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, 25 April 2017

Midnight Bay

This is the first of a series of three nocturne paintings that I am now doing which are a nice counterpoint to the more complex pictures that I have recently been painting. I wanted to keep it within a narrow range of colours between blue and green greys which are based around a green/blue - red/orange colour complementary axis, the orange in this case being mixed into the blue/greens to tone down the saturation. Originally in my mind's eye the foreground figure and rocks were going to be silhouetted but I later realised that it was too big an area to get away with it so I made it semi-silhouette. The model for the figure was as usual, the lovely Naomi Wood. I really enjoyed painting the sky so the next picture will be much more of a sky piece. This will be a painting for possible inclusion in what I take to Illuxcon in October. 
Oil on linen 18" x 24". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Artists & Illustrators magazine

A friend has notified me that I am a featured artist for April 2017 on the Portfolio Plus page of the website for Artists & Illustrators magazine although I notice that I need to update my pages in Portfolio Plus as a number of the paintings marked available are actually sold.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Midnight Bay - stage 4

I managed to get a couple of hours work done on my return to the studio this afternoon and decided to get the foreground underpainting in. Originally in my mind's eye I saw the foreground as all silhouette but realised that it was too big an area to get away with that so I will have the figure and rocks in semi-silhouette in the final painting.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Midnight Bay - stage 3

Before I go away from the studio (back on Sunday) I have managed to get the sky pretty much how I want it and have painted in the distant rocky coastline. I am trying to keep the colours within a narrow range of green greys and blue greys which is now coming across at this point. It is a deliberately simple painting which I could finish the next time I am in the studio as a nice change from the previous more detailed pictures I have been doing recently.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Midnight Bay - stages 1 & 2

After the relative complexity of recent work I have resolved to paint three simple nocturnes as a change of pace. I am working larger than I normally would paint a picture like this as I am now more used to it and not so intimidated by a larger size like I used to be. It will be a relatively monochromatic picture, the colours and tones being mixes of variations of blue/green and red/oranges.
The first stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush and rag using a mix of Ultramarine Violet and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine.
The second stage was blocked in with varying mixes of Kings Blue Light, Ultramarine Blue, Winsor Green, Emerald Green, Permanent Orange, Lemon Yellow and Warm White.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Exit To San Breta

This is a private commission from a buyer that wanted a painting based around the short story by George R R Martin called "The Exit To San Breta" and is the nearest picture to illustration I have done for a good number of years. Like when I used to paint book jacket illustrations I have chosen to create a feeling of the setting of the story as opposed to any actual incident and was trying envisage a lonely gas station dwarfed by the vast Arizona landscape. It was important that I got a particular time of dusk for the sky, the story happens at night but I thought it would be spookier if I chose that time when the last of the daylight is in the sky, this makes the loneliness of the gas station more apparent and I didn't want it to be too dark either. The composition is based on the Rule Of Thirds with the positioning of the horizon, gas station and main sign all at third/two third intervals on the vertical and horizontal edges of the picture frame, and is based on a blue/orange complementary colour axis with some guest colours for variety.
I chose a panoramic format so that I had enough room on the horizontal plane to get across how in the story the road changes from potholed and overgrown to pristine condition when the Edsel car shown parked in the station forecourt comes into the story as a ghost that causes the narrator of the story to crash his car...except it never happens and the whole incident is an apparition.
Oil on canvas 39" x 16". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting on previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 12

Well not really a stage as such just what I have done this morning before I go away for a few days, back on Thursday. I have distressed the lettering a bit on the signs, put in where the lights are going and did a bit of work on the gas station building. 
For some reason I am reminded of the scene in the movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World" when the irate guy trying to to get to Los Angeles first before the rest get there to claim the buried money loses it completely at a lonely gas station in the middle of nowhere and completely destroys it. One of my favourite scenes since childhood...

