About the artwork
The title of John Braben’s self portrait asks the question “What Next?”. By the juxtaposition of palette, paint tubes and trumpet, the viewer is invited to consider whether Braben will carry on painting, or take a break and pick up the trumpet (which he always keeps handy), and do some practice, which he says is “much needed during the gig-free Covid-19 shutdown.”
About the sitter
This piece is a self portrait.
About the artist
John Braben is originally from UK, where he completed 4 years at art college majoring in painting and printmaking. He has been living in Brisbane since 1973.
After a career in graphic design, advertising and publishing he is now a freelance illustrator and artist as well as a jazz trumpet player. He mostly paints urban landscapes working in oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolour.
“I experimented with the composition through a series of small vignettes before settling on the final choice with a larger pencil rough drawn to scale.”
Behind the scenes
Using a shaving mirror to view my reflection for the self-portrait element of my painting meant getting in very close to the subject, resulting in a close-cropped composition, which I think makes quite a dynamic image. I experimented with the composition through a series of small vignettes before settling on the final choice with a larger pencil rough drawn to scale.
My usual practice is to work up the final image by eye, rather than use a scaled grid, drawing in the basic elements with thinned oil paint over a tinted surface, in this case plywood prepared with primer and gesso.