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Tag Archives | acrylic painting

Delphi Valley Ireland

Delphi Valley Ireland – a journey into my visual memory

Delphi Valley Ireland, acrylic painting by Debra Wenlock

Driving through the Delphi Valley in Connemara on route to Westport as the sun was setting recently gave me a special kind of challenge. The batteries of both camera and phone had run out of juice just when the scenery was becoming a glowing, spectacular vision of beauty – but I had to capture it somehow… Armed with only a ballpoint pen and the blank reverse pages of our rally roadbook, whilst driving along twisty roads in an open top vintage car, I drew the quickest, if wonkiest, of sketches – the best I could manage – whilst focusing on fusing the sights I was viewing into my visual memory.
I don’t have a photographic memory, so the experience and the feeling of this journey all had to be rolled up into a concentrated essence of the place and saved into my brain’s newly formatted “Delphi drive”. To be honest the lack of a camera was a blessing and gave me the freedom to just “look” – and the sketching made me look as hard, seeking to capture the pure nature of everything in front of me. I soaked it up – feasted on every moment.

This is one of the paintings – in acrylic and oil pastel – made from one of the many resulting sketches and that fused-in memory. It is a subject that I will have an ongoing creative relationship with, an evening that I will strive to capture – and a method of working that I shall seek to develop.

Buy the painting here!

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Mary, Mary – Double Downton

Mary, Mary

Had a bit of a Downton day yesterday and grabbed an old pic of the three Crawley sisters from an early series of Downton Abbey. I had in mind that I wanted to create a Fauve style portrait – Lady Mary Crawley looked just the job! I set off with my oil pastel to make a nice bold face, just using the image as a starting point… Oh yeah!
Loved painting in the loosely grand backdrop.

Slapped on some skin tones and was pleased with a passing likeness.

Then got absorbed, a little too comfy, and too precious. Couldn’t resist trying to get it just right….

Well – Mary was all scanned last night and ready to face the world first thing this morning… except when I got up this morning I thought she looked a bit too grumpy and set about turning the corners of her mouth upwards – just a bit, mind.

Well, I’ve done it now, and that wee tweek of the corners of the mouth has gone and become a whole lipstick makeover. Lady Mary is morphing into Lady Sybil (no bad thing, if you think about it) and probably influenced by the fact that I also began a painting of Lady Sybil last night at bedtime?

Now I’m doubting Downton was a good move.

Here they both are –

Lady Mary Crawley, acrylic & oil pastelLady Mary Crawley acrylic & oil pastel by Debra Wenlock

What do you think – which is more Mary?

 

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Ruth as Steam Witch

Ruth as Steam Witch

I received some lovely photos of Ruth, all bewitched for Halloween Steam, at the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s seasonal train trips with the message:

“She wants to be painted as the witch!”

That’s just what I like to see and hear – and I was most happy to oblige.

Probably the sweetest looking witch that I have come across – I have enjoyed making the portrait a little decorative and adding a few magical swirls to the hair!

Ruth as the Steam Witch by Debra Wenlock

 

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Portrait in Progress

Portrait in Progress

Today was one of those days when everything less important than painting seemed to take over…

I did mean to make my Daily Face a quick sketch, but somehow was lured by the paints. This one’s from a photo of my friend Nem, who lives in Austria, taken the last time she and her family visited Northern Ireland. I love the colourful hoody she wore that day and her expression was priceless. I hope she’ll forgive me for zooming in!

Sketched loosely with red watercolour pencil on canvas, followed by scarlet acrylic to define the outline and shadows. I try to keep the colours fairly clean and fresh to start with, working through to some subtler and more natual tones to complete the portrait. Too tired to finish this evening, I’ll restart and finish with a blast of enthusiasm in the morning.

Nem Portrait in progress by Debra Wenlock

And here’s the finished portrait!

Naomi Portrait by Debra Wenlock

 

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Amazing Face – Here’s… Grace!

Another Amazing Face!

I’m giving Grace a little guidance with her art studies at the moment and am so pleased that she agreed to pose for my daily face project.

I took the opportunity to make a couple of contrasting portraits. One in colourful acrylic, the other a soft watercolour, inspired by the soft texture & colours of Grace’s fur headband!

Amazing Grace by Debra Wenlock Grace Face, Watercolour Portrait by Debra Wenlock

 

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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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Colourful Fantasy Birds

Fantasy Birds…

Over Christmas I’m trying to keep up daily painting without slaving away at the easel, so these lovelies are what’s emerging from my playful paint brush.

They don’t originate fully formed in my imagination but rather evolve at warp-factor speed – my imagination working intuitively alongside a speedy brush.

Boxing Day Exotic Fantasy Bauble Bird by Debra WenlockSeahorse-Sail-Bird by Debra WenlockLife is a Caberet, Birdy by Debra Wenlock

If you’re interested to see more colourful bird paintings – please click here.

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“Naughty or Nice” – Festive Dog Portrait

Dog Portrait – Who’s “Naughty or Nice” this Christmas?

Daily paintings for advent – 24rd December 2013.

Here’s Pip, and this is how she likes to spend her mornings – lazing on my tartan blanket… and doesn’t she look cozy?
She is very well behaved – and yet, there is definitely something mischievous in those eyes!

We’ll soon  find out whether she’s been “nice” enough for Santa!

"Naughty or Nice" Christmas message-Debra Wenlock

This is my last post for advent 2013 – but I will continue to paint and share the animals in my life! I hope you have enjoyed the series – and I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or comments.

Merry Christmas x

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A Pair of Piggy Paintings

Piggy Paintings “Pigs in Pursuit” and “Peppermint Pig”

Daily paintings for advent – 23rd December 2013.

Ulster Folk Museum piglets follow their mother in pursuit of food – and later a little piggy looks happily satisfied after his munch.

These two paintings just seem to belong together.

Original pig paintings in acrylic on canvas, each measuring 8 x 8 inches.

View or Buy “Pigs in Pursuit” or “Peppermint Pig” at my Gallery Shop!

Pigs in persuit by Debra Wenlock

Peppermint Pig by Debra Wenlock

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Red, Red Robin Painting

“Red Red Robin”

My twenty-second daily painting for advent – 22nd December 2013.

Perched in our Laburnum tree after the flowers had fallen, this young robin added a complimentary red amongst the foliage. The friendliest fellow in the garden – and another sweet song!
Not so much a Christmas robin… with the shortest day just passed I’m already looking forward to spring and summer.

Red Red Robin Painting by Debra WenlockOriginal robin painting in acrylic on canvas, measuring 8 x 8 inches.

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