canvas as I paint them.
As well as painting, our weekly meetings consist of a fair amount of chatter, and as most of us are getting on a bit, it wasn't surprising that the subject of death came up and what we thought about it! It mostly centred around what happens to us when we die and where our ashes are to be scattered. It was most amusing when one lady said that she kept changing her mind, and her son who was a farmer said to her "Oh don't worry, when you're gone, I'll put your ashes in the muck-spreader and spread you onto the fields"!
The preliminary sketch above, may seem rather detailed for an acrylic painting, but it gives me precise details to work to, which has come in handy for my recent architectural studies. Here I've used the 'squaring-up' method to enlarge the photo to the scale of the canvas, (the corresponding squares on the photo obviously being much smaller). I usually leave unwanted features out or move them around slightly, but this one remains pretty true to the source photo. This sketch still remained tricky, taking me around four hours to complete.
Now for the paint!