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 11

I have painted in the basic lettering on the signs and will work over them tomorrow morning to slightly distress the sign surfaces to make them look more real. I have also made a start on the gas station and Edsel car parked in the light as well as painting the desert up to the edges of the lit areas.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 10

Just managed to get a couple of hours work this morning before I am away from the studio until Saturday. Basically have been working on the desert, the road sign and made the white wooden cross larger. I think the sky is now finished.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 9

Just darkened the overhead clouds a bit with a semi-opaque mix of Indanthrene Blue, Kings Blue Light and Permanent Orange, made the sky slightly darker at left and I reckon the sky is now about finished. I wanted this certain stage of late dusk just before night properly descends when there is still some light in the sky. I then started to work on the transition of the road from the pockmarked foreground to the more pristine surface nearer the gas station, my idea for the lighting is now becoming apparent with the artificially lit gas station at left contrasting with the dusk landscape, blue and orange - a favourite complementary combination.
I then made a start on the nearest road sign using a mix of manganese Violet and Genuine Chinese Vermilion making sure that it looks a bit distressed.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 8

Another glaze of Indanthrene Blue on the sky and darkening the more overhead clouds as well as darkening the line of distant mountains on the horizon. After some darker underpainting on the road I have started to refine the desert and scrub on the right of the picture. getting more of an idea now as to how the lighting is going to work with the artificial lights on the left contrasting with the dusk-lit landscape.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 7

I have painted the first glaze over the sky although you won't notice a lot of difference at this stage but this is all I have time for before I have to leave Brighton to look after my elderly parents 150 miles away. The next chance I will have to work on it will be Wednesday afternoon when I hope to paint the second glaze. I wanted to glaze it with a certain kind of transparent blue and noticed in Cass Arts a Winsor & Newton colour called Indanthrene Blue which looks like a good call, there was no Michael Harding colour that seemed to fit the bill.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 6

I decided that the sky wasn't ready for glazing so I refined the clouds ready for the first glaze tomorrow instead. I then put in the distant mountains and made a start on the desert.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 5

In the couple of hours I had this morning before going away again I managed to get the sky ready for glazing when I return on Friday. It's a particular time of dusk that I am trying to depict and glazing it from now on should give me enough control over how dark I want it to go (not too dark).
Incidentally I normally work on linen but there is no pre-stretched linen available in this size and format so I tried painting two extra coats of oil primer over the Winsor and Newton canvas, fine sanding between coats. This has given me a surface that is nearer to linen and and seems to take the paint pretty much how I want it. I will do this for other paintings from now on as now I know how to change the surface of the canvas.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 4

I have painted in the first stage of the sky to get an idea of placement of clouds etc. I will paint in darker clouds tomorrow when it should be ready for the first glaze. I have also added more darks to the tonal underpainting for the landscape and road so we are now getting an idea as to how the finished painting will look. The tonal underpainting used a mix of Burnt Sienna and Manganese Violet thinned with Liquin. The sky has mixes of Lemon Yellow and Kings Blue Light with touches of Prussian Blue and Permanent Orange, the Orange being used to temper the saturation.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 3

I got back to the studio this afternoon and managed to put in some darker tone washes into the landscape and put some pale blue/yellow into the sky.
As far as I can ascertain there is nowhere called San Breta in Arizona...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 2

Using a rag I have washed in a tonal underpainting with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. I will now have to leave it until I am back in the studio on Sunday.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Exit To San Breta - stage 1

This is a private commission for a buyer that wants a painting centred around the short story by George R.R. Martin called "The Exit To San Breta". A white Ford Edsel is parked in a gas station forecourt somewhere in the vast expanse of the Arizona desert. The gas station and car are illuminated by a few lights in an otherwise fairly dark landscape seen in the dusk, a sign for the San Breta turnoff is at the right of the picture near a small wooden white cross. The road in the right foreground is in poor condition with weeds growing in the cracks of the tarmac but the road becomes pristine in condition as it nears the gas station and highway lights. The composition is based on Thirds with the skyline and placement of the gas station and road sign at intervals of a third from the edges of the painting. The colours will be more subdued than recent paintings based on a blue/green - red/orange complementary colour axis. The San Breta sign is red and will probably be the most saturated part of the picture in terms of colour. The particular mood of the painting will be carried by the sky which I intend to be at a particular time of dusk when there is still daylight in the sky and the landscape isn't too dark.
This stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Seven paintings sold


