Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Londoners I sketch everyday (III)

All these were done in May in preparation for the Chelsea Art Society Annual Exhibition. All these sketches sold as one framed unit. It has been hard to get them (18) apart and as I had them in lined up as 3 rows in 6 columns.

2 heads, Londoners I sketch everyday

4 heads, Londoners I sketch everyday (3-6)

4 heads Londoners I sketch everyday (7-10)

4 heads, Londoners I sketch everyday (10-14)

4 heads, Londoners I sketch everyday (15-18)

When I sketch this way I purposely sketch on one sheet, which is not my usual style but because I knew I was going to be exhibiting them I had to sketch one head on each page in Oil base pencil (alternative to Charcoal) and graphite.

The Londoners I sketch Everyday III, 28" x  22, Graphite/Oil Base Pencil , 2012  SOLD

"Drawing the human head correctly takes practice, but I never consider it work. To me, people are the most fascinating subjects to study and draw. There is no chance for boredom since there are millions of faces in the world and all are different. Even the same person takes on many looks by changing expressions, clothing and lighting."-Paul  Leveille on Drawing Expressive Portraits

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Street Sketching Spirit!!!

The street sketching spirit is my life!!! There's always a buzz and high when I am able to sit down and meet people on the street, have a connection, hear wonderful  stories and sketch!

These pictures are a few that I have done recently on the streets of London.

Sketch of Chris, Islington

All sketches were done in graphite, oil base pencil in an A4 moleskine Sketchbook.

Adebanji sketching Chris

Chris with sketch

Sketch of John, Charing Cross

Adebanji sketching John, Charing Cross

Adebanji sketching Kevin, Charing Cross

Sketch of Kevin, Charing Cross

Martin with sketch

Sketch of Martin, around Tate Gallery Bankside

Sketch of Sean, around Tate Gallery Bankside

Sean with Sketch

"The wise draftsman brings forward what he can use most effectively to present his case. His case is his special interest-his special vision. He does not repeat nature."- Robert Henri 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Rain and Reflections-The City, 8" x 10", Oil on board.

This is one of my little alla prima paintings of London. In this painting I introduced my own colour scheme to the scene which would have rather been harsh if i kept it as it was. Normally the London buses are a harsh warm red colour but  I decided to move it  to the purple tint range to support my warm purplish scheme here. I then added a yellow umbrella to compliment the whole picture.

Rain and reflections, 8" x 10", Oil on Board, 2011 SOLD
"When the artist is alive in any person...he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens and he opens ways for better understanding."- Robert Henri

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career-40


Rain, Rain and Rush Hour,  24" x 20", Oil on Canvas, 2011

And finally at last, The 40th work that has made my career is this painting- I was inspired to take this one on because it was a had crowded figures, reflections and rain-three elements I really love in urbanscapes!

 I worked completely from a photo in the studio but all the time I made sure I didn't fall prey to the abnormalities that pictures have.

 To really get into the mood of this piece I visited the venue at Cannon Street in the morning during the height of rush hour on a week day and the spirit of the whole place was just buzzing! You could see city workers all determined to get to work with their umbrellas, soaked and fizzing through the station to the streets adjacent to the station. I just stood their for almost 2 hours observing, making mental notes and taking loads of pictures, close to 700! 

When I got back to the studio I had a hard time looking through to see the one that really resonated with my spirit! It was difficult to find the one that really had a balanced composition and a good focal point. I thought, if I didn't get the right one I would need to start editing the pictures to make  it work. This process of selection is really part of the creative process, even before the main painting starts. Actually the painting starts when the idea and scene is viewed and conceived. 

I painted this piece for the Affordable Art Fair last year at Battersea, and I was pleased that just before the exhibition started, a couple saw in on the the gallery website and showed so much interest but waited till they saw it in the flesh. Once they saw it in the flesh they fell in love and carted it away to Canada!

