Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte. The aims of the lesson were to paint a 3/4 portrait, use black and white against bolder colour and use contrasting shapes within the piece. Another aim of the lesson was to paint intuitively, to go with the flow and do whatever comes instinctively with the media you have to hand.
I enjoyed the practice of drawing the 3/4 portrait, getting the angles right, practicing blending some skin tones again. My style of drawing people still leans towards the illustrative but that is OK. That is clearly just my style. I wish I had made the hair a bit fuller and more fluid, more Pre-Raphaelite rather than the straggly hair I have painted. I think I found all that stark black too intimidating and tried to keep it to a minimum but I should have just gone with it and been bold. I do like the use of the white circle around the head and then the contrasting zig zag of triangles at the edge of the paper to tie the two sides of the composition together.
In terms of intuitive painting, I failed big time. The one intuitive element for me was really the colour choice. My mind is clearly on Spring as I went with shades of green and then pops of bright pink in a floral design using the dots that I enjoy doing so much. However, you can see just by looking at the finished painting that I have been far too rigid. My mark making is too crisp. This – in short – is what it looks like when a total control freak attempts to paint intuitively. I think I may well add this to the list of lessons to come back to towards the end of the year long course to see if I have progressed, in this specific case to see if I have become freer and looser. Happily this week’s lesson is all about very quick, intuitive painting which sounds like just the lesson I need.