During the past few weeks of the UK lockdown, amongst delving into a new series of artworks I have spent a decent amount of time doing alla prima painting sessions and I’ve set up a few still life pieces to paint. It’s been nice to have the freedom of time to paint for the sake of painting and to learn, observe and explore different techniques and methods to my usual work.
Welcome to part III of my Sketchbook series!
This week I decided to step away from Norse/Viking themes for a moment and work on something else for the sketches and so I decided to do something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while; Master Studies.
I didn’t spend a great deal of time on these small sketches as they are just that; sketches. They are more a means of learning more about some of the great artists of history than creating rendered drawings.
Anyway, here they are –
Sketching these works of past masters has been a very enjoyable experience and it’s something I’ll definitely be continuing with in the future; there is so much information to be gleaned from studying the works of other artists and studying them.
That’s all for this week but to stay updated for future posts and events subscribe to my blog, the follow/subscribe button can be found further down the page.
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Thanks for joining and until next time, farewell!
Time for some more lore from The Leaves of Hellebore
Magic is no longer a part of the world, well at least not in the sense that it once was in years long past. There are few among Men who are considered to have some true insight into the ways of the Eldar but they are usually wanderers, strange and quiet men who spend more time alone than in the company of others and when they are they seldom say much.
There are also those who claim to have a full understanding of the arts of the Eldar, yet provide little more evidence than illusions and trickery. Alas, the great healers and inventors are long since gone and the human race has been left alone in the world; knowing little and guessing much it is no wonder that the lands are rife with wars and corruption.
Worshippers of the Eldar (Eldarites) engage in a variety of rituals to try and glean a better understanding of such things with the hope of turning what they learn to good purpose; but they forget at times that the Empire allows their religious practices to take place for reasons beyond a reverence for the Lost Race of the Eldar.
The Empire knows that there is much to be learned from the ancient ways and they are keen to turn such knowledge to their advantage and incorporate it into warfare and use it in their conquering campaign.
Gallio Lupinus – Religions and Philosophies of Mankind
This piece is related to ‘Eldar Worship‘; a previous artwork that I created for the Leaves of Hellebore that also gives an insight into the main religion of the fantasy world that I have been working on.
The enjoyment gained from working on this drawing was incredible and I definitely feel confident about moving away from graphite and using charcoal a lot more for detailed drawings; working on the toned paper is another newer aspect I have found myself drawn to like a moth to light, it lays a strong foundation for a drawing that makes the form pop from an early stage.
I’ll be back soon with some more artwork as I have a couple of oil paintings finished and ready to publish I just need to get them photographed and tweaked on Photoshop; one of them is the beginning of the main story line for the Leaves of Hellebore which I really can’t wait to get out there!
Until next time, farewell!
At the beginning of the week I took an inspiration trip to the National Gallery in London, (see the post for that and the artworks I found inspiring here!) and I was fortunate enough to see a mini exhibition whilst there – Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth. This is the first time these two works have been exhibited in the UK and this free exhibit will be open until 29th January 2017.
I had never before heard of this artist and so it was a pleasant introduction to him through his work, before jumping into the artwork let’s take a look at the man himself.
Fray Juan Bautista Maíno
Maíno was born in 1581 in a Spanish town named Pastrana which is about 80km from Madrid, where it is thought he underwent his artistic training. Like all the great artists of the age he traveled to Italy in his younger years and seemingly learned a lot about his trade in the process; he is recorded as living in Rome between 1609-10 and although it is unknown when he arrived in the city, it is known he was there by at least 1604.
Maíno returned to Spain in 1611 and continued working and receiving commissions and then at around 1616 he moved to Madrid and became master of painting to Prince Philip; who later became King Philip IV.
Maíno had a long and very successful career but in spite of that there are few of his works that are known; his paintings express the knowledge that he had of the stylistic tendencies prevalent in early 17th century Rome. His work also shows that he was inspired and influenced by artits such as Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Carracci and Reni.
Maíno died in 1649 in the College of Santo Tomas of Madrid.
These two paintings measure over three metres in height and were orignally part of a ‘retablo’ (altarpiece) for the high altar of the Dominican church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo between 1612-14.
They both sh0w the deep impression that had been left on Maíno by Caravaggio’s works which he would have seen whilst in Rome; the chiaroscuro lighting and the naturalistic approach to painting are clearly evident.
Another note of importance on these two paintings is that as well as being the greatest works created by Maíno, ‘the two adorations are also among the earliest Spanish paintings to have been executed in a Caravaggesque style’. This is also evidence of the far reaching influence of Caravaggio across Europe in the early 17th century.
My personal favourite of the two paintings is the Adoration of the Shepherds; the muted pallete works so well for the scene and although the composition is probably stronger in the Kings, in the Shepherds it works well enough to keep me captivated and engaged. I also find that the Shepherds painting shows a strong sense of humility on behalf of both the artist and the subject.
