Apart from whether a model is famous or not, I looked at work purely from my interest in painting techniques. This year, again, none of watercolour work was in (*winner, Del Kathryn Barton used mixed media that had watercolour). Most finalists' paintings were oil or acrylics and huge. Watercolour was out of the main stream. But I'll keep my own style.
Abbey McCulloch's actress, "Naomi Watts," became my favorite. Even though it was oil, the work displayed lots of "washes." A light touch and a cheeky body language made me smile. A simplified subject and a simple background were very appealing.
Wendy Sharp's "Anything goes (Venus Vamp – burlesque star)" fascinated me most. Bold and strong messages were amazing. It was hard to copy that work with watercolour, but I tried and unfinished it. I still want to make a subject look more sexy. Especially, the eyes were so impressive in the original work.
Archibald has famous entry conditions regarding subjects. A life model must be 1) a public figure (= "distinguished in art, letters, science or politics") or 2) a self-portrait.
(Source : "Entry conditions for the Archibald Prize 2013")
Always, big-name models capture public attension, although it's not easy for an artist to get a famous person for a model. So, a self-portrait is a good option.
Guy Morgan's self portrait caught my attention. I saw his self-portrait at Art Access Australa exhibition 2012 in Chatswood. Yes, my work, "Melancholic Beer," too, was a finalist for AAA. His "self-portrait" got in Archibald, too.
After sketching in the gallery, Sydney Sketch club members had our Archibald! We sketched opposite side members at a cafe table in NSW Art Gallery. We were blaming?!, teasing?! at each other and had a great fun. Below my friend/model and me.
Also, Archibald has "People's Choice." This is Jennifer's fantastic idea to take a photo under "People's Choice Award." Hurrah, Sydney Sketch Club! The dear friend made a wonderful portrait of me with pastels. Thank you!
Archibald exhibition always shows very different, unique and magnetic portraits, sometimes, even, provocative. The paintings teach me lots about new techniques and intriguing approaches to handle subjects. I'll try new skills and enrich myself.
Friends, Happy Painting!!