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Plein-aire portability: a quick tip

If you have tried your hand at landscape painting, you may have found, as I did, that taking your wet paintings home at the end of the day without damaging them can be quite a challenge. It is very disappointing to find your carefully painted passages marked and smeared all over the rest of your… Read more »

Velasquez at the Grand Palais, Paris

Velázquez exhibition at the Grand Palais from Wednesday 25 March 2015 to Monday 13 July 2015 I have been entranced by the work of Velasquez since I first saw his portrait of Phillip IV in brown and silver in the National Gallery in London. It was one of those moments. Even many years later I… Read more »

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Paris en plein-air

Recently I’ve made a few excursions painting in Paris. Although it’s been steep learning curve in both painting and logistics, I’ve concluded that it is a painter’s paradise; balmy weather, beautiful subjects, well-shaded streets, squares and gardens as well as plenty of public toilets. In case you’re planning something similar, whether you are or in… Read more »

Portraits of the Golden Age

This exhibition, ‘Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age’ is on until the end of 2016 at The Hermitage in Amsterdam. It’s a collaboration between The Hermitage, The Rijks Museum and Amsterdam Museum.

What struck me most was how it connected 17th century Holland to the present day Amsterdam, not just in terms of historical fact but in emotional resonance.

Last Year’s Louvre

These are my drawings from last year’s Studio Escalier classes at the Louvre. If you’d like a quick flick through you can also look at the video of this sketchbook. Noticing a Narrative I noticed as I was drawing these sculptures that they each have a particular set of emotional resonances; some are immediately apparent from… Read more »

Poster Processes

This is a collection of studies from my last few painting classes with Studio Escalier. They are mostly unfinished but for the purposes of reflection and analysis that’s useful, as it allows me to notice particular sticking points and identify where I am consistently making errors. Colour poster studies I found the colour poster study to be an endlessly fascinating and… Read more »

After LARA: a year later

I found this in my drafts folder, long overdue for posting now but somehow appropriate to the present, reflecting on my time at LARA: Stop Motion It felt really strange to go back to the real world, like I have somehow returned to my life from a brief sojourn in another world. In some ways… Read more »

Drawings from the sculptures in the Louvre

A video of my sketchbook from drawing in the Louvre this winter. Many of these drawings were done during Studio Escalier’s Winter at the Louvre programme: Louvre Sculpture Drawings from Helen Frost on Vimeo. This makes for an interesting comparison with my Paris drawings from the previous trip and I’ll be posting more of the drawings from this trip as… Read more »

City of Light: Indelible drawing

City of light: I’m in Paris at the moment. It’s wonderful. Sometimes I walk around, smiling at each increment of wonder. I wish there were a better way to burn all this to my memory. I try to take pictures when I see something amazing. I probably have thousands, yet even more that I didn’t manage… Read more »

  • A little more Lawrence

    Mastercopy of Thomas Lawrence’s William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melborne. Previous palette I use a similar limited palette as on my previous Lawrence copy: Titanium white Naples yellow Yellow Ochre English Red Transparent Red Oxide Burnt Sienna Raw Umber Ivory black This palette is also similar to the one Lawrence recommended to his students. There is more… Read more »

  • The Louvre: Florent Igla’s Path of Beauty

    A lovely short film of a truly incredible place. This will improve your day. Path of Beauty   with Thanks to Laura, for sharing this on Facebook.

  • Why make master copies?

    Or….. If you want to learn to paint, copy a painting….not a photograph. Let’s face it; learning to paint can be hard going. We all know that practice is crucial but what is the best way to practice? Master copies are a traditional method of practising but what is so special about them? I’ve recently been working… Read more »

  • All day drawing….come draw with me

    As many of you know I’ve been missing long pose life drawing, so I’ve decided to organise some; here are the details: We will be drawing in north light and there will be one elegant, classically inspired pose all day. We will be drawing in a calm and professional atmosphere with an experienced model. Breaks are… Read more »

  • A little bit of Lawrence: master-copy madness

    Master-copy madness: I’ve been attempting a master copy of Sarah Trimmer, after Lawrence: It does look very much better when it’s not next to the Lawrence but that does rather defeat the object of the exercise. The original of this is in the National Portrait Gallery but it’s hung so high it’s hard to see. I’m working… Read more »

  • The Power of Art

    The Power of Art is a fascinating series of programmes presented by Simon Schama. He presents each painter in the context of his time, here are a couple of my favourites, via Youtube:   Jaques-Louis David and his masterpiece “La morte de Marat” The Power of Art – Caravaggio (complete episode) The Power of… Read more »

  • Long lost poses, or rather, lost; long poses…I miss them!

    I haven’t posted drawings for ages, partly because it’s been impossible to set up longer poses, which I desperately miss, along with the beauty, consistency and subtlety north light. Shorter poses don’t offer the same opportunity to correct errors and seek out the best gesture and although they are a different discipline in themselves; I… Read more »

  • Colour Charts: Red + Blue = Green

    Why make colour charts? There are several compelling reasons why I wanted to make my own colour charts. It all boils down to what I knew I would learn in the process: Learning to mix different colours. This sounds simple but it was one of the things I found most difficult when first starting to… Read more »

  • Simplifying the skeleton

      Simplifying the skeleton The skeleton can be an intimidating thing to approach, not for it’s halloween persona or supernatural qualities but simply because of its complexity. Not just in form with its processes and tuberosities but also in language with its profusion of latin names and terms. Once I started to become familiar with… Read more »

  • Jenny Saville; a missing link at Modern Art Oxford and the Ashmolean

    Jenny Saville, British painting’s heir(ess) apparent is exhibiting now (and until September 2012) at Modern Art Oxford and the Ashmolean in Oxford. Jenny Saville Drawings on You Tube. I’ve followed Jenny Saville’s work for a while now; I think most artists that I know have a copy of that big white monograph. Even so, I… Read more »

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