Did you ever have a truly inspirational art teacher at school? That special someone who taught you all the foundations you still use in your work today? Someone who demystified the impossible process of getting your glorious visions onto the canvas without the agony of watching them turn them into plop?
Lucky you. I didn’t.
My art teachers were all magnificent human beings and often gifted practitioners, but not one of them ever sat me down and showed me the mechanics of sketching, or painting, beyond advice to the effect of “Don’t make such faint marks,” “Stop drawing outlines,” or “What do you mean you’re too young to drink cider?” Or maybe they did, and I just forgot. Serves them right for giving me cider.
As a result, I learned my drawing from comics and galleries and my painting from Tony Hart (little reference there for the kids, yeah). This can only carry you so far.
So after several false starts and two quick decades, in 2017 I decided to do something about it. After a trawl of the web and a realisation that I didn’t have the funds to afford a regular real world art class, I stumbled upon this excellent chap, and I can’t praise him highly enough.
Will Kemp is the art teacher I wish I’d had all those years ago. After a very intensive month following his Acrylic Portrait online course, I had all the tools I needed to mix my colours confidently, lay a decent ground colour for my canvas, apply glazes, and generally achieve something approaching the results I’d had in my head all those years. I tell you, what Will Kemp doesn’t know about the Zorn Palette isn’t worth knowing. Before my last coursework study was dry, I’d begun to subject my immediate family, my bedraggled self, several passing strangers, and my ailing cat to the rigours of my newly refined brushwork. There’s no stopping me now.
Anyway, I couldn’t in all conscience go posting my paintings up here without tipping my hat to him.