This painting comes from a mono-print, which in turn comes from...which just appeared on the page, in fact. It is difficult to translate mono-prints into paintings because what works in black and white marks doesn't always work in colour. I am always trying to encompass a small amount of realism along with the stylised decorative marks. This painting gave me a chance to enjoy the textures you can make with gouache paint, too.
These pages had some quick sketches done in biro pen, white paper, nothing else. I wanted to make something more of them, so I used a brush pen to make the lines heavier, added water-based fountain pen ink in loose swathes to quickly add tone and a design quality to the page, and crayon for colour.
In my sketchbook, I am doing a series of pen and wash portraits of Science Fiction writers. This will link with a set of paintings based on Science Fiction stories.
I have been thinking about the meaning of pictures - why choose a subject? So, I think, I have to lean towards subjects that are embedded in my life (that I feel a close connection with, over the multitude of other things I could choose).
Ideally, this illustration of a science fiction story should be from a Ballard story, but it is Ray Bradbury. Still, it is good to put 'portrait of a science fiction writer' with a picture inspired by my reading of the genre.
I begin to see how this project could go.
There are so many things to draw and paint - how to get to the subjects closest to the heart? I know this is one of those for me.
This picture is 12 inches square. I have planned a series of 10 pictures, to do in 10 days. The elements of each one are a combination of observed people and scenes, and imagined people and scenes. For instance, in this one, the postures and the gestures of the two people are linked to some sketches and mono prints I made of the audience at Wimbledon between tennis matches.
I started with the word at the top, done with a set of printing letters. Then I covered the whole page with lemon yellow gouache, and drew the faces with the flat end of a crayon. The rest was a mix of gouache and acrylic and crayon. It's strange that it looks simple and childish but it actually felt like hard work when I was doing it. That's an interesting phenomenon to think about sometime...
Tracking my art projects, week by week.