Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Simon Davies: Portrait Painting Demonstration and some other paintings I liked at the RP Show

(above) This is a sketch I did of Simon Davies at work.

I got to hear about this demo on Making a Mark blog and I was delighted! First it was a free demo and secondly it was going to be one done by one of my favourite painters. I think, if I am not mistaken, that this is a new feature during the RP (Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition) There was one I missed by Andrew James. That's another one I would have loved to be at. Anyway, I am posting this to share with those who couldn't make it and also to document this for reference purposes, as it was a rare opportunity.

Completed Demo piece on the day

Simon Davies is a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. I fell with his work sometime back. What I like about his work is his brushstrokes, they are definite, painterly, crisp and neat! It's not always you get such a combination. His square brush strokes define his work and displays his personal style in such a way that it is very hard not to recognize his work. I am always intrigued by brushwork, I think every painter should have a brushwork that is so personal as his/her handwriting. It was Trevor Chamberlain that said, "Try to make a personal statement, remember, it's not what you paint, but how you paint paint it that will make your painting interesting, so let your brushwork be as personal as your handwriting"

Lessons, Observation and Points of note.

1. Always be open to learn from all artists out there, learning is power!

2. He paints from pictures and has 4 prints clipped horizontally across his easel.

3. 2 of the pictures are approx 6" x 9" and the other 2 are approx 9" x 12"(I didn't measure, so I am not too sure)

4. All the pictures he paints from are the same pose. But 1 is black and white, another full blown colour, while the other 2 are warm sepia versions- he says he has all these pictures outlined this way so that he can see the picture of the model wherever he looks- I found this quite interesting.

5.He uses a disposable palette with an attached dipper which contains Liquin, the medium he uses, with a few monochromatic colours (Yellow Orche, White, Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna)-All Winsor & Newton

6. His brushes are mainly long flat synthetics made by Pro-Arte

7. He is the first artist I have seen that uses a black rag to clean his brushes.

8. He is the most patient artist I have seen at work, I have been learning recently that, "Haste is the Artist's worst enemy"

9. A definite accurate and detailed drawing in graphite is done of the picture with a light was of a warm orangery grey over it or as the under-painting. For this demo the drawing had been completed prior to the demo ads he had only two hours for it.

10. He is patient and slow in his approach, his observation is done in full blown concentration.

11. Basically, he draws and stokes with these long flat brushes always modelling with a square brush stroke-it's a delight to behold. to me it's a kind of calligraphic way of painting, something I have been keen to learn myself.

12. Everything is done with slight shifts of colour all drawn with the brush. Everything is done in this square brush technique and it's all pure drawing-there's no magic here, he is patient, slow and definite, nothing is taken for granted-amazing!

13. It's great how thee few neutral colours produce such a cool monochromatic piece in the end.

Some of his paintings.

-Another great highlight was meeting fellow artist blogger Olha-She has got a painting into the BP this year!

Some other paintings I loved.
Now, I can't overstate the importance of attending this exhibition whenever it is on. It is an education. There were scores of paintings I loved but here are just a few.

Valeriy Gridnev, Artist in Studio, 70" x 42", Oil- One of my favourite painters-the freshness and his direct technique win my heart every time! He is also a candidate for membership this year.

Maryam Foroozanfar, Ying(baby series 2), 12" x 35", Oil-I met Maryam for the first time during this demo. She has been a regular in the BP Portrait Award and I think her works are simply breathtaking. She is also a candidate for membership this year!

David Caldwell, 21 Portraits 28" x 47", oil- David is a past winner of Bull Dog Bursary Award and is also a candidate for membership this year.

Alex Tzavaras, self Portrait, Charcoal, 18" x 14"- I loved his drawing last year and was on the look out if he'd put in another drawing this year and he did!

Special Quote
"The main thing is to keep working, questioning, experiencing, growing. You've got to train your eye and develop your emotions to work together. We're all students. There's no end to learning"-Everett R. Kinstler in his book on Painting Portraits


SharonWrightArtist said...

Fascinating post, thank you. It is my aim to, one day, paint something good enough to submit!

adebanji said...

Thanks Sharon, it will be worth it! From experience It's always best to submit your very best!

David said...

A splendid post Adebanji! Very inspiring stuff. I wish I'd had a chance to go to the show but this gives a really interesting insight. Thanks very much for sharing.

Thanks also for the catalogue for your upcoming show at the Enid Lawson gallery. You've done some fabulous paintings for it!!

adebanji said...

Thanks Dave! Yeah, there are some shows I never miss and the RP is one of them, the standard has got better for the past 2 years!
I happy you liked the paintings, hope it is a success!

Carolyn A. Pappas said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that there is a problem with your rss feed. My google reader is subscribed to your blog but displaying posts for: You may have been hacked or something.

adebanji said...

Thanks Carolyn, I have just noticed this myself, do you have any ideas how to resolve this?

Anonymous said...

I'm also having a problem with the feed. The paintings shown are very inspiring.

adebanji said...

Thanks Tracey, have you been able to resolve it?

Juliet said...

Thanks for the info about your upcoming show at E.L.Gallery!will try and get along to see it.

adebanji said...

Thanks Juliet, hope you can make it! It will be worth it!

Juliet said...

Will you still be coming to Chiswick this month to paint? please let us know what date you will be here.

adebanji said...

Yes Juliet, the 21st of June will be the day, I'll keep you informed when the day gets closer said...

Another really interesting post Adebanji, Thanks for sharing all this and all the other fascinating art and artist links, I've really enjoyed your blog over the last few months, I'm going to send you a link to my exhibition, hope you don't mind.