100 Portraits Challenge: 1-17/100 Portraits

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.

You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more immediate updates. For more information on these portraits you can visit my website gallery.

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