PAOTW – Sunday 1/11/2020

Melanie Blatt, singer/songwriter and member of the group All Saints was painted by Inge du Plessis, a PAOTY contestant in 2017 and finalist in 2020. Inge used oil on canvas, 45cm x 45cm, blocking in Melanie’s face and then refining the facial details with smaller brushes.

The two ladies built a good rapport and chatted throughout the morning. Melanie was a good sitter as she kept quite still, even when she was talking. Her lipstick proved the hero or nemesis of the viewing artists, with some loving and others not liking the bright red pop of colour. Many viewers said they were fans of All Saints so they played the album CDs in their homes whilst they painted along.

Melanie’s face was a little distorted by her computer’s camera angle, but we all managed to draw and paint along successfully.

Dot drew Melanie from the live programme on Sunday morning but felt the likeness wasn’t quite there. She tried again on Monday, working from a screenshot. Both are pencil drawings in her sketchbook, taking about an hour each. Dot says that it’s easier working from a photo but somehow it doesn’t have that fresh quality you get from working from life. Very true, Dot, you’ve hit the nail on the head with those thoughts, but both your drawings have a very good likeness.

Steve painted Melanie in watercolours on Bockingford watercolour paper. The background in Melanie’s home was a busy one with lots of household items, but Steve has used his own softly coloured, wet-in-wet background to make Melanie the focus of attention so your eyes don’t go wandering about the painting.

Juliet has drawn Melanie looking very thoughtful. She has also drawn a sitter from the PAOTY programme a couple of weeks ago. It’s Rwandan/Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa, looking boldly at the viewer. Both well drawn with the faces looking 3D on the flat page, with good use of shading.

Cynthia used the same four colours she has used the past couple of weeks and says that she is really enjoying using a limited palette, even though the colours take longer to mix. She uses a grid on her iPad to help transfer the sitter’s face on to a canvas and has bought several more canvasses for PAOTW for the next few weeks. Cynthia says time flies when you are so engrossed and it’s an ideal pastime for lockdown. Well said!

Tracy decided that she just can’t get a good enough likeness from the live sitter every week so uses a screenshot now. Melanie’s amazingly bright lipstick had to be the main focus of her picture, so Melanie herself is drawn with an HB and 2B pencil. The lipstick is Daler Rowney’s Alizarin Crimson artists watercolour paint, with a little Bright Violet added for the darker areas.

Here is Inge du Plessis’ final portrait and the painting that Melanie chose as her favourite portrait from over 1000 entered on Instagram

These are the top three paintings from the public, chosen by the judges. Also the favourite younger painters’ images and lots of entries from the wall, shown at the beginning of the programme.