Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Robert William Grice - Lifeboatman


Sheringham Lifeboat `Augusta' circa 1890s R.W.Grice is amongst them


 Robert William Grice

A while ago I became friends with a fellow `WetCanvas' contributor, and watercolour enthusiast `Tred', actually John Softly, who lives in Australia. John's family hail from East Anglia and he sent me some old black and white photographs of his great, great, grandfather Robert William Grice, who was a fisherman and lifeboatman at Sheringham.  Being a lifeboatman is dangerous at the best of times and in these early days it was extremely hazardous - many lost their lives attempting to save seamen in distress. John doesn't know a great deal about him other than he was born in 1851, married with three children, one of whom was Johns grandmother.



Robert William Grice -Lifeboatman - 16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gm) Not

I recently acquired  the DVD `Figurative Watercolours' by Charles Reid and although I have only viewed it fully once have already taken something from it. Always new things to learn! The portraits of the artist Fealing Lin  - wonderfully atmospheric - were also studied. When in Amsterdam this Spring my wife and I went to exhibitions at the Heritage and also the Rijksmuseum where I was able to study portraits from greats like Van Dyck and Rembrandt. One can live in hope and dream!

As usual I started with the features using a mix of Cadmium Red Light or Pale, Raw Sienna and in this instance Cobalt Blue rather than Cerulean partially mixed on the paper. This was to achieve a darker skin colour representing weather beaten features, typical of such subjects.  The dark areas are mainly Ultramarine Blue and/or Ultramarine Violet with occasionally Burnt Sienna, while the yellows are Raw Umber and Raw Sienna. The beard and moustache has  some white gouache, quite thickly applied. and slight touches of Cerulean Blue. I think that's mainly it. I used a Rosemary Series 33, size 12 for large areas and Isabey 6228/6201 Kolinskys sizes 4/6/8 for the rest.


Medal awarded to Robert W. Grice for 20 years service using the rocket life saving apparatus



Winslow Homers `The Lifeline' Oil on Canvas




10 comments:

Mick Carney said...

This one is a real belter. You're obviously at the top of your game. I like the bits of detail in your post and as a Homer fan your choice of image is good for me. He was, after all, a local in the NE for a year or two. Support your local artists, I say.

Peter Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick obviously John supplied the information and, I should have said, the painting by Homer to illustrate the rocket system.

Yvonne Harry said...

Lovely Peter, well done!

Beate said...

Face and colours are marvelous, only the hand looks a bit "too young" for me. Well done, Peter!

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Yvonne.and Beate. Yes on reflection the hand does look slightly too small perhaps. Hands are difficult for many including me.

L.W.Roth, said...

Nice rendition and interesting post Peter. You've captured the sparkle in his eyes.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Linda. The eyes seem to make or break a portrait.

Ray Maclachlan said...

Great effort Peter, you have nailed the face. I like the use of Ultramarine Violet, CR mentioned it in his latest DVD.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Ray. You may also have noticed that CR used some Cobalt Violet in the male painting on the DVD. This colour appeared in his palette at Crantock although he didn't mention it.