2022 in Pisticci…getting started the next portrait.

I’m sitting outside tonight trying to wake myself up a bit. Maybe being older it takes a few days to get over a week of late nights.

There is a little bit of wind blowing…….

The day started with me sitting outside drinking coffee and looking through 82 portraits in my David Hockney book. I’ve found several things in the book helpful,such as getting the drawing right before starting and a few other things. I love the colours in his portraits ,but I can’t use them in this commission. Though I am wondering about maybe doing 50 portraits of people from Pisticci as my next project. And painting them how I want them to look and not as I need to for commissions. But I have 6 local scenes left to do first.

After writing the 70th part of ” Not the war diary” I needed to print some photos of the subject for my portrait to help with the drawing.

After printing one lot, replacing the ink and printing another set I realised that I was printing on the wrong side of the paper

This is my diary showing the difference when I turned the paper over. Doh!!!!!

After that I emailed the best photo from my phone to my tablet which I use to paint from as it’s more lifelike than a photo and I can zoom in on details.

But after 8 times when the photo wouldn’t open on my 10year old tablet, which has now been discontinued I thought that maybe it was time to buy a new one.

My old one I bought on ebay for €70 about 4 years ago . It constantly refused to do things other than emails and a children’s art app. Mostly it told me that other apps were not suitable. However as I could download the photos from Gmail it was lots better and bigger than my phone which I had been using.

It had been acting up a bit recently and I was thinking about either getting a monitor or another tablet.

It took some time until I managed to find the courage to press the buy now button on what seemed like the best option. It should arrive on Thursday.

At the same time I noticed an email saying that the small paintbrushes I’d ordered had for some reason been cancelled and I’d been given my money back.

I’m on my last good small brush , so have now ordered some others . They should also arrive on Thursday.

After that I got on with drawing the portrait from a photo. It looks fine, but it’s not the same as using the image on my tablet.

Around this time the chickpeas boiled over.

I had time to start with paint , but after spraying the pencil drawing with hairspray.(lovely smell) I thought I’d watch a video on portrait painting as a little boost.

It’s incredible that after 25 years painting portraits I still feel that I don’t know how to do it. It’s maybe like stage fright.

Usually once I get started it’s okay.

I’ve chosen my colours. Am using the Zorn palette which is just 4 colours. White, black, bright red and yellow ochre.

Normally I don’t use more than 6 colours. I need blue for the sky here and I like a bright yellow to mix with blue to make a cheerful green.

Hopefully I’ll have another early night tonight and be ready to start painting tomorrow.

For now some wine and Miss Marple sounds good.


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