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!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

A Secret Garden

The origins for this painting came from a photo I had taken of my parent's garden at night in the winter with a fresh fall of snow on the ground. The photo shown below had an atmosphere and lighting that I liked and from this grew an idea of an overgrown garden in the fuzzy moonlight with the moon being the only bright area in the picture, everything else being dark and desaturated. In my mind I saw the setting as a garden on a slope leading up to a ruined house on the top silhouetted against the moonlit sky. It was composed roughly around the Rule Of Thirds with the sky occupying the top third and the terrace the figure walks on as the bottom third. It was difficult to compose as apart from the moon there is no dominating feature so it relies on the central grouping of the pond, terrace and steps to hold the composition together. I roughed in these features first and then made the rest up as I went along offsetting one element against another asymmetrically for variety of shape and tone. It operates within a very limited tonal range, the colouring based around a kind of violet/brown base, cold bluish highlights from the moonlight against warmer brown violets of the garden, this colour scheme being alleviated by the introduction of some greens albeit quite desaturated. I wanted the garden to look jumbled and overgrown so the painting had to look like that with the eye wandering around the picture at different elements, the only compositional place to start being the moon in the sky, even the figure is kept back as I did not want her to be the first focus of the painting.
The model was the lovely Naomi Wood, the reference photo coming from an earlier session for another painting.
This is a painting that should be heading for IX in October this year.
Oil on linen 30" x 20". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.




Monday, 12 February 2018

A Secret Garden - stage 14

This is as much as I could get done in this morning's session before leaving the studio, back on Thursday. I have worked some more on the figure and then made a start on the bullrushes in the left corner. The figure will be knocked back a bit when I return to hopefully finish the painting on Friday...

Sunday, 11 February 2018

A Secret Garden - stage 13

Fortunately on my return to the studio the weather has been very bright so I have been able to get quite a lot done today and yesterday. I have now finished, barring a few tweaks, the right hand side of the foreground and have got the left hand side ready for painting in the bullrushes tomorrow morning. I have worked also on the figure but she is not finished yet. I am hoping to finish the painting on my next sessions in the studio on Thursday and Friday as I have to go away for a few days tomorrow, These photographs, however much I play around in Photoshop, still look too harsh and conrasty and when I have finished it I will post in Facebook etc from a scan and not from the camera.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Secret garden - stage 12

In the couple of hours work I managed to do this morning I roughed in the figure (she will be darker than this) and put some more work into the stonework before I had to clear up, next painting session on Saturday.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A Secret Garden - stage 11

While away from the studio I decided that I didn't want the figure to be glowing but instead semi-silhouetted in the moonlight and merging more into the garden. To this end I strengthened the lines on the figure yesterday and then ran a wash over it today to knock it back. I also decided to change the foreground bullrushes to a later part of the season when the spikes become cottony-like, this will be seen at the end of the painting.
The colours are arranged in a warm/cold axis with cold bluish moonlight and warmer desaturated brown/blue/violets for the garden and sky.
Most of today's session was spent painting the stonework of the steps and foreground terrace.

Friday, 2 February 2018

A Secret Garden - stage 10

This is as far as I have got with the painting as of this morning. I will now be away from the studio coming back on Monday when I intend to make a start on the foreground and steps.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A Secret Garden - stage 9

This is another painting that is hard to photograph! I have painted in a large part of the overgrown trees and plants and have now started on the underpainting for the stonework but due to difficult photography conditions this afternoon I can't show the true progress on the painting until tomorrow, this was far I had got until lunchtime today.