This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Sunrise

This is the third in this short series of paintings of the same location in different lighting conditions, season etc. As the first two were cold in colour I thought that I would paint this one in warmer ones in this case a sunrise in the Winter. All these paintings are basically Tonalist in palette with this one based on a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary using relatively desaturated mixes of Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White with some Permanent Sap Green later on - all Michael Harding colours.
I now want to paint the last one in the Summer and have just got back from a generally frustrating trip to West London to photograph the island in Summer foliage. I managed to get the photo's but achieved little else otherwise!
I have been trying to apply the mantras stuck to my easel from trying things out earlier in the year, "Lose Edges, Join Shapes!" and "It's the Painting not the Place" (see posts on this earlier in the year on this blog). Indeed I have to start writing very soon an article for the Artists & Illustrators magazine on this very subject...
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in a previous post on this blog.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Sunrise - stages 1,2 & 3

Stage 1
I have now moved on to the next one in this short series of paintings of the same location in different lighting conditions, time of day and season. The first two have been cold in colour so I thought I would paint one in warmer ones, in this case sunrise. It's based around a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary.
Please go to earlier posts for information on the location in West London.
The first stage, the Tonal Underpainting was painted first with a small bristle brush and then with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
I added colour in the second stage using mixes of Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White - all Michael Harding paints.
The third stage used the above colours plus the addition of Permanent Sap Green with which I roughed in the Island and water etc.
Stage 2

Stage 3

Oliver's Island Winter Storm

Before getting on with "Dawn Of The Hamadryad" (and as a change from more branches and twigs) I am going to paint a series of probably four pictures of the same location under different lighting conditions, weather and time of day. I have chosen Oliver's Island on the Thames at Strand On The Green in West London and have already painted the first a few months ago, now retitled Oliver's Island Late Dusk". The Island or Ait as they are known in this area was supposedly where Oliver Cromwell stayed for a while during The Civil War but probably a myth, the London Underground bridge to Kew and Richmond can be seen at the left of the island. I have chosen a London location with one eye on entering them in the Royal Institute of Oil Painters juried show at the Mall Galleries, this year's theme being "London" - I have been accepted a number of times previously.
I'm fairly happy with it but think it's a bit too photographic for my intentions and will try and make the next one look a bit more "painterly".
Based on a blue/orange complementary I have tried to keep it relatively desaturated and cold looking in keeping with the season.
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Storm - stages 2 & 3

Morning Session
Managed to paint most of the sky this morning and the rest this afternoon. It's based on a blue/orange complementary and was painted with mixes of Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Orange, Zinc White, Warm White and Naples Yellow - all Michael Harding paints.
I blocked in a thin mix of Prussian Blue and Permanent Orange over the land and water in readiness for tomorrow's session. The lightest part of the picture will be the large white cloud directly above the boat and jetty, roughly composed using the Rule Of Thirds for placement. The overall colour of the painting is to be kept cold and relatively desaturated.

Stage 3

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Storm - stage 1

Before getting on with "Dawn Of The Hamadryad" I fancy getting away from twigs and branches for a while and will be painting a short series of the same location under different lighting conditions and weather. I have chosen Oliver's Island on the River Thames of which I have already painted the first a few months ago and have retitled it to "Oliver's Island Late Dusk". I have chosen a London location (it's an island or Ait near Strand On The Green in West London) with one eye on the upcoming Royal Institute Of Oil Painters juried exhibition at the Mall Galleries for which I will enter these if they work out OK. The theme of the show is "London".
This first tonal underpainting stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium so that it would be dry for the afternoon session when I put in the tones with a rag and flat brush using the same paint mix but without the Lukas Number 5 Medium.

Oliver's Island Late Dusk

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Winter Hedgerow

Well most paintings work out some don't, you have to take it on the chin and move on. The idea for "Winter Hedgerow" arrived out of the blue and I felt duty-bound to paint it. It's a follow-on from the recent small tree paintings which are studies for a larger upcoming one called "Dawn of The Hamadryad". This one was meant to be a low key piece kind of showing the complexity of Nature in an ordinary hedgerow, which it is.....but it lacks the lightness of touch that I was hoping for from using a way of painting that involved erasing highlights with a brush dipped in clean turpentine. Luckily I have only spent a few days on it and I must admit that I have learned something from doing it so all is not lost. 
Before going on to the larger painting I fancy doing a few looser, more expressive ones to have a break from the finicky brushwork of these recent tree pieces...and to put into practice those mantras that are stuck to my easel - "Lose Edges, Join Shapes!" and "It's The Painting Not The Place".
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Winter Hedgerow - stages 2 & 3

Stage 3
Stage 2 was rubbing with a rag a thin glaze of Permanent Sap Green mixed with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium over all the painting and then taking out some highlights with a small bristle brush dipped in clean turpentine. As I had used Lukas Number 5 I was hoping that it would then dry for the afternoon's session, it did.
Stage 3 was basically working in transparent colour (Permanent Sap Green, Alizarin Crimson and Permanent Orange) to emphasise shadows and start to give things some more form. It's meant to be subtle and low key and I'm not sure yet if it's working but even if it's a failure I will have learnt something without spending too much time on it. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.

Stage 2