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 »

Latest
  • December in Paris: Living in the Louvre

    I’ve just returned from three weeks in Paris, living in the Louvre – well,  visiting daily for a few weeks. It was truly incredible. I kept catching myself walking around with an enormous grin. Vastness For those who have never visited the Louvre (do go), it is jaw dropping. Or if you may like to… Read more »

  • Apianus cast drawing video

    LARA cast drawing: Apianus from Helen Frost on Vimeo. This was one of my first cast drawings at LARA. It’s made with Nitram charcoal on Roma paper. It is composed of a series of still images. In the later stages it becomes quite tricky to follow the alterations I’m making to the drawing because I’m… Read more »

  • Sculpture Casting

    This is how my sculpture from the Lara summer sculpture course turned out after casting: It’s been cast into plaster with a stainless steel armature from a silicone mould. The casting was done by Martin Adamson of The Sculpture Studio who outlined the process to me. Pre-casting Reconstruction It was a shock to discover just… Read more »

  • Original ochre and our Artist Ancestors

    You may have read recent press coverage of the discovery in South Africa of 100,000 year old ochre based oil paint in South Africa. If you haven’t may wish to: National Geographic Article (The Original) Science Article Abstract The Art Instinct I was struck by how much we share with these early artists and just… Read more »

  • Écorché Skull at the Ruskin Art and Anatomy Summer school

    I made this écorché skull under the direction of sculptor Eleanor Crook, as part of an inspiring summer school at the Ruskin School of Art: Focussing on ‘Art and Anatomy’ the summer school included a generous amount of drawing time along with sculpture, lectures, discussions and presentations. I’ll be doing a few more posts on the… Read more »

  • What kind of Charcoal are you using?

    I am often asked, “What kind of charcoal are you using?” There are a few kinds of charcoal but their qualities are suprisingly diverse. I use all of them – for different purposes. Here is a quick run down of the different types and their key characteristics: Willow charcoal Willow charcoal is a made from… Read more »

  • Fast Figure Drawings Sketchbook 2

    This is the follow-up to my first fast figure drawings sketchbook. These two sketchbooks were made consecutively and I think the comparison shows a lot of progress in my work.

  • Fast Figure Drawings Sketchbook

    This is the first of my fast drawing sketchbooks, it shows 2-20 minute figure sketches. [2:54] The model really did stand on his head to pose! I  find that sketchbooks have a particular sense of integrity as complete items; this is one reason I’m keen to show the whole thing, warts and all. I’ve talked… Read more »

  • Summer figure sculpture

    It was fantastic sculpting this from life in LARA’s summer intensive sculpture course. The model was amazing; he managed to hold this pose, 6 hours a day for 2 weeks! Armature We started out with an armature prepared for us, which we then arranged it to suit the model’s pose. We built solid masses for… Read more »

  • Touch drawings

    Touch: different drawings

    Drawing differences Drawing short and long poses are radically different experiences: Fast drawings are all focus and immediacy. There is no time for reflection, no analysis or second guesses. They are completely now, always in the perfect moment. I feel really energised after doing fast drawings, wide awake and ready for anything. Oddly I feel… Read more »

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