Self portraits

Oil on canvas paper – 40 x 50cm

This is the second oil painting I’ve tried since I was at school. With the encouragement of Andy Pankhurst at the Royal Drawing School it was the obvious progression to learn how to paint. I’m learning much about the new media: better colour retention and the ability of the wet paint to be reworked.

Below is a sequence of other attempts at trying to capture myself. This is difficult and raises many questions. Do I wear my glasses to be able to see what I’m doing? Do I take them off so I can see my face and eyes properly? As I concentrate my eyes freeze staring at my own reflection – can I try to hold a smile?


Self-portrait collage, ink on papers, 29.7 x 42cm

Above is the culmination of a collage series I started a few days ago. The others, with varying degrees of success, are below. They are fun to make. The manual work of cutting and glueing the coloured inked papers a pleasant methodical process. Mysteriously, they suddenly make surprises of images I’d not foreseen.

Harpist at RDS
Collage, 29.7 x 42cm
Towards Walberswick
Bas-relief collage, 42 x 29.7cm
Dunwich sea
Collage, 42 x 29.7cm

Royal Drawing School

Self portrait, ink on paper 63 x 90cm

The class continues at RDS and again this proved challenging. This time drawing with the non writing hand and swapping our work with classmates halfway through poses. It produced really interesting images – collaborative and counterpoised – particularly when using differing combinations of drawing materials, say ink with charcoal.

When there is better daylight I will photograph and post this work along with a description of the model, poses and the way we were encouraged to look and make marks on paper.

Drawing classes

Ink on paper, 63 x 90cm

I’ve just edited and cleared out most of my 2017-18 life drawing class scribbles. They made three big drawing rolls ready for recycling. The remainder drawings are posted elsewhere here.

The life drawing sessions were with Judy Purbeck at Hornsey Library and Taz and Tom at Tottenham Art Classes. Looking now for further challenges to fit in between my architectural and interior design tutoring I’ve enrolled at the Royal Drawing School (RDS) in Shoreditch, London. The course is called ‘The Unpredictability of Form: Drawing the Unexpected’ taught by Orlando and Cherry.

It is wonderful. Mind expanding.

I’ve not been so questioned before – to look differently, to let the marks do the talking, to draw on the floor, on such large expanses of paper, with a long stick attached to a messy piece of charcoal or inked sloppy brushes.