Thursday, December 2, 2010

Justifying My Thursdays

In my studio, the painting of Aine in my previous blog entry happens to be sitting just next to a painting of a little girl from my next book “No One But You” by Douglas Wood, which publishes next May.
The juxtaposition of the two got me thinking about the differences and similarities between my work from life (Aine), and my work derived from photo reference (the little girl).

Sometimes I fear that the amount of time I spend in the life room is a bit of an indulgence. Sure it’s good to get away from my studio and to hang out with other artists, but can I really justify spending at least one day every week away from my desk?
On the whole I feel the answer is “yes”. Not only is the life painting hugely enjoyable for me, but I think it is certainly informing and improving my illustration technique too. The comparison of these two pictures proves the point.
My brushwork in the illustration is freer, and more confident and economical than it used to be. In the past I would have had a tendency to paint every hair on the girl’s head and to very clearly delineate every fingernail.
Now I indicate the hand with the more dabby and hopefully more telling brushstrokes that time dictates I must use in the life room.
In very basic terms, I now understand a great deal more about the mixing and application of oil paint than I did when I did the Gulliver paintings four or five years ago.
The illustration is still a good deal tighter than the life painting and that’s fine, but it’s good to feel that after twenty-five years in the business, that the core training I still do may be paying off in a meaningful way.


Olivia said...

You, your work and your attitude is so inspiring. Thank you.

PJ Lynch said...

Thanks so much Olivia.

yaamas said...

I have noticed how much freer you have gotten with your brush strokes with each book you've done through the years. Life painting with certainly do that. I think that is why I love your work so much. There is a beautiful confidence in each painting and yet you continue to grow as an artist and an illustrator (I've always felt they are one in the same despite what "fine artists" might say).

You are truly a through back to the golden age of illustration and it is truly a joy to view your paintings in today's world. You and your work are an inspiration to me and many others.

By the way, is the book illustration an oil too, or watercolor?

Thank you for sharing this, PJ...your entries always brighten up my day.

Ps. that's neat! My oil painting class is on Thursdays too

PJ Lynch said...

Many thanks James, your comments are always so generous.
I like to think I am still improving, but anyway I'm still excited about each new project that comes along.
Thursdays are great aren't they....funny my session was moved to Wednesday this week. Didn't feel the same!
Best regards

yaamas said...

I'm also very excited to hear that you did another book with Douglas Wood. The book, "Grandad's Prayers of the Earth", that you created together still brings me to tears everytime I read it. ~James

Sadami said...

Dear PJ,
Your art work is always lovely...and tells me a story a lot. Thank you for sharing them. I look forward to your new book.
Kind regards, Sadami

PJ Lynch said...

Many thanks Sadami and James,
Yes, James, it's nice to have done another book with Doug. The new one isn't sad at all. It's very cheerful and life affirming.
All the best

Anonymous said...

I think the looser more organic brushwork is great for this little girl! She is little and free and moving about and the more impressionist approach, gained from the life-sessions, has emphasized this! I love it!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...and correct me if I'm wrong but it looks to me like you hark back to the fuller detail and control in the composition/lighting of her rosy cheek. I think this is great because it draws the attention up the body (through her movement) to the face, where a child is flushed from playing. ^_^ A lovely effect!

PJ Lynch said...

Thanks so much Aladine.
You are exactly right re the extra detail and attention on the little girl's face.
I'm glad you like it