I’ve started to paint on birch plywood panels, the plywood is low formaldehyde Baltic birch. I’ve treated the panels with ph neutral archival PVA (4 coats) and then acrylic gesso (front and back). I’ve built a frame to hold wet paintings that will hold 2 sizes of panel. It’s a really nice panel to work with. Once paintings are dry, I’ll brace them with 14mm plywood (also low formaldehyde Baltic birch).
I’ve been putting together some pictures of Ireland, going through photos in Lightroom. Because I’m always shooting a photo with a view to capturing a reference for a painting, they don’t often work as a finished photo, but some do & I don’t pay enough attention to them.
Intense rain and wind is difficult to work with, rain seems to come from everywhere, but with the camera under a white umbrella, I managed to get this shot. Click on the image to buy a print from pixels.com
Joe Sweeney, from Burtonport, Co. Donegal, was my uncle’s father. He was in the GPO in 1916. I wanted to contribute to the 2016 commemorations in a meaningful way – I’m very thankful my uncle and cousins gave me his photo to enable me to paint this portrait – happy too they approve the result.
I knew his skin tone and hair was like my cousin’s, and they tell me his eyes were blue. There is a previous portrait which was enormously helpful too.
As it was a black & white photo I was working from, I chose the colour palette for the clothes.
With green tie, gold collar button & white shirt, he is wearing the tricolour.
The tie was smaller in reality as was the fashion, I’ve made it larger for dramatic effect. I chose to depict the suit more chunky than it was too, to give the appearance of thick Donegal tweed.
The photo I worked from was taken around the time of the first Dáil, he would have been in his early twenties.
I’ve been organising through my compositional ideas in the park, they are slow to come together from sketches into paintings, there are so many elements to consider. Continue reading “Sketching in the Park”