I have found that the relaxed process of chaos-drawing, has influenced my portrait painting. With portraits I attempt to put a likeness on to a surface, with 'chaos' I seek to extract a likeness from the chaotic surface.
With a portrait I don't exactly use a grid but I position certain features, by measurement, specifically from centre lines I have drawn. This procedure does restrict and discipline the portrait painting. It's as if I don't trust myself to put the key-features in the correct place.
With 'chaos', it is totally freehand and I don't even think about trusting my ability, in fact I don't even consider I may get it wrong because it doesn't matter. Here it becomes common to continue with the mistakes and accommodate and correct them as you go along.
I hadn't realised all this until my niece asked me to paint a portrait of her husband's mum. She was quite a fantastic woman and a good friend, who died a few months ago aged 97.
The last portrait I painted was four-years ago, before I broke away from art to nurse my late wife. It therefore made sense to draw a portrait, before attempting to paint it: to try to get back into the swing of things. Consequently, I did a freehand charcoal sketch; the direct result of doing 'chaos'.
I was quite pleased with the sketch, and this encouraged me to paint the portrait entirely freehand, which I did. (The flash of the camera has hidden the eyelashes on her right eye).
Madame Maachi was Algerian by the way, which reflects my cosmopolitan family ... we also have a Japanese, American and Australians ... not to mention English.
'Madam Maachi' Oil on Stretched Canvas
16 x 11 inches (400 x 280mm)