Monday, 13 October 2014


This was the title (subject) at the most recent AVA session. In reality we weren't allowed to use a brush except to mix the paints. I went without a clue of what to attempt.  It then transpired we could do an initial drawing so that changed things a little. As I carry much of my kit with me I chose a small palette knife and home-made bamboo pen. I decided to try an Indian portrait using a guide photo from the ipad. I made a quick loose pencil drawing as a preliminary.

Indian Warrior - 16" x 12" centenaire 140lb (300gsm) not

I've never tried anything like this previously (just as well do I hear!) although I've seen it done in a book by the late Zoltan Szabo. He used a palette knife to paint trees. I painted the eyes mainly with the bamboo pen but this was difficult as you cannot pick up much paint, or conversely too much. In other words control is difficult. Apart from a few small touches all the rest was done with the palette knife. I also used my fingers to spread the paint in places. As you can see it is very loose other then the main detail and one of the advantages trying this is it encourages a loose approach. I'm sure with practice I could improve on it. It certainly gives food for thought.

Paint has to be mixed generously and very liquid so you can pick it up. Sometimes you pick up too much but you can spread it about. I made no attempt to get realistic skin tones and used mainly muted colours with blues (Ultramarine Blue) and reds (Quinacridone Rose) to get darks and purples, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre and Burnt Umber are also in there together with Sap Green.


L.W.Roth, said...

Lots of character in this portrait done with palette knife and bamboo pen. Very original. Peter,

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Linda. I'm not sure I'll do it again though.