A Handful of Love is the penultimate artwork in my series of six studies of old hands. To share with you something of the process of creating this artwork, I have compiled this montage of six stages from the initial blocking in to the finished portrait. As with all of the ‘A Handful of …’ pictures, this is a pastel painting on Pastelmat paper.
As someone who feels strongly about the great gifts that come from intergenerational relationships, A Handful of Love feels like a universally recognisable representation of that bond, and the connection we can foster.
I appreciate that it isn’t so easy to see the details and how they change in this montage. If you use social media, you can see larger images of these six stages that I have shared on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.
Once the full series of hands studies has been completed, I will make available limited edition prints and greetings cards of A Handful of Love, A Handful of Faith, A Handful of Lotus Seeds, A Handful of Salt, A Handful of Chillies and the final work in the series, the yet to be finished A Handful of Coffee.
Thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his amazing image.
Here is the beginning of the fifth and the penultimate study in this series of hands portraits, A Handful of Love. As with it’s predecessors, this artwork is in pastel on Pastelmat.
The tremendous bond that grandparents and grandchildren can have is well known, there is something special in that reaching across the generations. A Handful of Love captures this for me; the love that can exist between two people in very different stages of their lives, and the joy and comfort that each gives to the other.
It also reminds me of similarity before difference. It is all too easy to be focussed on what differentiates up from those around us, but if we choose to look we will find far more that unites than ever separates.
What you see here is the artwork after hours (I don’t know how many, I prefer not to count) of blocking in. This is a process where I mark out the main shapes with an emphasis on the larger forms and the most pronounced highlights and shadows. I have begun to blend the colours on the child’s arm, this skin being so smooth will be easier to capture on the page than much of the rest of the picture so I am starting there as a warm-up exercise of sorts.
The first four pastel paintings in this series are A Handful of Chillies, A Handful of Salt, A Handful of Lotus Seeds and A Handful of Faith.
Many thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his inspiring reference images.