Archie McDougall
BSc(Hons) MSc CEng MIET

Oil Paintings & Drawings
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I find portraits both enjoyable and challenging. Whether it is using charcoal, pastels or oils, I am always surprised at how tiny adjustments to the features can affect the overall likeness of the subject. Despite its need for accuracy, I very much enjoy the process of interpretation of a subjects image. Although I tend to work from photographs, I try to avoid the temptation of making the painting an exact copy of the photo. I prefer to do colour studies of the subject in real life first. This usually means taking some time to set up the lighting and backdrop to best effect before taking several photos. I find the colour temperature of the light source and the shadow effects on the subject are of prime importance. Once this is satisfactory, a bracketed set of photos (spread of exposures) helps reduce the loss of detail in shadows and highlights which is typical in photography.

Below are three stages in a self portrait oil painting where I wished I had at least attempted a bit of a smile :-)
Other recent portraits in pastels and charcoal....

Portrait Artist Competition
   I really enjoyed taking part in the online portrait painting competition hosted by Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year. They invited a celebrity sitter to pose for a full 4 hours while they live streamed it. The celebrity sitter was singer Will Young who tried his best to hold the pose for the event but, I must say, was a bit of a fidget. Nonetheless it was a good challenging competition. I completed the portrait using oil on panel and duly submitted it to the judges.
(yes, if I had ended in the first three awards I would definitely have mentioned it here. Never mind; maybe next time :-)