This portrait shows the artists two daughters and their black cat. It’s an unfinished painting but I love it. The two girls epitomise the relationship between sisters beautifully. When copying from an unfinished painting it makes it easier to see what the most important elements are. In a way, a lot of the hard work of analysis has been done for you. I used colours pencils and think the scratchy quality works well for unfinished paintings. For more information: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/thomas-gainsborough-the-painters-daughters-with-a-cat
The RA Moroni exhibition was an inspiration. London has the best collection of Moroni’s work outside of Italy, he was enormously popular with the Victorians. I’ve learnt so much from looking at his work. Here is my version of his “Portrait of a Gentleman”. I return to Moroni because his work is so compelling. It also a great exercise in tonality as the flesh isn’t the brightest, lightest part of the picture. For more about this portrait the National Gallery website has details.
I love mythology and story telling. Lately, having been spending a lot of time working from History Paintings in the National Gallery, I have tried to approach my own work in a new way. The idea behind this painting comes from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. It’s quite a complicated story so I have reproduced it below: Often, as Jupiter came and went, he would stop short at the sight of Callisto, a girl from Nonacris, feeling the fire take in the very marrow of his bones… she was one of Diana’s companions…Jupiter, seeing her there weary and unprotected, said ‘Here, surely, my wife will…
A painful process of working and reworking to try to capture the nuances of this pose. The finished painting is quite thickly painted as a result. Oil on canvas, 16×20″.