My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You can’t beat an Old Master



Sandy Wilson’s score for of “The Boy Friend”, includes the following verse from “It’s Never Too Late to Fall In Love”:

The modern artists of today
May paint their picture faster,
But when it comes to skill, I say
You can’t beat an Old Master.

Actually, when it comes to speed, the Old Masters could give modern artists a run for their money, any day of the week.

Eric Hebborn, master forger and author of “Drawn to Trouble” and “False Impressions”, reveals how he divined the speed at which the Old Master draughtsmen worked.  He then practised so that he could achieve the same seemingly unerring whip of the hand.  It is that which makes true Old Masters so convincing.

This brings me back to the benefit of working from life.  There is no way that an artist can pick up speed by copying from photographs.  It is the urgency to record what one sees at a fleeting glance that develops the unerring whip of the hand.

I made today’s sketch of a Caribbean market vendor in a matter of seconds – right there, amongst the limes, sour-sops and plantains.  


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