Tag Archives: Manet

Manet triptych 

I’ve completed my triptych based on the Folie Berge Bar, but what to do with it. The three panels lend themselves to being displayed together, but how? Sticking the arms at each side seems logical… 

But swapping the outer panels makes, I feel, a better composition… 

The eye travels better, from the flowers, across to the oranges, then down to the loose orange and across to the bottle. I also like the way that the three secondary colours, green, orange and purple are so prominent. That wasn’t planned, it just emerged. 

It would also be interesting to display them as a free standing item. But where? 


More Manet

I need to start looking at another artist, but it is true that if you try to carefully copy another artist’s work, you really start to see things you couldn’t notice before. These four small portraits will do for now.


The one of Berthe Morisot (top right) is by far the best. Also the quickest, taking less than an hour and no reworking at all. The soldier was very hard, and I still can’t figure out what is wrong with him. I have repainted the bar maid’s face completely, but she is still awkward. Olympia looks a little harsh. I have reworked her face two or three times and it is OK. Interestingly, my phone camera recognises Olympia and Berthe as faces, but not the other two. Not sure what a mark of quality that is.

Learning from Manet

I have always admired Manet’s paintings, although he did produce some rubbish. Everyone’s entitled to a bad day now and then. I need to improve my portraiture, so copying some of Manet’s is a good place to start. I learn more this way than I ever do from books.

First go is with the bar maid in the Folie Berge, which I have seen in London several times over the years. Sad looking girl. First stage is a rough charcoal sketch, which is then blocked in with thin acrylic.


Then it was a question of really trying to copy the colours and shapes as closely as possible.


I’m quite pleased, although I have got her whole head a bit elongated and she looks like she has been dribbling grape juice down her chin.

The whole picture would be more of a challenge…