At The End Of The Day
A nice lady in New York has just bought the following seven paintings through Artfinder:
"At The End Of The Day"
"Berts"
"Drive Thru"
"Lucky Dogs"
"Mardi Gras World"
"Siren's Cove"
"Tram Stop"

"Lucky Dogs" and "Mardi Gras World" are paintings of New Orleans based on shots I took  in 1994 when I was there for a World Fantasy convention. ""Tram Stop" is of an imaginary city somewhere in Europe in an undetermined decade. "Drive Thru" is based on reference photos I took in Chicago in 1991 when attending a World Science Fiction convention. "Siren's Cove" and "At The End Of The Day" are completely works from the imagination, "At The End Of The Day" being used on the cover of my latest book "Dreamland". "Drive Thru" was a finalist in the 2016 Artists Of The Year exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London organised by Artists & Illustrators magazine and won a prize of £500 worth of digital printing by Gemini Digital Colour.

Berts



Drive Thru




Lucky Dogs




Mardi Gras World




Siren's Cove




Tram Stop










Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Elen

Finally finished the follow-up picture to "Faeral" with the lovely Naomi Wood modelling her horned head dress again. This time it is of Elen, Goddess Of The Ways who rules over amongst other things, paths in forests. Although the painting is full of detail the composition is very simple being based on two unevenly sized blocks of the complementary colours yellow and violet.
I was originally going to have her reaching across a snow-covered path but changed my mind halfway through and changed it to falling water. I had to resist the temptation many times to keep the two blocks of colour separate by not introducing yellow and orange highlights into the foreground branches etc as this would compromise my original intention of the simple composition. Another painting that is hard to photograph, the original isn't quite so so contrasty and saturated as it appears here...
This will probably be a painting heading for this year's IlluxCon in Reading PA.
Oil on linen 20" x 30".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Elen - stage 11

Couldn't quite finish it this session so there just remains to tweak the figure, put in the flowers and horns on the head dress and get the branches that her left hand is holding finished off.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

International Artist magazine

I have a four page article in the current, February/March issue of International Artist magazine. Under the heading of "Master Painters Of The World" the article called "Heightened Reality" focus's mainly on my Roadside America paintings apart from "Cold Constantinople" on the second page. Unfortunately since WH Smith have stopped selling the magazine in the UK I am unsure of how to get hold of a copy over here!






 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Elen - stage 10

Pretty much finished the foreground branches barring a few possible tweaks tomorrow and after sorting out the rocks nearest the figure I began on Elen herself. I am going with warm shadows and cool highlights for the figure and need to work out the correct values for the flesh colour in relation to the landscape around her. I want her to be very much part of the foreground so there will be very little in the way of any background colour on the figure apart from maybe some sunlight on the top of her left thigh.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Pavilion Bus Shelter sold

Asgard Arts have just sold one of my Brighton paintings "Pavilion Bus Shelter" to a lady in Cheshire. I had been struck by the contrast between the two very different architectural styles of the Indian pavilion and the Art Deco bus shelter for a while and resolved one evening to go down to The Steine and photograph it for reference. When I got there there was a small gang of louts in the shelter who started shouting and threatening me when I started to photograph it from across the road. I ignored them and pretended I was a foreign tourist who obviously didn't understand what they were saying and carried on, after a couple of minutes it seemed to work and they ignored me so it must have worked!
Oil on board 12" x 12".

