Thursday, 30 March 2017

David Hockney on "Splash"

David Hockney and Splash - a piece of fan art
Here is a portrait of Hockney emerging from a vague copy of one of his more famous paintings from his early Los Angeles period, "Splash". 
There is a large retrospective on at the Tate just now in London of Hockney's work which I should love to see but it isn't really practical or feasible at the moment (train services to London from where I live being poor, lengthy and very expensive). Feeling a bit put out about this, I painted myself a Hockney instead. I enjoyed making this painting hugely.
I learnt how much he worked at this period with flat, pure colours and found this very difficult. I think he painted "Splash" in acrylics and that would have made it a bit easier due to the super-fast drying time. I was working in oils of course and to colour-match Hockney's blue I found I had to use a Pthalo Blue. Pthalo Blue is to a painting what red dye is a to a load of white laundry. I had blue finger-nails as well as fetching strands of blue hair in my fringe. It is a fabulous colour but a pig to work with.
For the vivid peach/pink/orange Hockney used, I struggled to achieve a match. In the end, I used lavish amounts of Portrait Pink - a quite dreadful dolly-mixture pink that I don't normally use - and added some cadmium orange. In real life, these colours are quite eye-ball rotting. Love 'em.

Hockney is my hero among contemporary artists. He follows no fads, he takes no crap from anyone - he just does his own thing and always has. He can also speak fluently about his work and every word is interesting, of value and never, ever pretentious. I love the honesty of his work.