I’m currently working on a side project, unrelated to my ‘icon art’ works, which is going to be a surprise piece for a friend. I’ll upload the work in progress and finished article once its completed and my friend is in possession of the piece…I don’t want to spoil the surprise!! (09/06/14)
The next piece I am going to work on is inspired by my 94 year old nan, who died suddenly last Sunday. Even though she was a ripe old age, I think we are all still in shock as a family. My nan was the head of our family, and ‘family’ is what she was all about – she loved having us all round every Saturday for dinner (cooked by my Auntie Joan for the last few years when my nan became a little too fragile and unsteady on her feet to manage it). Nothing made her happier than visits from her offspring and she is responsible for creating a very close, supportive, well-brought-up family.
In honour of my nans dedication to, and love of, her family and in keeping with the tradition of my “Icon Art”, I have chosen to paint a piece taken from “The Godfather” – in this scene, Michael (Al Pacino) is getting advice from Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), who has recently gone into retirement and has handed the reigns to his youngest son. This scene and this screen shot in particular, to me, portrays the relationship between the old and the young and the importance of that relationship. It illustrates love and respect, something which my nan had for and received from the whole family.
And to lighten the mood within the piece, there is also a part in this scene where Don Corleone shows his age and begins to repeat himself, as my nan so often did, bless her! This is a piece I will put my heart and soul in to, with great pleasure, in honour of my beloved nan…
I was going to begin this second year of painting by experimenting with colour…but i just don’t feel the time is right yet – I am still loving the black and white effect, its so much more classy/polished.
So, at the end of April I started this piece, taken from the scene in “Casino” where gangster Nicky (Joe Pesci) meets Tangiers Casino boss Sam (Robert De Niro) in the Nevada desert and yells “Get this through your head you Jew motherfucker you – you only exist out here because of ME!… Don’t ever go over my head again, you motherfucker you!” Classic scene, classic Joe Pesci.
So i finished my latest painting, “The Tactician and The Magician”, exactly a year to the the day that I started and completed my very first painting, “The Trader”, back on April 18th 2013. What a productive year!
Looking back, I am extremely happy at most of the end results and I think that first year gives me a really good platform to build on – I love the black and white effect but I think maybe i should broaden my horizons a bit now. We shall see what happens next…WATCH THIS SPACE!
After Luis Suarez scored his third hat-trick of the season in yesterday’s 6-3 win away to Cardiff, it’s time I payed homage to both him and his manager Brendan Rodgers, both of whom are responsible for the rapid improvement in Liverpool’s performances/results this season.
The reason I chose this photo is because it captures Brendan’s intense concentration and ‘focus’ that he repeatedly refers to in post match interviews – just like in those interviews, his face gives nothing away. Compare that to Luis suarez standing next to him, displaying almost child-like body language. I like its ‘father and son’ undertones, which I imagine the relationship between the two to be like. Great photo.
I’ve become slightly emphatuated with Audrey Hepburn since my last commission, so I am going to paint a portrait of her for myself next. Another, less-common picture…
(01/03/14) 25 min sketch
(01/03/14) After 1hr15
(05/03/14) After 4hr45
(06/03/14) Another 2hrs15 done tonight. Very tiresome but productive day!
(09/03/14) Just over an hour done yesterday afternoon, and another 90 mins today.
(16/03/14) 21hrs30 done and so close to completion. The hair needs more detail and a bit more touching up in the background – should be finished in the next session or two.
(20/03/14) With the last couple of strokes done this morning, “My Fair Lady” is all finished after a total of approximately 25hrs45. I am very happy with the final result, there is not much I’d change or try to improve on. And the likeness is not too far off, which is probably the most important thing. Another thing I’m happy with is the overall brightness of the piece, something which, in hindsight, I realise is severely lacking in some of my previous work (in particular the “Gatsby” painting). I think this piece is a good way to round off my first year of painting, setting a benchmark for the forthcoming 12 months.
Having been asked to do a painting of the very iconic Audrey Hepburn, I’ve selected this photograph to work from. I love her coy little smile and also the way the background is out of focus (making Audrey the centre of attention), similar to the “Gatsby” painting I recently completed. I’m really looking forward to tackling this piece as I have not painted that many women so far so it should be a challenge
(16/02/14) 1hr 15 yesterday, 1hr 15 today. 10hrs45 so far. It’s really taking it’s time this one, I’ve noticed her left eye needs lowering ever so slightly to get a really accurate likeness. Once that’s done I can focus on the rest of the piece because it’s really bugging me that the likeness is not there yet…
(25/02/14) “Audrey” completed after an hour yesterday and an hour this morning – 19.5 hours in total. I’ll be really sad to let her go. It’s been very tough to get the likeness and even though she isn’t as perfect as I would have liked, I cannot do any more to this piece without overdoing it…
(29/01/14) 20 minute sketch. My drawing is awful, almost comical!
(29/01/14) 1hr30mins so far
(30/01/14) 2hrs 45
(02/02/14) 5hrs 45
(07/02/14) 11hrs 45
(09/02/14) Ali, “The Greatest” completed, 16 hours overall
(07/01/14) An hour done this morning. Gettin a slight likeness…
(26/01/14) Came back to it tonight and got it finished. Approximately 21 hours overall. Although I think this is my best work yet (in terms of complexity with its contrasting foreground and background levels of focus), I now realise the painting is too dark overall. I need to be braver in throwing down brighter whites, and maybe not begin with such dark base colours…