Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 cm
Oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm
At the Macbeth, Shoreditch
Oil on canvas, 35.5 x 25.3 cm
I think that this picture is at last pretty much finished.
I may work on the faces a tiny bit more, but I shall leave it alone for a good while first.
Painting largely from memory whilst still trying to achieve a certain degree of realism I found very nerve wracking. Trying to work out the lighting, in particular, was especially tricky; different coloured lights coming from all sorts of different places! But for now, at least, it feels finished, and I am actually quite happy with it…
Stage two of the underpainting, or grisaille for ‘At the Macbeth, Shoreditch’. I have made some changes, but I’m still not sure that I have resolved the design of the thing yet. It is tempting to just jump in with the colour…
At the Macbeth, Shoreditch (Unfinished)
Oil on canvas, 35.5 x 25.3 cm
Almost a year ago I went to a gig at the Macbeth pub in Shoreditch where people were dressed up in the most extraordinary way. I sat at the bar and sketched one or two of them as best as I could. Now, about a year later, I have started a painting which I hope will work out okay once I come to put all the colours in, despite my only having a few quick sketches to work from.
I have also put into this picture a girl whom I sketched on another evening out. She’s the one in the stripy dress. I got chatting to her when she noticed me sketching her and we hung out a while that evening; her name was Sarah but unfortunately I never saw her again, as is so often the case in London. Perhaps one day she might notice herself in this painting when it is finished and eventually ends up on the walls of the Tate? That way I might get to see her again!
I have also sketched a figure in on the left hand side, that I shall attempt to pose for myself. I thought it would be interesting to try and put myself into a picture in this way, although it will be tricky to paint myself in profile like that…
Vacant lot, Stoke Newington
Oil on canvas, 27 x 21 cm
Welcome to Lightfoot’s Hackney Project, the working title for a new series of paintings by me, the artist Michael Lightfoot. It shall chronicle the evolution of a series of paintings of and about both the landscapes and inhabitants of Hackney, East London in 2012.
This blog is intended to be seen by anyone interested in the project, but in particular for people who have either modelled for these pictures, or may consider doing so. I have not always found it easy to find people willing to model for me in the past, and so as this particular series of pictures will require a variety of people to be depicted in them, I am hoping that by charting the development of the project on-line like this, I can allow people I have asked to consider modelling for one of these pictures to get some idea what they would be getting involved in were they to accept my offer to them to pose for me.
Hopefully, if you are one of those people I’ve asked to pose for a picture and you find the work presented here at all interesting, you will not mind becoming part of a picture yourself. So far, at this early stage of the project, I have mainly put either myself or people I know into the paintings, yet I am hoping that as the project evolves I may be able to convince people whom I have not met before whom I encounter out and about in Hackney to model for a part in one of the pictures. I have several pictures in mind that I want to create that require a number of figures to populate them, and so I am hoping I can paint a good variety of people into these pictures, wearing their own clothes and depicted as themselves within the picture.
It may therefore well be that you who are reading this are one such person whom I have approached in this regard; If so then I hope that what you see herein shall convince you to accept my offer. Generally speaking, your participation would require one or perhaps two sittings; the first need only be half an hour in length- so that I can take the photograph I shall initially work from- and then in some cases a follow up sitting of one or two hours may be required, depending on the complexity of your part in the picture, as I usually need to finish my depiction of a figure from life in order to breath some life into it. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss the matter further, and should you know anyone would may like to also take part then if I can find a part for them in a picture too I would be delighted to include them too. In this manner, with the assistance of people whom I both know and don’t know, I am hoping to create a substantial series of paintings that will form an enduring document of this part of London at this particular point in time, in such a way as only be achieved with paint on canvas.