Colin Brown trained at the Canterbury College of Art and has 25 years experience working on various campaigns in Advertising. He has developed techniques for working and thinking fast, and having now broken the shackles of working in London he follows his own artistic agenda. He has a particular penchant for busy cityscapes.
Colin works on canvas, using ready-primed canvas rolls in 3 standard sizes. He mainly uses 'Golden' acrylic paints which he dabs stright from tube to brush, which is mostly a Da Vinci impasto brush, which is both firm and supple.
He uses no mediums, the acrylic drying fairly quickly - although he recommends adding a little washing-up liquid for larger areas such as skies since it helps the paint glide better across the surface.
October 2018: Acylic painting of Paris by Colin Brown
Colin brought a photo of the Eiffel Tower and a prepared canvas showing the scene with perspective lines etc in place. This was on a purple background. Colin likes to work from a coloured base and allow the background to show through, giving a sense of an integrated painting.
However, in order to emphasise the general tonal values of the composition rather than the specific details [at this early stage] he prefers to work with both photo and canvas inverted. (an effect you can reproduce by turning your screen upside down for several of the pictures on this page)
Without using a palette, Colin created the silhouettes of the picture using bold gashes of paint, short and straight, quickly building up the main compositional forms.
Please excuse the variations in brightness, saturation etc of these photos. Mea culpa. [Chris]
With this approach, Colin is able to keep the work loose until the main areas are covered, so as not to lose his 'attitude'.
The in the later stages, he re-inverts the canvas [so it's right way up] and uses smaller da Vinci brushes [1/2" and fine] and adds fine straight line, edges etc, using a long ruler and/or a maulstick. The canvas would normally [outside a demo] be laid flat for this stage.
Only a bit of detail is needed and some accurate perspective lines. The eye&brain of the viewer is good at reading the general impression.
Colin usually takes a day and a half to complete a painting.
His influences are Turner, Degas and Manet.
He recommends having available a good range of blues and beiges and one tube of pink. A variety of tubes of greens is not so important as they can be mixed.
Colin describes his style as 'One-stroke-ism'. "Get the tone right", he says, "and suddenly you've got a really interesting painting".
... and the finished work