Monthly Archives: March 2017

Hello, it’s that time again when I talk about what’s been happening in the Big Painting Challenge and expand a little on the ideas. This week’s theme is movement and the challenge is VERY difficult. None of the artists are allowed photographs and so they have to really think about how to capture what is going on. I know that photography can be a help when you are drawing or painting but more times than often, working from photographs will just make your looking, lazy and will act like a crutch and you wont get better. The reason is because you end up just copying an already flattened image, and your brain processes what you are seeing differently. Anyhow…on to movement…dynamic, exciting, fast…..difficult. Here, the trick is not as much to simplify but to figure out a way of working that suits your processing skills (not everyone has photographic memory). Take a deep breath and think how you can show movement, the subject moving and the background still, the background moving and the subject still, a timelapse, blur, sequences and multiple images are all options open to you. Here is one way which I love doing with students as it describes space, volume as well as a sense of movement. It’s suprisingly easy as long as you don’t start complicating things for yourself (you know who you are!). Give it a go!


I have always loved looking at peoples’ faces and I still do, I irritate my friends by constantly saying “wow look at that person they look like so and so”…and now I am getting a bit of that come back at me on Twitter…you know who you are! Anyhow, both my parents are portrait painters, both working in very different ways but I grew up as a child hearing my mum and my dad talk about heads, faces, noses and portraits. The best story is when my mum was asked to paint a copy of a portrait she had done of an old Colonel who had just died, she got her first painting back and set about reproducing it, unfortunately in the night the newer of the two canvases fell off the easel and landed on the back of the chair right on the Colonel’s nose, drying oil paint pushed the nose out 3D from the canvas and it set. Here are a couple of videos that might help you with your portraits.