This was, as far as I can remember, my very first oil painting.
As part of the teaching staff during my illustration course at Falmouth School of Art there was an old boy by the name of Mike Stead. During a trip to the National Gallery, London I developed a fascination with a particular painting by Joseph Wright of Derby. I asked Mike about it and he described a technique of tonal under painting and over glazing that would have been used in the this painting. He told me that Jan Van Eyck would have used a similar technique in The Arnolfini Portrait. I got as far as completing the tonal under painting but apart from a bit of glazing on the book I took it no further.
This was the beginning of my fascination with the techniques of the Old Masters and Mike Stead was my go to man. He was very generous with his knowledge and I kept a separate journal of any information I could glean from him as it wasn’t strictly relevant to the course.
Hamlet Oil on Canvas