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Meet a Maker - Patrick Palmer

Meet a Maker - Patrick Palmer

Patrick Palmer got in touch with us to share his impressive and delicate figurative drawings using Conte Sanguine pencils. We spoke to Patrick to find out about his work.

How would you describe your work?

I draw and paint women, 75% realism, 25% artistic licence/impresssionism. Someone else describes it better than me: “Patrick Palmer is a modern master of figurative art. His post-romantic nudes are not only exquisitely painted, but also dreamy, delicate and suggestive.” Claudia Moscovici, Co-founder of and art critic (“Romanticism and Post-romanticism”, Lexington Books, 2007)

What inspires you?

It varies, sometimes I find inspiration from a particular picture I have seen or from a show or from a particular artist. I do photoshoots of models, normally taking around 400 photos. I play around with my favourite photos on my Mac until I find a design I like and usually a good tonal range. I try to keep the image as simple as possible. Sometimes I struggle and just start a picture and find inspiration along the way. I do art for a living so having to earn money gets me into my studio every day. If I do not find inspiration the picture does not work, I do have to abandon some.

Who is your favourite artist or maker?

Degas, Rodin and Klimt mainly. And Michael Clark who was a good friend of Francis Bacon and a past teacher of mine.

What materials do you use?

I use oil paints for my paintings and Conte Sanguine for my drawings. I trained in charcoal so apply the same techniques to my Conte drawings.

Why do you like working in Conte Sanguine pencils?

I like the fact that many old masters used them and that no-one seems to be using them anymore. The colour is wonderful. You can use the side of the pencil for rough tone and to map out the picture, gradually building it up. You can then add detail with the nib. I tend to use a stanley knife and sandpaper to get the pencil the way I want it. I use cloths and my fingers to smudge the image.

What is your favourite piece of work that you have made?

My picture of Rodin by Degas (attached) – it's my interpretation of how Degas would have painted 'The Kiss'. The canvas took months to prepare and mess up, adding texture and random tones. Then I applied the image. The key was not to fill it in, less is more etc. I think I got the balance exactly right.

What exhibition or art event have you been to recently that you think is worth shouting about and why?

I haven't been able to get out to see any recently as I've been working towards 2 shows...

Do you have any advice for artists starting out?

Make sure you have an income source from somewhere else until you are successful. Don't give up, it is very hard. Keep learning and enjoy yourself.

What tip would you give to people about one of our products? 

Buy Conte Sanguin pencils and get practising. Refer to the old masters but try to work out your own method.

Where can people see your work?

Belgravia Gallery, London Box Galleries, London (show in July, date TBC) Island Fine Arts, Isle of Wight. Show currently on: In my studio in Windsor and on my website.

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