As you will have seen on the previous page, I started portraiture at the bottom of the skill pile. I think it is also fair to say that I started painting with the same skillset, but you have to start somewhere right?
Late in 2016 saw me pursue portraiture again to try and realise a dream I had when I first began painting. I only had two goals when I started painting, well when I say goals what I really mean is, two paintings that I wanted to be able to produce more than anything else.
One was of a galaxy or nebulae. I have always had a fascination with space and the enormity of the universe, so I think wanting to put it down on paper in watercolour was my brains way of dealing with the incomprehensible reality that is the universe. The second painting I really wanted to paint was a portrait of my all time hero, John Lennon!
And so it was that my adoration for this loud mouthed Liverpudlian drove me on to try and capture his likeness ( setting myself up for another round of failures). Below are my efforts from around this time with my terribly inaccurate portrait of Lennon.
As you can see I was miles away from achieving my goal of painting a credible likeness, but at the time I remember feeling very satisfied at the progress I was making. Although it was becoming ever more apparent with each failed painting, that I really needed to go back and learn what makes a face look like it does and then to try and learn how to put that learning into practice with paint.
Anatomy didn’t and still doesn’t interest me a great deal, I was finding that all the instruction books on portrait painting were insisting on teaching you the muscle groups of the face and lots of details that if I wanted to know about I would of pursued a career in medicine. Again I was becoming my own worst enemy and trying to run before I could walk (or even crawl). Can you see the pattern forming here, it is the way I seem to go about a lot of things in life, read a little about a subject, proclaim myself to be an expert in said subject and then fail miserably when I try to put said practices into operation.
So I was struck by an epiphany, no shining light or even a bolt of lightning. Just the stark realisation that, these books cant all be wrong and maybe, just maybe it was me whom was wrong in my assumptions that I knew what I was doing. So back to the drawing board (literally) I went………..