A few weeks ago my daughter encouraged me to do a 100 Art Project so on the 10th March I decided to begin a 100 Portraits Challenge using gouache as a good way to practice and develop my style with this genre and medium. This had nothing to do with the Covid19 Lockdown we’ve since been subjected to! I started the challenge purely for the reasons I will tell you immediately, and I would’ve done it anyway. Nevertheless it has kept me happily occupied during this challenging time for all of us.
The reason I chose to do portraits in gouache is a) at the time I was into watching Portrait Artist of the Year 2020 -I love watching the amazing artists and what they manage to do in such a short time given them (4 hours!) and the fascinating aspect of how differently each artist translates and expresses their subject- and b) I have really been wanting to develop my skills in portraiture in order to better execute the projects I have brewing in my mind and, finally c) I recently started using gouache and want to develop my skills there too, both in the medium itself but also in colour and colour mixing.
Pictured here are all 17 portraits I have done to date and will post the subsequent portraits here on my blog as individual posts.
To date I have completed 17 portraits, some from family, some friends, some celebrities and models. I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the process. On some days I do get frustrated with myself, even feeling useless and that I can’t draw or paint! But I have come to see those days as either days I need to push through, or more frequently, as days I need to rest and take a break because the act of exercising these brain/eye and hand muscles, observing, calculating, assessing, drawing, painting, mixing colours, learning so much all at once, can be really exhausting! On such days I used to tell myself that I’m not really an artist! That whatever I have done so far was mere fluke! But not any more.So, just like in physical exercise, I have learnt to take the occasional break and come back to it refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm and what I discover is that when I come back to painting like this some little aspect of my painting has improved.
Occasionally I record Timelapse videos that you can view either on my website or on my YouTube Channel. Below is one I did of a portrait of Maria Callas, but many more can be viewed on my YT channel and website.