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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 »

  • Beautiful brushwork: “the mere matter of putting on paint…..”

    “The mere matter of putting on paint….. [Brush]strokes carry a message whether you will it or not. The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it. All the certainties, all the uncertainties, all the biggness of his spirit and all the littlenesses are in it.” Robert Henri Pigments and reality I… Read more »

  • Palette Systems

    When I first wanted to start painting I wondered which colours to buy. I did some research and discovered many different palette systems. That is particular sets of colours that work together. Each system seemed to come with a particular way of thinking; an approach required to make best use of that particular set of… Read more »

  • Perfectly in Proportion?

    Good proportions are critical to a convincing drawing but what precisely makes ‘good proportions’? How heroes are made There are various canons of proportion; The figure 7 1/2 heads high, as discussed in Richer’s Artistic Anatomy, is perhaps the most widely accepted modern canon. There is the heroic 8 or even 9 head figure used… Read more »

  • Studies from Spring: figure painting

    Studies from the Studio Escalier Spring figure painting class. I’ve recently returned from a 3 week intensive painting class with Studio Escalier. Last year I attended their December drawing class in Paris which was a revelation (as you can see my Louvre drawings or December in Paris posts), before the painting class I was wondering,… Read more »

  • Do you stand or sit when you draw or paint?

    Do you stand or sit when you draw or paint? I had a fascinating discussion the other day with two artist friends; these are some of our thoughts on the issue: If you usually stand, how would you feel about sitting? Why do you think it matters? Sight-size/standing back from When working in sight size… Read more »

  • Sculptures-in-the-Louvre

    Please touch the works of art: Tactile experience of sculpture

    Please touch the works of Art. Okay, so I think it actually said; ‘S’il vous plait pour touchers les ouvres,’ because it was in the Louvre. Just off the Hall of Italian Sculpture, in the Denon Wing of the Louvre is the tactile chamber: where you are allowed to touch the sculptures. I think it… Read more »

  • The Perfect Paper: A profile. Part 2 of 2

    The search for the perfect drawing paper, part 2: As an artist you are likely to take an interest the paper you’re using. If you don’t, you should. It’s important for several reasons: Ease of use Finish desired Marks required Duration of work Scale of work Longevity The first post in this series was about… Read more »

  • The Perfect Paper: A profile. Part 1 of 2

    The search for the perfect drawing paper: As an artist you are likely to take an interest the paper you’re using. If you don’t, you should. It’s important for several reasons: Ease of use Finish desired Marks required Duration of work Scale of work Longevity This post is about the importance of your choice of… Read more »

  • Drawing in museums

    I often draw in museums but whenever I go I want to make the most of my time there. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and experiences, as well as thinking through some ideas for my next few projects. Why draw in a museum? Museum drawing is a very valuable learning resource. The… Read more »

  • Pragmatic Pyramids

    In december I spent three weeks drawing in the Louvre with Studio Escalier, Paris. Three weeks seems like a really long time to draw but there were other constraints on my drawing time (other than the cultural experience that is lunch en francais): Security and Queues These can take up a surprising amount of time…. Read more »

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