Sunday, 14 April 2019

Practice Makes Permanent - oil portrait sketches (time lapse)

I've been doing a lot of portrait paintings recently, around 15 in quick succession. It was an interesting experience and I'm sure that it has changed my approach, for a little while at least! I wanted to work quickly, so set deadlines of four - six hours. I was lucky that I'd already planned a week away with an arty friend, so we were cocooned in a cottage for a week, with only paints, knitting wool and a 1000 piece jig saw (and some excellent Audibles). Blissssss!! Bliss, but very tiring. I managed to produce 7 paintings in 5 days. Would I do it again? You bet! (But next time I'll factor in a spa at the end to unknot my painter-shoulder..) 

The drawing, completed enough to transfer onto canvas.
For this portrait, I decided to take time lapse photos, and I've put the results below, both of the drawing stage and then the painting itself. I much prefer to work from life, but in this case it was not possible, so I worked from a phone - which is roughtly the same 'size' as a head would be if the sitter was right in front of me. I don't zoom in, except to check measurements. The drawing was done quickly and not brought to a high level of completion - just enough to know I had the likeness and correct proportions. 

Very basic set-up!! 
Click the movies below to watch the process (each film is around 17 seconds). 

The drawing took 45 minutes, the painting took just over three hours. 

For programme information about upcoming workshops in Belfast, please email
I have an oils workshop from 22 - 27th April, a Portrait workshop 25th & 26th April and Friday Night Life Drawing sessions every second Friday. 

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