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, 5 December 2017

Cypress Hill - stage 4

This is as far as I could get today before the light failed (I like to paint in natural daylight). After looking at it between leaving and coming back to the studio I realised that the tree was too small so I first enlarged it before moving on to the sky - I want quite a large tonal contrast between the hill and the sky so I made the edge of the hill pretty dark to make the sky look lighter.

Cypress Hill - stages 1 - 3

Stage 1
Literally Cypress Hill, a hill with cypress trees on it - I like to title a painting sometimes with a well-known phrase etc that has associations that I then ignore and don't illustrate in any way. It somehow gives the painting title an extra resonance.
This is another of my current series of simple but more experimental paintings in terms of look and technique. With this one I am trying out using some paint shapers that I use to take away the paint from the picture surface, this gives some interesting textures and shapes although these only work with transparent paints as far as I can tell. 
Stages 1 and 2 show the initial layer of transparent paint that has been roughly applied with an old bristle brush, the colours being a mix of Transparent Maroon, Burnt Umber and Alizarin Crimson thinned with Liquin and turpentine. I then used some plastic paint shapers to remove little flicks of paint to imitate the look of fallen leaves.
Stage 3 shows the final complete underpainting with the tree roughly painted in and some tone in the sky.

Stage 2

Stage 3

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Artists & Illustrators magazine

Artists & Illustrators magazine has just posted in Facebook the link to an abridged version of an article I wrote for them a while ago on how to paint an imaginary landscape which follows a step-by-step progress through "Departure of the Bash Kadin".

Saturday, 25 November 2017


After the exertions of producing a body of work to take to Illuxcon, I am now just trying a few experiments with some smaller paintings. Right back to when I was an illustrator I occasionally produced more textural paintings then in acrylic, whereby dark transparent paint is roughly painted on first and then highlights painted into it when it was dry. This worked particularly well with natural forms such as tree trunks. I have over recent years done something similar with oil paint except instead of painting in highlights I have have erased them with a small bristle brush dipped into turpentine. Whilst at Illuxcon I saw the work of Julie Bell who has been doing something similar although a lot more refined than my attempts so far and decided to have another go on a simple landscape. I chose a lonely Scots Pine with writhing roots on a hilltop against a cloudy sky, keeping it moody by lighting it quite low with no really bright areas. I am not overly happy with the results but it's a start, I'm not sure if I will continue with these or not...
Oil on board 18 1/2" x 18 1/2",
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Sentinel - stage 5

After much deliberation I decided to paint some rich dark glazes over all of the bottom half of the picture, mostly warm browns but with touches of green and blue and then picking out highlights by erasing the glaze with a small bristle brush tipped in turpentine. 
Not sure where I'm going with this but it's good to be trying something a bit different and indeed good to be back painting.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Sentinel - stage 4

This is just to show what I have been able to do in a couple of hours this morning before I have to be away from the studio, back Thursday. I washed some transparent colour over the ground and rocks to knock them back tonally before deciding how to finish it on my return to the studio.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sentinel - stages 2 & 3

Stage 2
On my return to the studio yesterday I painted in the basic shapes of the lone Scots Pine tree and darkened the sky with the previous mix of Raw Umber, Transparent Maroon, and Alizarin Crimson mixed with Liquin and turpentine.
Today I was able to paint in the sky and clouds as well as pretty much finishing the tree as far as where the roots start. I used mixes of Raw Umber, Zinc White, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna and Lemon Yellow for the sky area. At this point I decided to stop as I need to think about how I'm going to tackle the bottom part of the painting, such as how much different colour should be introduced or should I keep the whole thing moving between browns and blues for instance.

Stage 3