I’ve chosen Mark Cavendish as my subject for a watercolour exercise. I copied from a great photograph of him crossing the line at the front of the peloton (where else!). I like the energy, movement  and confusion. There are three versions here. The first was before I’d finished, and I took the picture at that stage in case I went on to muck it up. The second one is the finished painting, but something happened when I scanned it to increase the contrast – I like it anyway. And the third is the final version.

cav 01cav 02


cav 03

project 5 - Manet / Conrad

Conrad – oil sketches

My portrait of Conrad (previous post) was a bit precious, so to loosen up I’ve done four sketches, in oil, each taking about one hour to do.

Each one has some strengths and weaknesses, but I think I’ve benefitted from this exercise by gaining some confidence in mixing colours and working with the paint.

project 5 - Manet / Conrad

Conrad – portrait 1

Conrad, oil painting
Conrad, oil painting

I’ve tried to apply what I learnt from the Manet studies (see previous post) in a portrait of Conrad. I struggled with this painting. First I didn’t capture a true likeness from the outset. Conrad sat for me, but I  had to resort to taking a photo to copy from. Then I went back to painting from life to get a reality check and finish the picture off. Along the way I compared monochrome photos of a draft and a photo to see how the tonal values compared.

I’m pleased with the finished painting, but I lost the plot a far as learning from Manet is concerned. My application of paint is not done with flourish or confidence or assurance. It is tentative. I will have another go and this time give myself a time limit – this might force me to be more bold in the handing of the paint. These are pictures of work in progress: