I enjoy painting both still-life and the figure and have recently started painting horses during this lockdown (they have become my new figure/portrait subject). No matter what my subject, I endeavour to achieve a good drawing followed by capturing the way that light and shadow fall over a face or figure to convey form. With still-life, I like the way light can convey mood and can transform everyday objects from the mundane to the beautiful.
This can depend on how I feel at the time. Sometimes I just want to get going with little preparation. At other times, I do a lot more planning and preparatory work. I might start with compositional studies/notans moving on to a detailed drawing. Sometimes, I do small poster studies to decide on the colour and value range to convey a mood. Although this sounds lengthy, it can ultimately save me a great deal of time on the finished piece.
I graduated from Norwich School of Art in1980. I started working as a portrait painter 25 years ago working in both oil paint and pastels. The painting of still-life enabled me to move away from solely commissioned work and get gallery representation. I am well known locally as a tutor and demonstrator. I have always been keen to improve my skills and have attended many workshops during my career including Daniel Greene, Nelson Shanks, Robert Liberace and Sally Strand who have all been a great source of inspiration. I have also been fortunate to have taught and mentored by Gareth Hawker, a British Portrait painter.Liz Balkwill graduated from Norwich School of Art in 1980. She has been working as a professional portrait painter for the past 15 years and has been gaining a steady reputation for her still-life paintings in both oils and pastel.
Liz has painted a number of notable portrait commissions and has exhibited at the Mall Galleries with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, ROI, SWA and the Pastel Society.
The Pastel Society.
Institute of East Anglia Artists (Full member since 2014)
Guild of Norwich Painters (Full member since 2013)
Armed Forces Art Society (Full member since 2010)
• The President's Prize, Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle, 2009
• The SCS Prize for best small work, Armed Forces Art Society (AFAS), 2009
• St Cuthberts Mill Award, AFAS, 2010
• Highly commended SAA Artist of the Year, 2011
• Herring Easel Prize, ROI, 2013
• Unison Award, Pastel Society, 2013
• Society Prize for Painting, AFAS, 2013
• Pan Pastel Prize, Pastel Society 2015
• W & N award for non-member ROI 2016
• Buzzacott Award, Pastel society 2019
• Best in Show Award, Institute of East Anglian Artists, 2019.
Liz’s work is currently being exhibited in the following galleries:
Mandell’s Gallery (Norwich, Norfolk)
Westcliffe Gallery (Sheringham, Norfolk)
Vilas Fine Art, Letchworth
Thompson’s Gallery, Aldeburgh.
She is a regular contributor at the Mall Galleries with the ROI and the Pastel Society, and has shown with SWA and the Royal Society of Portrait Painter
Liz has written and contributed to features in the Artist’s and Illustrators Magazine