I find it hard to understand after all these years of painting, I still go through a struggle and the climbing of a great mountain of doubt, before I embark on a new painting-the worries, the fear, the procrastination......then everything dispels once the work begins..."-Adebanji Alade

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career -39


On the 21st of September I got out of my bed while the sun was shining with a glorious morning light and I ventured to get one shot(painting) of the Circus done. I arrived at around 10.15am at an interesting spot right in the middle of the park at the Circus and decided to paint a good view of an area in which the sun had illuminated part of the grass to almost a fluorescent yellowish green, with Brock Street peeping through!
While getting ready to paint, a resident from the Circus buildings came down to meet me with a cup of tea and said, "May the sun shine for you all day long"- I gladly had the 'Cuppa' and got down to work, at about 11.38am I had completed my first panel and then I thought the composition looked a bit incomplete. So I brought up another panel and joined it to the first and at around 12.36 in the afternoon I completed my first two 6" x 8" panels of the Circus. I was happy with the result until one passer by said, "it's good you are doing a panorama of this....." then I thought, OK, a panorama....I think I'll try...? Let's see what a third panel would like, by this time I had to turn my position to capture another part of the Circus, linking the third to the second. I then continued as the day went on, linking the third panel to a fourth panel and fifth and then finally sixth panel-all the while I had to keep moving in circles while the light light kept changing as the day went by but it didn't alter my determination to get the whole 6 panels to all join together to produce one solid piece! I finally finished around 6pm and one of the residents around the circus who had seen me paint all day entertained me to tea and snacks! It was a wonderful day!

Adebanji presenting the Circus Panorama during the Bath Marathon Exhibition at the Bath Gallery

This painting marked a great highlight during my Bath Marathon- and it was one of the first pieces to sell at the opening. It was so much in demand that the gallery did a Limited edition of it, I remember having to sign and write a personal quote on some.

The Circus Panorama, 48" x 6", Oil on Board, 2010

It has not been an easy experience of writing about these 40 works to celebrate my 40th birthday but I am happy I have only got one more post to do on this and that will come tomorrow after which I'll be able to continue my normal pots of work that I have currently been doing. It's been a wonderful experience looking back but now it's time to face the future-Hope I can get on to each canvas or paper with the excitement and enthusiasm which always fires me to produce works that would add colour, joy, love, wonder, and all the wonderful emotions to my life and the people that view and collect these works!

Adebanji painting the Circus Panorama (Picture by Jess Loughborough)

"Nature suggests ideas for interpretation, the artist supplies ideas of how the interpretation is to be made."-Edgar Payne from his book Composition of Outdoor Painting

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career (36, 37 and 38)


Gracie, Graphite/Oil Base Pencil, 13" x 9", 2009

This drawing is part of a study I did for a an oil portrait commission of this little girl for her parents. Why I love it so much is that it was just a way for me to experiment and find out different parts of her features that worked well for the final piece. Among all the sketches and studies I did before the main portrait, this is the one I liked best but wasn't the one her parents chose. They settled for a more frontal view of their daughter. Looking back at this piece which is now part of my collection, I really feel it opened up for me a great revelation-which was the ability to really investigate a little more detail in a face with my best medium of all-GRAPHITE- I always feel the potential and celebration of the ordinary pencil gets overlooked. I think colour is powerful and for some reason gets more attention than black and white pieces. But I must say I love What the pencil can achieve and I believe a day will come that it would only work in black and white!


After The Rain II, 48" x308", Oil on Canvas, 2011

This is a painting I did that was supposed to be a commission but the clients didn't have sufficient funding to give a go ahead. But since I had really given myself so much into doing it by taking almost 1, 500 pictures of the scene and trying my best to understand Rupert Street in Soho- Also with the encouragement of Enid Lawson, I went ahead to do this painting. My mission was the same as the requirements of the clients, to capture an evening scene at Soho, Rupert Street, with neon light signs, reflections and anything that reminds us of London-I decided to add the Rickshaw driver!

The reflections on the wet pavement was my key point in this piece. I had to study the work of Gustave Caillebotte, who painted a lovely scene of a Paris Street in Rainy Weather.
But what really got me absorbed in this piece was just going there whenever the rain had just fallen and there was a feeling of dusk in the air. There's so much power in just observing a scene and taking it in. It really helps in communicating the scene effectively when painting the scene in the studio.


Rain and Reflections, London Streets, 10" x 8", Oil on Board, 2011

This is another painting that deals with reflections, it's smaller just 10" x 8" but still communicates the same feeling. I really liked this one because although it was painted entirely from a picture in the studio-I really feel it had the qualities of a plein piece and the reason is, I painted it very quickly in Alla Prima as if I were just painting it outdoor. This piece sold in the Affordable Art fair last year at Battersea.

"I really feel whenever one embarks on a painting, one really needs to be totally absorbed in the piece , so that nothing will deter ones attention and energies in making the piece exactly what it was supposed to be when the idea was conceived or envisioned.- Adebanji Alade"