Monday, October 25, 2010

My second painting

As you'll know if you read my recent post in which I declared that anyone can do art, I have been teaching myself to paint. I've always been an okay penciller and I can slap some ink and gouache around but the skill of painting always eluded me. Back when I was doing A Level art at school in the late 1970s, you had to be able to paint to get a good grade. And that meant oils. I just couldn't get to grips with them at all. As Roger Dean commented in his contemporary and groundbreaking art book Views, painting with oils is like 'floundering around in a swamp. It's like painting with mud'. That was my experience certainly and, even though my brilliant art teachers tried their best, I had neither the patience nor the skill to master them. I got a C grade. It was all a bit dispiriting.

And so, for the next 30 years, I stuck to inks and watercolours and gouache. Every piece of artwork had a comic book panel look with stark black outlines. and then along came computers and I started creating art in a whole new medium. In time, I started to work as a professional illustrator and suddenly, art was something I was doing for other people rather than for my own pleasure. It was then that I decided to teach myself to paint as a leisure activity. It's been a struggle with a lot failures along the way (see this from 2007 and this from 2008). In 2008, I had a go at painting a cat in a chef's hat. Hugely influenced by the naive style of people like Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura, I turned this out:

It was horrible (see the whole story here) so I left it at that. But then I decided to have another go at painting this year. I adopted acrylics as my weapons of choice, dropped all attempts to emulate other artists and just let it all flow out of the brush naturally. First attempt was the 'Norf and Sahf' painting (here) but it was still all black outlines and nothing more than a fancy cartoon panel. So I bit the bullet, wheeled out the crappy old chef cat picture and decided to give it another crack. And here's the finished result:

I'm starting to feel happier with paint now. I can see a style developing after just two paintings. I now have a few more on the go and, who knows, a few more canvasses and I may even dare to say that I'm developing into a painter.


Cherie Reich said...

I don't know why you got a C. I think you have talent. I particularly like the last cat chef painting. It's awesome! It looks like something I would buy for a kitchen painting, if I had a kitchen of my own.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Thanks Cherie! x