Further work for 2.1 – Humbrol on metal

I wanted to continue my experiments with Humbrol by producing a series of 16 small images using at least 3 layers of paint. I printed off the general page on Facebook that comes up when you search on a name – lots of small images with people’s gravatars and I used these images as my starting point – so whatever image each Angela Johnson chose is below rather than a specific picture of them.

I decided to limit myself to using my left hand to see how this would affect the outcome.  Interestingly, because I have less control over my left hand I was unable to limit the amount of paint I used – this meant that the Humbrol was thicker than I might have chosen it to be – but this created some really beautiful bleeding and movement in the paint which I would like to try and use for future work. The first two layers were as follows:-

Humbrol1.(2) Humbrol9.1

Humbrol2.(2) Humbrol10.1

Humbrol3.(2) Humbrol11.1

Humbrol4.2 Humbrol12.1

Humbrol5.2 humbrol3.(3)

Humbrol6.2 Humbrol7.1

Humbrol7.2 Humbrol6.1

Humbrol8.2 Humbrol5.1

Humbrol9.2 Humbrol1.(1)

Humbrol10.2 Humbrol2.(1)

Humbrol11.2 Humbrol3.(1)

Humbrol12.2 Humbrol4.1

Humbrol1.32 Humbrol13.1

Humbrol14.2 Humbrol14.1

Humbrol15.2 Humbrol15.1

HUMBROL16.2 Humbrol16.1

I have since had my tutorial and on reflection this work now needs to be pulled together with a final layer using my right hand – I wonder if I will lose the naivety of some of the images.  There are lots that don’t work yet but there are some that I already feel are overworked

eg. Humbrol10.1

I think I preferred this image after the first layer – if I had simply brought out some of the shapes a little or perhaps simply added shadow then I wouldn’t have needed the detail.

What I do think works are these image:-

Humbrol2.(1) Humbrol7.1 Humbrol16.1

The first works because of the colour palette – I haven’t used black and I have stuck to using limited colours.  There is also a sense of disquiet which I was aiming for.

The second image works because of the lack of faces – my challenge for this one will be to sharpen this up without overworking.

The third image works because it feels really bleak – I like the fact that you can see it is a woman sitting, perhaps at a bar, but there are very few specific forms in the lower part of the painting.  It is of interest to me particularly because I am starting to understand how little is necessary to produce an image that the brain can relate to.

The final 16 images are as follows:-

humbrol3-16 humbrol3-15 humbrol3-14

humbrol3-13 humbrol3-12 humbrol3-11

humbrol3-10 humbrol3-8 humbrol3-9

humbrol3-7 humbrol3-5 humbrol3-6

humbrol3-4 humbrol3-3

humbrol3-2 humbrol3-1

I am actually really pleased with the end result and this is certainly a method of working that I will pursue.  By applying the first two layers with my left hand I opened my work up to the possibility of the unpredictable and random – and I was then able to incorporate that and pull it all together with my third and final layer done instead with my right.  I thought about each image and about what I wanted to capture before deciding what colour palette to work with and which areas needed to be tightened up.  Not all of these images have lent themselves to an expression of the uncanny, however, a number of them have which is a really helpful outcome for me, as it enables me to start to understand how to incorporate this into my future work.


I particularly like this image as the central male has an eerie quality about him and the two women he has his arms around verge on looking like girls and have a distorted quality about them.


I like this image as adding in detail has enabled me to tighten up areas of colour and definition, but has also enabled me to add in the important eye in the bottom right of the image – suddenly it brings in questions about that other person and what is happening to them.


I have also added this image here as a reminder of how little I need to put down for the mind to then fill in the gaps.  The clothing has no detail and the face really only has the shape of the eyebrows and eyes – the rest is left to subtle colour difference.  I also like this because of the colour showing from the underpainting around the left side of the blue jacket.  That is something I would also like to take forward and experiment with further.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. janecrathern says:

    Love reading your blog, and I’m loving your work on this project. It’s making me really excited about setting off on UPM myself. Hope I can be as inventive as you are, and find new ways of working too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane, I hope you really enjoy UPM – it’s a great course and one that really can lead you as far as you are willing to go. I really appreciate your comment, especially when things seem uphill!


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