Monday, 13 February 2017

Elen - stage 9

Still working on the foreground landscape detail and apart from a few things to finish on the rocks nearest to the figure I am ready to paint in the foreground branches before going on to the figure hopefully next time I am in the studio - Friday. Still very hard to photograph this picture, it always looks too contrasty.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Elen - stage 8

This session I continued to work on the foreground as well as sorting out the top right of the picture. The painting is trying to to suggest the complexity of Nature that is her domain so there will be many rocks and branches etc but the composition is very simple being based on two unevenly sized blocks of the complementary colours, yellow and violet.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Elen - stage 7


Spent most of this session generally working over the foreground and figure.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Helikon Gallery





I am pleased to report that my two paintings, "Cold Constantinople" and "Fireflies" that were  exhibited at the Abend Gallery show "Inner Visions" are included in an extended run that has transferred to the Helikon Gallery also in Denver Colorado. The show runs from February 1 to March 11 2017 and has been curated again by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire, Directors of IX Arts.

 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Elen - stage 6

As you can see the painting is based around a yellow/ violet complementary colour axis although the intention this time is to have the top in highly saturated colour and the bottom two thirds (yes it is also composed with The Rule Of Thirds in mind) in more neutral tones. Looks like I have decided to have a waterfall instead of snow but plenty of decisions still to be made on the foreground details.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Elen - stage 5

That's as much as I can do on this visit to the studio, back on Friday and Saturday when I hope to finish the background. It's another painting that's hard to photograph, with the sunshine in the studio this morning giving it a more yellow cast. In the actual painting the sun isn't quite as clearly defined as it appears here. There will need to be some dark areas in the foreground for the lighting I have planned to work, the trick is not to make it too dark and use more subdued colours so that the top part of the painting glows with sunlight.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Elen - stage 4

Have started to work on the background trees and have noticed that I need to thin them out a little next painting session. There are more red/oranges in the picture than is apparent here and need to get the transition right from the background brightly lit trees to the darker foreground and mid-ground.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Elen - stage 3

Washed in with a rag a glaze of Transparent Yellow on the top making sure to place the sun disc and a glaze of a mix of Winsor Violet and Ultramarine Violet on the foreground. I am now considering the possibility of changing the snowy path into a waterfall; will think on it over the next few days that I am away from the studio, back on Sunday.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Elen - stage 2

I have now put in a tonal underpainting which starts to give more of an idea about how the lighting and colours will work. I used Burnt Sienna thinned with Liquin for the top background of the picture and a mix of Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine on the foreground.

Infected By Art





I am pleased to see that "Cold Constantinople" has been accepted for inclusion in the Infected By Art Book - Volume 5. This is the third time in as many years that I have had work accepted, the painting will also be in the upcoming Art Renewal Center's International Salon Competition Catalogue as well as in a four page feature on my work in the February/ March 2017 issue of International Artist magazine.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Elen - stage 1

This painting follows on from "Faeral" in that I have another horned figure, this time Elen, the red-haired Goddess Of The Ways who presides over amongst other things tracks and pathways in woods and forests, sort of a Green Lady.
I have as my model once again Naomi Wood whose horned head dress I have extended to be more like deer's antlers. The idea for the painting as usual is all about the lighting with the figure and foreground in subdued purple/greys against a forest lit by the rising sun, the disc itself between the horns above her head. Basically warm saturated colours in the background against cool subdued colours in the foreground. I will have some snow on the pathway snaking through the middle of the foreground and other selected areas.
This was "drawn" with a small brush using Burnt Sienna mixed with Liquin and turpentine.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Naomi Wood

I am currently in the planning stage for a follow-on painting from "Faeral"  and a few days ago Naomi Wood who modeled for it came over to the studio for the photography session. Here she is with her horned head dress in front of the first painting. 
In the next painting the figure will be a bit smaller within a similar wooded setting with the rising sun between her horns on a misty morning - no title that I am happy with yet!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Palazetto Malcanton sold

Asgard Arts have just sold one of my Venetian nocturne paintings "Palazetto Malcanton" to a buyer in the UK that bought another Venetian painting a few months ago. This building just across the canal from where I was staying in San Polo (I think) is available to rent-nice spot! Oil on board 12" x 12".