Thursday, 22 September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn

I have a friend in England who is attracted to freak shows and who wants us all to live in a Stalinist-like, Big Brother state. I haven't had the courage to ask him if he's a member of Jeremy's Momentum nutting squad yet but I'll get around to that someday. Right now my knees are vital to me getting from A to B.

Jeremy Corbyn (click to view larger)
My friend (Pete) knows I am totally opposed to comrade Corbyn but that didn't stop him from asking me to paint his beloved Messiah. He'd seen my Keira Knightley pastel and was impressed but rather red flagged by the size of my price tag. Good, as she's not for sale! I was getting the impression this Corbyn request was a gift for someone and that he had a miserly budget which in pastel terms would have had me painting below the minimum wage. He found me a picture of the current Labour leader that he liked and I could put up/work with.

After a few emails and a telephone conversation we agreed a budget of £350. But it wouldn't be pastel as it doesn't travel well in the post. I would deliver him a Cintiq painting 42cms wide that he could frame himself in England. I finished it in three days (16 hours roughly). I'm loathe to give any space and recognition to this nutcase politician but I have to say I like the finished job (using Painter 2017 on a Cintiq) and the cheque made up for all the anguish I suffered painting him.

I now know how Ashers felt when they were asked to go against their principles and bake (or rather not bake) that well publicised  'gay' cake last year. I had thought of turning down Pete's request on purely political grounds but an unexpected window appeared in early September and having nothing better to do I thought what the hell. Now I'm just waiting for someone to ask me to do a Gerry frigging Adams painting for the long overdue day he retires! Go take a jump! Just get him a watch. Or better still a timer might be more appropriate.

Kindly warning: avoid painting men with greying beards at all cost!

The good news is some of the stylised brushes in the new Painter 2017 are just awesome. The bad news is my ten year old Cintiq is nearly on its last legs, I need to replace pen (brush) nibs as they are wearing out and my eyesight is becoming more blurred the longer I stare at a screen. Maybe time to go back down the traditional route for a few months. Or buy this updated HD 24in Cintiq

From an artistic point of view I am definitely more expressive and looser digitally than with pastels as there is a Command Z key for immediate unlimited undos. I can try things out and with so many brushes I'm encouraged to experiment for different effects. Same with colour. I went slightly overboard with Corbyn's facial features making him more red (and wearisome) than he actually was – call that a pinch of 'commie' political correctness. I used oils and acrylics and a touch of watercolour to produce the more blurred areas in his shirt and hair. Things you could never do in real life but you can get off with here thanks to layers, cut and paste and blending.

This has given me the idea that I might use these more looser painting as the basis for my pastel work where I do need to become more painterly and less illustrative if only for my own sanity. I enjoy creating both digital and traditional so maybe it's time I marry them for better or worse, till death us do part.

In closing Pete was delighted with the Corbyn painting and I as a 'bloody Red Tory' (his words) was happy his cheque didn't bounce.

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