Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Home from the Front"

Sorting through my shelves of old work can turn up some surprises.
I did this piece as a sample just after I left art college in Brighton.

I think that this piece, in it's controlled use of colour, and in the watercolour/bodycolour technique prefigures the illustration style I would adopt ten years later when I illustrated The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
I like the fact that the narrative is not too explicit.
The whole feel of the picture comes from the model's pose and the rendering of the cap and greatcoat. It reminds me how much I was looking at the work of Norman Rockwell at that time.
The model was Chris Riddell, a fellow student of mine at Brighton.
Chris was always an amazingly talented draughtsman, and he has had a very successful career as both a political cartoonist, and a creator of children's books.


ted said...

Beautiful piece! I love your watercolour work. It's so rich and textural.

Didi said...

Beautiful work...

Susan said...

Love it, especially the light, and how it's caught on the figure. Mostly I love the subject: portraits of war veterans are wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.

My grandmother sent four sons to the Second World War and prayed every day for their safety. They survived the war but before they returned their younger brother had died at home. The rest lived long enough for me to remember and love them anyhow. True story. I think you painted it.

I'm printing it anyhow (hope you don't mind?), to put with my photos of my uncles goofing on motorcycles in Germany, 1943, and their letters home.

Thanks for sharing this one!

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Ted, Didi and Susan
Many thanks for those kind comments.
Much appreciated.
What a sad story Susan.
It sounds like your family history could inspire a whole series of novels.
I'm delighted you like the picture enough to print it out.
All the best

Susan said...

This one's still with me; I've thought of it often since that comment. Finally got around to posting the story, here.