National Portrait Gallery

Chatty, Drawing

Every year I tell myself that I’m going to continue to post regularly after Inktober while I’ve got the momentum and every year I don’t and November is one of the quietest blog-months. Post-Inktober recovery combined with moving AND starting work in a new branch has meant that the month has been full-on. But here is am, 3rd December and I’ve actually been doing quite a lot of art! My new work/life schedule means I usually have a bit of time in the morning that I can devote to painting, drawing and creating so fingers crossed I can keep a few projects on the go. There are a few things I could post but I thought I’d start with today’s work.

I’ve spent the day in central London as I’ve had some time in lieu and so did my partner, so we could have a nice Covent Garden breakfast. Then I strolled in the rain across to the National Portrait Gallery. I’m thinking about working on portraits/people again soon. I took a break from it last year to focus on painting skills a bit more but maybe it’s time to combine both. I was looking for something that drew me in and saw this painting:

It’s a portrait of Ellen Terry and known as Choosing by George Frederic Watts. Apparently he went on to marry her despite being 40 years her senior. I loved the colour, composition and other-worldlyness. It reminds me of Valerie and Her Week of Wonders.

I also saw this painting of Doris Lessing by Peonard William McComb. I really want to try coloured pencil over oil pastels at some point, but I only had the pencils with me, so I thought I’d try being a but more bold with colours and line marks.

I tried layering the colours and being deliberate with mark-making to ensure I was confident with proportions but also could start adopting a little bit more of a graphic style in line with the brighter colours.

I might finish the hair one day but I quite like the negative space. I think there’s some potential to take some things forward, but mostly it was just a lovely way to spend the day.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone’s posts over the last month tomorrow!

 

Julia

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