For advice, masterclasses or to see more of his work
phone 01395 270383
Text by Webmaster; Photgraphs by Peter Johnson
|Miles gave us a most
entertaining and instructive evening, cleverly mixing humour with serious
advice (starting by giving your Webmaster a red nose to illustrate the
proportions of the face and the effect of the Source Of Light, SOL).
He stressed the value of constantly using conventional sketchbooks (A5?) to capture not just promising scenes but also any art-related ideas you may have.
He also often sketches on large (A2?) pieces of card, getting many cameos onto one card. Sometimes he adopts a pointillist style for this sort of sketching, finding it most appropriate when there was a constant supply of subjects (as on a beach or at a convention). It seems a very slow way to sketch but fits with his normal painting style - repeated minimal applications of colour very gradually building up to the finished item.
approach continued. He likes to paint his watercolours on the white back of
mountboard ("it's cheap"), using only one size (No.4) of sable brush, only
three tubes of paint (alizarine crimson, prussian blue and cadmium yellow) and
hot (initially boiling) water.
This combination encourages the pigment to soak quickly into the support - good for multiple glazes.
|From the three small dobs
of paint on his drawing-paper pallette he first drew in a "C" for the nose in
red (alizarine's too hard to pronounce). It's a "C" because with a Source of
Light, SOL, to the right you'll get little delineation of the brightly lit
Then he started touching in faint spots and patches of colour for eyebrows, eyes, mouth, chin. Even when he applied larger areas of paint he still used only his No.4 brush and very thin, sometimes barely visible, concentrations of paint. He reckoned you can profitably use as many as 15 or 20 independent coats of glaze, wet-onto-dry (with mountboard and hot water).
Some general advice also drifted out during the demo:
|By the end of the first hour we had two almost monochrome (red) tonal paintings although the red was modified in areas of skin tone and where darks were needed for the deeper shadows.|
|After the break he went
back to his first clown. By putting more detail in he ended with a much more
As he worked he told us how to become overnight millionaires. Although he does sell his originals, most of his money seems to come from reproductions of his best work on such things as:
|Miles' approach in the
studio is to paint about 20 pictures, identify perhaps 2 possibly-saleable
ones, print off 5 greetings cards of each and take them "down the road" to see
what people think of them.
Any that do seem popular he offers for commercial reproduction.
For those who might be interested in trying to commercialise any of their own work he provided a contact list:
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