Mat Hill

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Colour painting of two harhly lit lemons, against a pale pink background.

Lemons from a lunchtime speed-paint session.

My friend visited the studio briefly, and we decided to see how far we could get!
I found the time-pressure really helpful. It forced me to stick to known techniques, and reiterated the value of an accurate block-in.
We drew the outlines, scrubbed in colours for averaged shadows / darkest lights, blended the soft edges, then added subtle bounce light in the shadows.
Other than a few missed edges, I'm not sure any more time would have produced a better result.

Colour painting of red grapefruit slices, against a textured blue background.

Grapefruit still life oil painting on textured panel, 4 hours.

As I was setting up, I noticed that the slices had a really colourful glow when back-lit.
It's an odd scene. The bright yellow skin of the fruit is effectively brown in shadow. All the strong colour is from subsurface scattering.
It found it very difficult, but looking back it came out pretty accurate!

Graphite pencil drawing of a fluffy puppy.

Isla the puppy pencil sketch, from photo.

My parents got a puppy, and she was very good at posing for cameras! It was nice to use graphite again, although rather odd drawing on a flat table / without blending stumps.

Colour painting of a sunflower, lay against a purple background.

Sunflower Still life oil painting, 5 hours.

This was my fourth attempt to paint flowers in a week! It finally came together when I chose a flower with clear details, rather than just visual noise.
I've heard it helps to literally count the petals, and to carefully capture all their angles and bends.

Charcoal nude of a seated woman.

Figure with vine charcoal, on rough paper, 4 hours.

I kept things simple this time, just using the provided vine charcoal, rubber, and tissue paper. It was nice to be less precious, and focus only on improving what I got wrong last time.
I still failed to finalise the proportions of the legs before the first break, and lost the nice gesture of my initial lines. Otherwise I learned loads about softening / hardening edges, and how to draw curly hair.

Red chalk nude of a seated woman.

Figure with sanguine, on rough paper, 4 hours.

I wanted to practice quickly grabbing proportions, then rendering the forms.
As a result, the proportions are rather strange. Her upper torso is elongated, and some of the lines of the limbs are curving incorrectly (like her left forearm).
I would like to get faster at judging proportions, and perhaps learn some anatomy to fill in the gaps.

Colour painting of an orange, above a monochrome painting of an apple and a pomegranate.

Fruit still life oil painting.

I set up a painting corner in my studio space. It lets me and a couple friends paint still life setups regularly, which will be great practice!

Charcoal line drawings of eyes.

Plate I, 1

I set up a heavy easel beside my work desk, and started working through Bargue Plate copies in charcoal. I figured they would be a good way to improve my sensitivity to proportion and value.
I don't draw them sight-size, or spend more a few hours on each, but its something I can fit in mostly every day :)

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