Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hashim Akib's demo and my self portrait!

Friday night, I met up with fellow blogger Sharon, and we went to watch professional artist Hashim Akib demonstrate how to make portraits in acrylic.

It was a fascinating night, He painted a portrait from a male model who was sitting in front of him, in under two hours!
All through the demo, Hash ( as he likes to be called) talked to us and told us some snippets from his artistic career. How he used to paint in a very realistic fashion, but was turned down flat by galleries who wanted more "gutsy" paintings.

He told us not to make a drawing - it encourages you to be logical and realistic - and then you fiddle. Look for interesting tones and shapes instead.
He told us to use flat brushes, and be bold in our strokes, so we would not fiddle.
He told us that photos flatten colour, so try to paint from life - it adds passion!

His acrylics were laid down thick - impasto.  I did wonder if I could utilise his technique in watercolour - and I determined to give it a go!

So this morning, while all else were abed and couldn't laugh at me, I attempted a self portrait. Like Hash - no drawing *eek* that bit is scary!
Here it is:

For a first attempt, I'm pretty happy with this. Yes, there are bits that could be improved - but I'm not going back in to fiddle. No, its not spot on to how I look, but its reasonable. This was done to try out the technique and see if I could use it on watercolour. I reckon I could - and even take more risks yet.


  1. Pat, that is a good effort at your self-portrait. What I like is that you painted it without drawing the portrait first. You have a very good eye.

  2. Wow! This is great! And very brave! I like impression of light in the white parts!
    Interesting info from Hashim Akib. I've used flat brushes in watercolours sometimes and it makes the strokes stronger and more powerful, I find.

  3. Thanks, Ann !
    Paul tells me it is more stern than I am. I tried to pull a stern face, but fell about laughing!

    Thanks, Judy. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind :)
    The flats do make for bolder strokes, its true! xx

  4. Hi, Pat,
    You work/ed very hard. Congrats! Not easy to paint directly. (BTW, you have a longer hair than your avater.) Hash's advice is very interesting. Regarding galleries, my friend suggested me to find a "supporter" who loves my paintings. Otherwise, for realists, a situation is very difficult.Thank you for sharing them all.

  5. Thanks, Sadami.
    Fingers crossed I shall improve the more I practice :)
    (yes, new hairstyle, I frequently change it )

    Yes, he said that too - the situation is very tough for realists. The gallery preferred "gutsy" bold strokes in a painting.

  6. Gosh Pat - Without a drawing? Wow, I am impressed! I wouldn't be brave enough to go straight in with a brush to do a portrait in watercolour, maybe acrylics because you can alter it.
    Have you ever thought of trying acrylics? You might really enjoy them :0)

  7. No fear - Sandra - no fear!
    A touch of madness maybe :lol:

    After seeing the live portrait, I am tempted to try acrylic :) Maybe one day.

  8. Great to meet up with you Pat, and what a fab demo it was! I'm totally inspired (as you know!) and I'll be giving it a go in acrylics.

  9. It was lovely meeting you - and am looking forward to seeing what you do, Sharon!

  10. Brava Pat,a great portrait!!
    Good evening!

  11. Not bad at all Pat, the proportions are perfect, and no fiddling, very well done.xx

  12. I think you did great - you set yourself a difficult challenge, but it looks really good - well done you, looking forward to seeing how this develops !

  13. Thanks Francesco, I'm happy with it.

    thanks, Jane. I got swept up when I started and it just flowed :)

    Thank you, Sandie. I'm looking forward to the journey also :)


  14. Pat your first try on portrait without a drawing is absolutely very good. Looking forward on your journey on this. I have been trying also for sometime not to make any drawing before I paint, I tried it with roses. Remember you suggested me to visit the youtube video of Trevor Waugh who painted a rose without any sketch. Thanks for that.

  15. Thanks, Cora. I'm happy for a first :)

    I do remember and I hope you found it useful xx

  16. Wow, Pat- good work! There seem to be a lot of brave artists doing self portraits lately- very tough! Seems like you enjoyed the demo and learned a lot, too!

  17. The demo was brilliant, Sheryl. I wanted to do this quickly, so I would retain something. Glad you like it :)

  18. Excellent stuff, Pat. You can't beat flat brushes for loosening up - and if you can avoid initial drawing, as you did here, then even better :)

  19. I think it's very difficult to make a self portrait and you did it very well, Pat! Congrats! I like the way you painted ligths and shadows,very well done. Have a nice week, xx

  20. Thanks, Michael . Flat brushes do indeed make you paint looser !

    Thank you Anamaria, it was difficult, you have to forget it is you or you start pulling faces :)
    I'm really happy with the lights - and most of the shadows! :) xx

  21. See, when I did my post about why you are my inspiration...this is exactly why! I know you like to draw first, but you took the plunge and did it!

    I completely have you to thank for the upcoming projects that I have planned. I am taking the plunge...and just trying it!

    Thanks xx

  22. You're so right, Tonya - I do like to draw first! But, what's the worst could happen - I waste some paper and paint. Actually, its not even a waste.. I would have learned something. As it happens, I like the result :)

    Coo, you have new stuff planned - looking forward to them :) xx

  23. Pat, anything goes for me to learn and move on.
    I loved his interpretation, the first to have fared very well.
    The technique of drawing is not a stimulus to our creativity.
    Keep it up Pat,
    I want to see others.


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