Can a caricaturist be a portrait artist?
THE SKY ARTS Portrait Artist of the Year competition for 2018 is on our screens at the moment, for those of us who can watch Sky. As I don’t subscribe, I heard about this competition through a friend on Facebook and immediately set about preparing to enter. The deadline is tomorrow (Monday 19th March) and I had to have a self-portrait to include in the application. The only such artworks I have ever produced in recent years have been caricatures, so this made a refreshing change for me.
This also ties in with my activities over the last couple of years of getting back into oil-painting and my idea for a series of celebrity portraits.
Along with the self-portrait we are asked to submit another portrait plus an optional third painting/artwork of our choice.
The self-portrait has received a gratifying number of positive responses from all who have seen it, although most note its comic undertones expressed through a rather vivid use of colour. I am partially colour-blind, so depend a lot on the labels on the tubes of paint and this, perhaps, leads to a slightly expressionistic approach rather than natural and photo-realistic. I don’t see everything in monochrome; it’s just that I’ll often think a shade of red is a green and I rarely distinguish purples or mauves from just plain blue.
With the self-portrait I am submitting one of the painting from a series I am planning: celebrities who died in 2016. The added angle to this is to try to see them as if through a letterbox and only view the main portions of their faces. The example here is a portrait of David Bowie – but just of his very distinctive eyes. In the optional artwork, I wanted to show some life work and have submitted a very old, but reasonable (I hope!) charcoal drawing from art school days.
Personally, I won’t be too upset if I am not selected as am just glad it has given me extra inspiration to continue painting. And it might be that the two weeks of intense pressure might not seem exactly like a holiday!