Maíno included a self portrait in the Adoration of the Kings, he is posed as a pilgrim on the left of the scene pointing towards the infant Christ. There is also an array of expensive and luxurious drapery which showcases Maíno’s knowledge and skill in the area, a lot of which was possibly influenced my his father who had been a cloth merchant.
All in all, this exhibition was well worth seeing and I’m glad that I have been introduced and made aware of another incredible artist from the past; being one that had been inspired by Caravaggio who is one of my favourites makes it even better.
Yesterday I decided to take the day out and head into London city and visit the National Gallery for some inspiration and downtime. Other than the commute (which is an absolute nightmare between rail strikes, xmas shoppers and general city hustle and bustle) it was a very worthwhile trip and extremely inspiring.
The main reason I went was to go and see the ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ exhibition currently being held there which I’ll write up in a separate post later in the week.
I’ve visited numerous galleries and museums in London and some of them several times, including the National Gallery, but this was the first time I got up close and personal to every artwork that caught my eye; I was scrutinizing every brushstroke and mark in as great detail as possible with the naked eye.
Here is a selection of some of my favourites from yesterday’s visit –
For this insight writing an examination of the concept of the muse has been an interesting task to undertake; I have trawled through a range of dusty old tomes and consulted the Delphi Oracle, as well as using the modern technology lying at my fingertips in order to gather enough information and research to meditate on thoroughly and to write a post about.
The main reason for my investigation of the muse is to better understand the history of the idea, in order to better understand my own personal interpretation of my muse. This undertaking will provide some scope on the subject but I don’t intend to write an entire book about it, so it may be brief in parts.
To begin this short pilgrimage through the philosophy and ideology behind the muse, it’s probably best to start at the beginning, or the beginning of the concept of muses anyway.
This is a repost of an essay I wrote in 2014 whilst at college.
On Friday 5th September, I visited ‘The Human Factor‘ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, in Southbank, London. I’m going to be writing a full post on the exhibition overall, but for now I’m going to focus on one piece that was there; Him, by Maurizio Cattelan; which in my opinion was the most powerful of all the artworks on exhibit.
Spoiler Alert: This post shows the artwork from the front, as well as the back which is how you would initially see it.
I decided it was time to upload some more recent artwork of mine so with that in mind here is a concept that I’ve been working on lately; it has currently culminated in an ink drawing which will be a preliminary piece for a future painting.
As is customary for me nowadays, it all started with a gathering of reference pictures and that led to some initial sketches and studies.
This is a painting that I done in watercolour in March, I created this using a photograph that I previously took, as a reference to work from.
The original statue is to be found on the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele bridge in Rome, leading one into the Vatican city, I’ve tried researching who designed the sculpture and who made it but without many results¹. The bridge itself was constructed to the designs of Ennio de Rossi.
Overall this painting is an interpretation of the battle between dark and light, good and evil, I have attempted to describe this battle in a few different ways within the piece.
To begin with is the obvious, a silhouetted angel figure, a figure that is instantly associated with light and love, is a dark black silhouette, no light emanating from the angel whatsoever, but it is illuminated by the lighter background behind it, almost as though it is being pushed forward by the light, and away from the light.
Upon further examination of the light behind the angel, it becomes evident that it is actually a storm cloud, battling it out with the much lighter and more welcoming pristine blue sky, whether the cloud is building up, ready to engulf the world of light or whether it is dissipating is open to the interpretation of the viewer.
That brings us back to the angel itself, so at first a vision of darkness, it’s now questionable whether the angel is fighting off the darkness that’s surrounding it and seemingly fighting a losing battle; being consumed by the darkness from within and becoming another fallen angel; or is the angel sacrificing itself, consuming the darkness to bring the light to the world?
¹If anyone reading this knows who the artist was that designed and sculpted these statues I am dying to know so I would be thrilled if you could enlighten me, I’m pretty certain that they’re not works of Bernini, although there’s tons of his designs dotted around the entire city; both Rome and the Vatican.
I’ve recently been piled under course work for my Art course that I’m studying at the moment and therefore have had trouble finding the time to write a new post, however, a new assignment I have to work on for my Academic Skills is a compare and contrast of two pieces of art. I’m going to write an analysis on each piece before I attempt to compare and contrast them so those will be posted onto here, followed by the final written piece that I do.
The works I have chosen for this assignment are both depictions of David and Goliath, and painted in the same medium, but 407 years apart, so it should be an interesting subject to approach.
I’m a big fan of Caravaggio’s work and his life in general, Normanno is new to me though, I only discovered him by accident and since looking for artworks for this essay. I can already feel that this is going to be an interesting process and I’m looking forward to picking these artworks apart to find out which artist is David and which is Goliath.