Monday, January 28, 2013

Nocturnes, Night plein air painting in London (No 1)

The next few posts will highlight a few plein air paintings I have done in London (mainly the Chelsea area, around my studio) and also interjected with a few day time ones and my post on being selected as an Associate Member of the ROI and also being featured in the METRO Newspaper on the 22nd of January with an article on Pintar Rapido.

It's been a great year so far!!

Night Reflections under Albert Bridge, 10" x 8", Oil on Board

This one in particular was painted near Albert Bridge. Albert Bridge is has a great view at night, but in this piece I really wanted to concentrate on the still reflections at night.

Adebanji painting at night, Albert Bridge

This piece was done over two sittings. Working at night is quite tricky. But it helps when one has all the right equipment, like an good head lamp or torch, tilted at the right angle and also working under a street lamp. Sufficient light is very important.

This was how it looked after the first sitting. I stopped when the lights on Albert Bridge went out, it came rather as a shock, as I didn't know the lights went out!

It is also necessary to have a good understanding of values. I think more in terms of values, as temperature and hues can be very deceiving in the dark. There's always an element of surprise when one gets back to studio but I enjoy that bit, you never know what to expect! It definitely looks different under studio lighting!

Completed piece after the second sitting

"I often think the the night is more and more richly coloured than the day."-Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Face of Homelessness Sloane Square

This is a another guy in my series of the "Face of Homelessness"- meeting Steve and getting to know his story of how he was homeless and has now been able to get accommodation is a very uplifting one!
He sells the Big Issue at Sloane Square and I have sketched him on a number of occasions.

In this painting, I wanted to capture to look in his eyes. It's the main thing that brings out his character as a very genuine chap.  As with the other posts in this series, I have worked with The Zorn Palette-which consists of Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black.

I have worked on this piece in one sitting in Alla Prima and I took some stage shots during the process. These stage shots are definitely not a step by step process but they are just stages at which the painting developed.

It was hard getting the right colours of this painting with my camera and if I am able to get a better picture a later date, I will surely adjust the one below.

The Face of Homelessness Sloane Square, Oil on board, 12" x 16", 2012

Sketch of Steve
Adebanji sketching Steve
Steve with the sketch
Stage 1- Here I have toned the canvas with a light mixture of yellow orche and black, and I do a bit of plotting lines to help with the positioning of the portrait. The canvas has been divided into four parts with diagonals in each rectangle.
Stage 2- I start the sketch with the swift use of a mongoose brush dipped into paint and Liquin to help it dry fast.  All those sketchy arrows just show the direction I'll be painting the background strokes in, to lead the viewers eye into the centre of interest-"his eyes"
Stage 3- Here I start using the shape by shape method of "inside out"-starting from one place inside the face and gradually moving out.
Stage 4- The face was almost complete at this stage and I began to have a sense of the whole piece at this stage
Stage 5- With the face completed, I gradually move to the background  to see how it works with the face and I'm quite pleased.
Stage 6-I continue with the background on the left following the directions,  I had plotted earlier in the preliminary sketch
Stage 7- This is the final stage where I take stock, I think  I got a bit of the anatomy wrong on the right side of his cheek, but after a few struggles which remained unresolved, I had to leave it to a later date.
"Very early in life, I fell in love with the landscape of the human face, where all the emotional states of life are to be found, and that affair has not faltered"-Burton Silverman

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Face of Homelessness, London Bridge

This is another guy I encountered at London Bridge. He was actually begging inside London Bridge Station and this isn't allowed. Sometimes the homeless get away with it. So I didn't have much time to stay with him before he was moved on by the Travel Police.

The Face of Homelessness, London Bridge, 12" x 12", Oil on Board, 2012

 He had the kind of face that I always love to paint and explore. I started this by doing 3 studies from random close shots I took from different angles, to see which one I would love to expand on.

3 studies for the Face of Homelessness, London Bridge,- I just decided to play around with shapes, temperature, drawing and a bit of colour planning. This was purely an experiment and the freedom here helped me to get fired up for the main piece. In some ways I enjoyed  the fluidity here than the way I approached the main piece.

Once I finished these studies, I was able to make up my mind on which one to work on.

These are a few stage shots. The photos are not that clear but at least shows a bit of my procedure here.

Stage 1- I started this piece very tentatively, I wasn't really sure on what method to use in my approach.  So  I started playing around with values, as if I working with pastel. In fact, I would have just stopped here, because I really liked the statement of his face. I think everything I needed to say had been said here! But I couldn't resist completing it, probably to the death of the piece......Sometimes I guess it just right to know when to stop!

Stage 2- Here, things begin to make more sense. I seem to have resolved the face and I'm tempted to leave the under-painting as the face average tone. I think it works so well with the rest of the applications. Up till now, because I am still trying to work things out, I don't use thick paint as usual but thinned paint.

Stage 3- This is the final stage- I  switch from thin to thick  here and  I  paint shape by shape-until the whole surface is covered with thick paint. I work in some calligraphic strokes into the background -these strokes have words on homelessness worked into the background.

I am using the Zorn Palette here, which consists of Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black. I am working on a Masonite board toned with a warm orange tint.

