I spent a lovely sunny day in Devon yesterday watching Louise Courtnell do a painting demo of a tonal study and listening to her talking about her work and apprenticeship under Robert Lenkiewicz.
Louise spent two years as an apprentice to Robert and concentrated on the understanding of tone. It was great to see her approach to a tonal painting – not least the fact that she begins with a purely black board on which to paint. The rationale for this being that it helps to get the tones darker than when you start on a lighter board.
Louise has regularly exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and has recently completed a project called, Project Lydos, in which she has painted a series of 50 oil paintings of two generations born in the twin Cornish fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand between 1910 and 1944. It’s a great visual record of the local community and added to this exhibition is a brief personal history and a childhood photo of each individual – a sort of roadmap of where they have come from and the oil painting representing where they are at the time of the sitting. Sad to say that 14 of the sitters have died since the project began.
The name LYDOS derives from the name of a boat belonging to one of the sitters and is an acronym for Lower Your Drawers Or Swim!
Here’s some photos from the day
The demo from the day
Here’s a clip of Louise on You Tube