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, 17 April 2012

Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke - Finished

I seem to have finished this in a record time of four days, mainly because I have tried to keep the brushwork more like a plein air painting and also because of how much one can get in using a rag. As I was only there six days ago the experience of what it looked and felt like (cold!) was still with me during the painting and this is what I have tried to capture.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke - Third day

Pretty much finished the sky this morning with a combination of rag and brush and then started working on the nearer landscape. I want to finish that first before going on to the background landscape as there is quite a defined bluish-green line that runs along in front of the rain (the shadow of the cloud) that is best approached by painting in the nearer landscape first. With a bit of luck I may be able to finish the painting before I go to Leicester for a few days on Wednesday.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke - First two days

This picture is the result of doing some plein air painting at the wonderful Devil's Dyke in West Sussex last Wednesday with two other friends, Rich and Yvette. As you can imagine we had to work in between the showers but the dramatic lighting and cloud shapes got us all motivated to start painting and drawing although the combination of a developing bitterly cold wind and heavy sleety showers forced us in the end to give up for the day and in the case of Rich and I, we retired to the nearby pub for coffee and hot chocolate. In addition to the great lighting there was the added gift of the single ribbon-like field of rape in the perfect spot within the otherwise green landscape. I chose a moment when a patch of sunlight illuminated a small part of the yellow field as the cue for the painting to be set and proceeded with an acrylic painting which only serves now as a study for this larger more panoramic version in oil.
To emphasise the drama of the scene I have decided to paint it it in yet another orange/blue-green complementary axis as I want the final picture to be more than just a painted version of a photograph, I want it to look slightly more unreal and in slightly false colour. The first two days I have been pretty much using only a rag to apply the paint as I want the clouds and distant landscape to be soft and less defined. I will use brushes on the nearer fields and foreground so that the difference between the soft background and the more textural foreground will create a greater sense of distance.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pratique des Arts - 8 page feature on my work

The publishers of the magazine have kindly sent me a copy of the magazine which upon opening I was delighted to see that they had given 8 pages to the feature on my work. I guess the title "Illustrator to painter" is fair enough, the pictures they chose for the article were also a fair representation of the work I am currently painting. As the magazine seems to be only on sale in France, here is the article in French.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Florence from Giardino Bardini - Finished

I have tried to convey a moonlit night with Florence shrouded in mist, the only highlight being the reflection of the moon in the river near the bridge. I originally planned to have many lights coming through the mist in the city but I decided that it would be much more interesting and mysterious if there were no lights at all, giving it a more timeless quality in that this could be a view as if it was hundreds of years ago, the skyline essentially not having changed much since the rule of the Medici. In the end I opted for just one light in a nearby window to maximise the use of the blue/orange complementary axis.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Florence from Giardino Bardini - Fourth day

I have put a bit more glow in the sky below where the moon is to give more believability to the reflection in the river and I have added a tiny amount of Cadmium Lemon to the white of the reflection to warm it up slightly and to give more variety of colour to the picture. I have also made a start on the foreground buildings, adding more orange to the mix for the roofs; most of the painting apart from the foliage will be based on a blue/orange complementary axis. I have also decided to have one light in a nearby window - orange of course!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Florence from Giardino Bardini - Third day

Change of plan. I have decided that it will be a more interesting picture if I don't have loads of misty lights all over the city but leave it shrouded in mist which gives it a more timeless feel and not so literal as to how it would possibly look. Apart from the fact that the mid-ground bridge is modern (the Nazi's blew up all the bridges apart from the Ponte Vecchio in the Second World War), this could be Florence hundreds of years ago. I think that also this keeps the mysterious quality that the early states of this painting had. The lightest part of the painting will now be the reflections of moonlight near the bridge (Ponte alle Grazie) on the River Arno.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Florence from Giardino Bardini - Second day

I made mixes of various tones of Manganese Blue, Permanent Orange and Underpainting White oil paint for the background and again rubbed them onto the picture with a rag to try and keep the softness. The foreground colours were mixes of Prussian Blue, Winsor Green and dashes of Permanent Orange for the trees and a mix of the background colours with ultramarine Blue for the foreground buildings also applied with a rag. I guess I start using brushes tomorrow....

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Florence from Giardino Bardini - First day

Charcoal drawing
Prussian Blue acrylic
After the relatively complicated work on "Under The El" I fancy doing something more vague and romantic. The view that I have chosen to do of Florence from the garden of Villa Bardini is potentially extremely complicated but in my mind's eye once I have established an accurate layout of where everything is, the painting will be about the twinkling lights on a misty night with some moonlight reflected on the River Arno where the bridge is. I am going to keep the cityscape very vague with many lights shining in the blue mist with the looming presence of the Duomo in the distance. I remember how the Duomo is by far still the dominant building of the skyline of the city, much the same as it has been for centuries. The first picture is of the charcoal drawing, the second of the Prussian Blue acrylic painted before the Prussian Blue thinned down oil that has been applied with a rag in the third picture. The application of the underpainting with a rag is a recent development resulting from my experiments for the RA Summer Exhibition entry which I have discovered to be a quick way of getting the tonal colour down quickly.

Prussian Blue oil

Monday, 2 April 2012

International Artist Magazine

The April/May issue of International Artist magazine is now published in which I am a finalist again in the Landscapes Competition with my painting "From The White Horse". Here's hoping for some interest in my work from abroad!