"I cannot  stress enough that the answer to life's problems is in peoples faces. Try putting your IPhones  down once in a while, and look in people's faces. Peoples faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, nauseous or asleep."-Amy Poehler

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Face of Homelessness Kings Road II

 To start off this post, I  have some good news I can't keep to myself, even though I'm going to do a separate post on this later, but I'm pleased to announce that I was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters!!  It was an early Christmas present-as I got a phone call from The President on Sunday the 23rd of December, last year (I just had to chip this in)....;0) and received a confirmation letter this week from the Secretary!

The Face of Homelessness Kings Road II, Oil on Board, 2012

I'm continuing this year with my project on the Face of Homelessness Series that I started last year. I still have a few more to post. In these pieces, I normally show my painting process and this particular painting has a slightly different approach. I am used to painting  with the "inside-out" method, in which I just start from a particular point inside the painting and then spread out. But in this painting, I adopted the "outside-in" method, I have started from the outside areas and then I have finished off, inside. This method is a more Traditional way of approaching Oil painting. In which one starts with Lean colour (Oil colour  mixed with more mineral spirits or turps and less Linseed Oil) and then gradually finishing off with Fat colour(Oil Colour mixed with more Linseed Oil or just pure Oil Colour straight from the Tube and less Turps or mineral spirits).

Richard with the Sketch I did of him, in Oil Base Pencil

I have painted this guy before, click HERE to see. This is my second attempt. Above, is a picture of Richard with the sketch I did in Oil Base Pencil.

Stage 1-without any definite drawing, I go straight into this head with  paint and turps, the paint is almost watercolour like. The ability to sketch freely helps here, as all the proportions and measurements are quickly assumed while painting.  I start with light values and increase them as I go along. This method reveals a lot about the versatility of oil. If I wasn't planning to take this further, I would have loved to just stop here! I love the bleeding and dripping and lean oil application. Everything is attacked. In other words, the full painting is seen almost right from the start. It's a good method to use but I really enjoy painting shape by shape more, as it makes me full of anticipation of how it will all come out to be. 

Stage 2- this is the stage where I switch from lean to fat. you can see the difference in application around the eye and cheek areas. I already have a base to work on, so it's easier to pull the strokes on the solid underpainting done below.

Stage 3-Here I attack his hair, it's the most precious part of the painting. His hair is what drew me to him in the first place and I really pound on pure oil with vigorous strokes here. Each stroke is placed with keen observation and also with a flair of emotion, I always like the interesting parts, like his hair, to tell a story. So, I forget I'm painting hair and just feel I'm painting rugged branches on an old tree. It takes me away from thinking normal!
Stage 4-With the hair completed, I take on a bit of the background with  strokes to echo  a bit of the texture in his hair.  I could have stopped here too, but I couldn't resist working on his beard with thick colour too!
Stage 5- Finally I complete the background with some words and calligraphy  embedded into the  background . These words are positive words to overcome homelessness. Lest I forget. The whole painting was done with the Zorn Palette-(Titanium White, Yellow Orche, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black)

This is a picture of the painting in progress with the palette and  mixtures.
"You get motivated by doing things, not thinking about them. Action gets you excited and action reveals opportunity. Take the plunge".- Andrew Matthews

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

MAKING A MARK AWARDS- Adebanji wins The Travel with a Sketchbook Trophy 2012

Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 1
It's a great way to start the year and I see this year as a fresh sketchbook page spread- ready to be filled up with abundant creativity! There's really nothing as great as looking at the pages of a brand new sketchbook! When I see a fresh page, it makes me tick, and I just feel like filling it up! It's a great feeling! Looking back at my old sketchbooks, brings back all the experiences of each sketch made, what attracted me to do the sketch and it helps to track my own personal development. Moreover, filled, in my mind, is an inventory of thousands of faces, I've sketched in the year 2012!

Making a Mark has always given out awards to bloggers in the Art field and I really cherish this particular Award because it's what I do everyday! You can  read all about it in the post by clicking HERE.

The Award was given with this statement, "This year I'm going to award this prize to somebody who routinely carries his sketchbook with him and sketches while travelling to work and his studio in Chelsea on the other side of..... London.  So no overseas trips - but lots of sketching!..... For those who have never tried drawing on public transport before, I have to tell you that form of sketching is a challenge! Bear in mind the transport does not provide for a smooth journey and you never ever know when your subject is going to get up and leave!"

Also  I am going to use this opportunity to introduce you to another blog I'll be running alongside this one this year! It is going to focus on tips, videos, demonstrations, my techniques, sketches for sale and everything that would basically inspire you to GET OUT AND DO SOME SKETCHING YOURSELF! It's called-Inspired to Sketch with- Adebanji Alade. It isn't launched yet, but it will go live on Saturday the 12th of January-So get ready by clicking HERE and subscribe!
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 2
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 3
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 4
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Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 8
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 9
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 10
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 11
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 12
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 13
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 14
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 15
Adebanji's Sketches on Public transport 16
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"Great drawings are the result of risk-taking. They come not from copying or from verbal or intellectual idea about the subject, but from a visual idea....An artist in any field perceives the importance of the whole. He notes significant information and makes order from chaos. Such a mind appreciates elegance, simplicity, design and restraint."- Sherrie McGraw