Welcome to my first blog!

First off a brief introduction to what you’ll likely find here in the future… I’d like use this blog to share some of my thoughts & ideas on contemporary painting practice. I’d also like to share ideas I’m developing in my own practice as an artist & portrait painter, mostly from a practical point of view. I hope this blog will develop into something useful for readers with an interest in contemporary figurative art practice.

I’m nearing the end of a portrait commission. As with most of my work, I like to feel that I’m pushing the boundaries in some way, and learning something new that will help me get a little bit better for the next time. Sometimes(quite often) these personal discoveries are very simple alterations to my artistic practice, but have much wider implications to the work I’m able to produce.

Yesterday I made one of these changes. I made a large palette from a sheet of glass(something I’ve seen many artists use, but have not until now tried it for myself).

The surface is fantastic for mixing on, its easily cleaned(without using spirits), and placing a warm grey mid toned paper underneath gives an excellent neutral colour to judge mixes against. The feel of the brushes against the glass surface is good, & helps engender a feel of sensitivity to brushwork when painting.

Glass palette mounted onto cut piece of MDF board, with toned paper underneath

Glass palette mounted onto cut piece of MDF board, with toned paper underneath

It immediately made a very significant difference to my colour mixing, I was much better able to judge the subtle shifts in colour on the new palette. compared to the previous hand held wooden palette I was used to using. Think I might find a way to paint my wooden palettes a similar neutral colour.The small change makes a big difference.

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