December 2013 archive

Dec 31

Research: Accuracy of representation of the human figure

Is there any tension between art based on the classical ideal and art pursuing anatomical accuracy? Some thoughts: Art based on the classical ideal is based not just on individuals or anatomical renditions but also on the proportions and balances between them. portrayals can be anatomically accurate but are they as aesthetically pleasing as those …

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Dec 27

Exercise: Commission a portrait

I found this exercise a bit tricky initially. Eventually I thought it would be a good idea to commission a portrait of my wife. I wasn’t too sure how to approach it at first, so I looked at a number of fairly recent portraits from the NPG website. This gave me some ideas of the …

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Dec 27

Annotate a self-portrait

When visiting the “Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia” exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts I saw a painting by Maggie Hambling called ‘Drawing the Sea – Self-Portrait’. I thought that it would be an ideal subject for this exercise. It is certainly very different from many self-portraits that I could have chosen. I’m …

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Dec 27

Research: Self-portraits

This was a good exercise that taught me a lot about self-portraits. I had seen them before, obviously, but I hadn’t realised how widespread they were, nor had I ever considered why an artist would paint a self-portrait. Two really useful books I read were Self Portraits by Liz Rideal and A Face to the …

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Dec 27

Analyse a Formal Portrait

To select a painting for this exercise I visited the National Portrait Gallery. I had already researched a number of options as part of the previous exercise. I chose the portrait of Sir John Tavener to analyse as it immediately struck me when I saw it in the gallery. Therte seemed so many points to …

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Dec 20

Visit a portrait gallery

For this exercise I went to the National Portrait Gallery in London. I think that this may have been the first time I had visited the NPG as previously if I had visited a gallery it would probably have been to the National Gallery next door. I was pleased that I made the trip. It …

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Dec 20

Annotate a portrait

I went to Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery to look for a suitable painting which I could annotate for this exercise. I came across this work by Peter Tillemans, an artist I had not heard of before, so in just doing this exercise I have already broadened my artistic knowledge and added to the …

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Dec 20

Research Point: Portrait Sculpture

I used a couple of examples of portrait sculpture for this exercise; the sculpture of Sir Thomas Browne in Norwich City Centre and of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras Station, London. I visited both sites to study the sculptures and learnt quite a lot from it. Prior to this course if I looked at …

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Dec 19

Exercise: Looking at cartoons

This was quite an interesting exercise that took me in  a direction I hadn’t anticipated at the beginning – starting with Steve Bell and ending with Roy Lichtenstein. I began by assembling the cartoons outlined in the course guide, including several by Steve Bell, and started the exercise. As I was in London one day …

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