This week I shall be working on the portrait with Alan McGowan, the Edinburgh-based figurative artist. Alan works works in a free and expressive style. This apparently improvisatory style is actually based on a rigorous knowledge of anatomy. Such knowledge”gives the freedom” to improvise, as Alan says. Alan McGowan teaches all over the world, so I am especially fortunate that he is able to provide workshops so nearby. This week the focus is on the portrait, but he also teaches life painting and drawing and specialist anatomy workshops. Highly recommended.
I hope to build my knowledge of the human head and the face, and to learn more about the use of paint and colour. The week will be an opportunity to share time with a group of dedicated artists in a great environment near the Old Custom House of Leith Docks. The experience will complement my work based on the time with Martin Campos earlier in the year.
LATER in the week
These images show the work that I did in the Alan McGowan class We began with drawing and then moved into a single study the following day. I tried to focus on the tonal composition as suggested by Alan. In some ways I succeeded. During the second half of the week we had the same models over three days, so there was time to build up a more complete painting. I was looking at paintings by American artists such as Alex Kanevsky for inspiration, as well as taking in Alan’s practical advice and wisdom (MIX PAINT CAREFULLY FIND THE STORY USE YOUR EYES!). A very enjoyable and stimulating week and perhaps quite importantly a change in routine with new people. Thank you to everyone who was there.