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Portrait Paintings

Oil Pastel Portrait of Martin

Oil Pastel Portrait of Martin

Our friend Martin called round to loan us some old photographs to scan for a book project and was recruited to be photographed for portrait reference images.
He obliged most graciously even stricking a pose when I suggested that I hoped to put as much fun into my project as possible.

A little more tricky to capture than a straightforward view – but I’m pleased with the outcome – and I think I have achieved a likeness!

Martin - oil pastel portrait by Debra Wenlock

When drawing on a mid-toned ground I usually start by picking out the highlights in the image – this time the hair and highlights on the brow, cheeks and nose, before investigating features and the darkest areas of shadow… Then comes the colour and finally a few refinements.

The best part is when I start to recognise the character – and hopefully I have locked a little Martin glee into this piece!

 

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Me, Me, Me – More Self Portraits

More Self Portraits…

This time a couple of “blind contour” selfies!

Created by looking at the subject and drawing without looking at the paper…
I came across this little ink sketch yesterday and remembered how much I enjoyed the unpredictability of making these drawings and decided that I’d make one to colour-in!

Blind Contour Self Portrait Sketch, Debra WenlockBlind Contour Self-Portrait by Debra Wenlock

I’ll have to own up to just a wee bit of cheating, having made a couple of non-focused glances at the page to reposition my oil pastel.

(The colour is Winsor & Newton drawing inks – a Christmas present.)

Some wonderfully Picassoesque results can be stumbled upon using this method (without the furtive glances) and it’s a great fun way to loosen up to portraiture!

Here’s a couple more –

Blind-Contour-Self-Portrait-Debra-WenlockMaroon-Me, Self Portrait Blind Contour, Debra Wenlock

I do these as a limbering or loosening up excercise… they are always of me – for my sanity and amusement. An attempt to escape my perfectionist tendencies for a while.
A fun way out of an artistic rut maybe or a way past blank page paralysis!
I’m sharing the kind of stuff you wouldn’t usually get to see – celebrating the wonky wonders of creativity.
Not all art is born perfect.

What do you think…?

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Selfie Portrait from Life

Selfie Portrait from Life – Wax Crayon and Watercolour

This self portrait sketch had a time limit… loosely though, I can’t be too hard on myself… within an hour. I think I managed it in 40, maybe 45, minutes. Sitting on a cushion on the floor in front of the mirror wasn’t the most comfortable and helped speed things up rather well!

Selfie Portrait Wax & Watercolour Debra Wenlock

Hmmm –  I hadn’t really considered before that being slightly uncomfortable motivates getting finished quickly. I do find that I paint  more swiftly and with sharper focus when I stand… and I absolutely love to paint on the floor, which invariably leads to sore back, sore knees, paint on the rug…
There’s a mini secret here that I wasn’t even looking for – if I get stuck or slow up – move, change position, get out of the comfort zone.

Working with wax crayons and watercolour is one of my favorite mediums. I sketch with the crayons, often choosing contrasting colours that burst gleefully through the fluid paint as it is applied fairly loosely over the initial drawing.

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Daily Faces for January

Daily Faces

After a month of sticking to my commitment to post a painting every day for the whole of Advent and creating a collection of paintings of animals and birds that I loved working on, I set myself another task…

In lieu of New Year’s Resolutions I decided that I would choose something that I’d like to be painting, and stick to doing that every day for at least a month, far more productive potentially than invariably short-lived resolutions.
As I’m intrigued by faces and love portraiture it’s going to be faces… Again, I don’t want to restrict myself at all and would like this project to evolve at it’s own pace. I have already put out a call for volunteers as it would be great to meet some new faces along the way.
So if you are feeling bold, I’d love to see some of your facial expressions – send me your mug-shot… inspire me!

I do know that I don’t want to get too serious or to be taking formal commissions – for this project at least – let me show you what I can do. I’d like to have some freedom for fun as well as looking for likenesses and mess about with different media.

To set the tone a little with my first couple of paintings, I threw vanity to the wind and painted myself – complete with flying hat and goggles.

Self Portrait with flying hat & goggles, acrylic painting by Debra WenlockWatercolour Self Portrait with flying hat & goggles, Debra Wenlock

 

 

 

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A Portrait in Green

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

It feels like a good day to share my recent portrait painting in oils of Catherine. Her colourful outfit in green, yellow and red, was rather obscured by the profile view – but I enjoyed painting this vibrant green and I just loved the hat.

Portrait in Green by Debra Wenlock

I began to block in the colours and shapes of architectural detail and easels to create a contrasting backdrop. Unfinished as yet, but this was the result at the end of a three hour sitting…

Portrait in Green by Debra Wenlock

Catherine is an English girl who’s made her home in Northern Ireland – just like me!

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