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!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Cloudscape 5 - stage 1

On this one I am combining most of the sky of "Cloudscape 4"with a line of late afternoon sunlit sky  at the horizon.
This tonal underpainting stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and then the same paint mix with a small amount of turpentine added was applied to the sky with a rag. The land was put in with a Flat brush using a mix of Van Dyke Brown and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Cloudscape 4

I might actually title this "Wish You Were Here" even though I have used the title before. For this one I wanted to work in a very limited palette keeping it dark and moody so I used mostly desaturated colours. I chose to locate it on the Brighton and Hove seafront near to where I live with an advertising ice cream cone, normally associated with happy times, set against a lowering sky and deserted seafront path. My dark sense of humour coming out a bit on this one! 
Keeping the colours desaturated I have kept them within a warm grey framework, no black being used and with Unbleached Titanium acting as the white. Mixes of Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown, Burnt Sienna, Indigo, Zinc White and Lemon Yellow were used for all the warm brown/greys - a mix of Michael Harding and Winsor & Newton colours.
Oil on linen 16" x 12". 
A step-by-step short progress of this painting is in previous posts on this blog.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Cloudscape 4 - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
For this one I wanted to work in a very limited palette and to keep it very dark and moody. I chose to locate it on the Brighton and Hove seafront with an advertising ice cream cone, normally associated with happy times set against a lowering sky and deserted seafront path. I might call it "Wish You Were Here" even though I have used the title before.
Stage 1 was roughly "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using my usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and then using the same paint mix but thinned with turpentine the tone was applied with a rag.
Stage 2 was the first colour pass on the sky which although not apparent in this photo the colour is a warm brown grey partially achieved by letting the underpainting colour show through. I did not use black, Unbleached Titanium was used as the "White" at this stage with the greys made up of mixes of Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Indigo, Zinc White and Lemon Yellow, mostly Michael Harding colours.
I have actually already finished the painting but am waiting for the paint to dry so I can scan it as digital photography does not come close to the colours and tones that are in the painting itself.

Stage 2

Monday, 5 November 2018

Cloudscape 3

Another of my small sky-based paintings that I am doing to try things out. The more successful ones may get new titles in the future. This one is located on Hove seafront only a few minutes walk away from where I live although it could be anywhere. The next picture may well be a monochrome using all neutral greys, we shall see.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a very short progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Cloudscape 3 -stage 2

First colour pass over the whole painting using mixes of Kings Blue Light, Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Orange, Naples Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Zinc White - all Michael Harding.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Cloudscape 3 - stage 1

Actually "Cloudscape 2" is finished but haven't got round to scanning it yet and wasn't actually planning on starting this one today...and then just went for it. A painting of Hove seafront but really it could be anywhere, the sky was seen from a bus high up on the South Downs heading back to Brighton from seeing my parents in the care home at Woodingdean.
This was stage was "drawn" up using initially a small bristle brush and then washing the rest of it in with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquitex and turpentine.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Cloudscape 2 - stage 2

I have now painted in the background sky and will paint in the single dark cloud tomorrow. I have put some of the sky colour over it so that it shows through in places through the darker cloud as it is important that the darker cloud should not look too heavy in the sky. 
I'm not sure yet if this painting is heading where I want this series to go but hopefully each one should get me nearer!
Oil colours used were: Zinc White, Warm White, Lemon Yellow, Kings Blue Light and Permanent Orange - all Michael Harding.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Cloudscape 2 - stage 1

First version
Now that I am back from Illuxcon I am getting back to some painting. This is the second in the series of small sky paintings- a single dark cloud against a white streaked blue sky. Ha! I'm looking at it now and wondering wether to take out the landscape and just have the sky...I think I will! 
OK here is the new version...no landscape. I want them to be more abstract with no narrative context so the landscape had to go.
Stage 1 and 1a were painted in with just a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine.

Second version

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Cloudscape 1

First in a series of mainly small paintings of skies and clouds with a view to entering the more successful ones in some "Fine Art" competitions which I haven't done for some time. I don't want to paint in just one generally specific genre like Imaginative Realism but rather to work in other areas too like I was a few years ago; I don't want all my eggs in one basket as it were.
I originally had an American water tower breaking the horizon when I was "drawing" it up but I  painted it out to make the painting less specific with little narrative content so that it is more about colour, mood and composition.
Oil on Winsor & Newton Smooth Canvas 16" x 12".

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Cloudscape 1 - stage 2

This was the first colour pass on the painting and used mixes of Lemon Yellow, Permanent Orange, Ultramarine Violet, Kings Blue Light and Ultramarine Blue all by Michael Harding.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Cloudscape 1 - stage 1

This will be a series of mainly small paintings of skies and clouds that I want to paint that are not going to IX as most of my work has been this past year. All the ones I'm taking are in the USA or will be soon for the show next week in Reading PA. These paintings will be trying things out and generally hoping my skies improve as I go through the series. This work will be aimed at a more "Fine Art" audience and intend to enter some of them in competitions etc as I do not want to be known purely for my Imaginative Realism work although without that work I would not have come to this point so each side of my work informs the other.
I originally had an American water tower silhouetted against the sky but I wanted the painting to be less specific with little possible narrative content so that it it is more about colour, tone and composition...so the tower was painted out.
This stage was painted with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

The Cloud Palace

A companion piece to "Al Zimbra", this is another small painting centred around sky and clouds. In addition to changing it's title from "Palace of the Sky Vizier" I also changed my mind about the colours after the tonal underpainting and changed from warm colours like the earlier painting to more of a yellow/violet complementary palette with a blue/green sky. I also changed my mind at the "drawing" stage when I changed from a floating city to a more Arabian Nights Eastern palace although I have kept the details a bit more indistinct to be able to merge with the cloud.
This is another small painting that I intend to take to IX in mid-October. Oil on Winsor & Newton Smooth Canvas 16" x 12".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Palace of the Sky Vizier - stage 3

Actually I  might change the title to "The Cloud Palace" when it's finished...
Today I pretty much finished the clouds and made a start on the floating palace. The colours are mixes of Naples Yellow, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Lake Deep, Permanent Orange, Warm White, Manganese Violet, Kings Blue Light and Phthalocyanine Turquoise, all Michael Harding, and Naples Yellow Reddish Extra by Old Holland.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Palace of the Sky Vizier - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
A companion piece to "Al Zimbra", this is another small painting centred around sky and clouds. It was originally conceived to be in warm colours like the earlier painting but I changed my mind after the tonal underpainting and chose more of a Yellow/ Violet complementary palette although there is a fair amount of blue too.
I changed my mind too at the "drawing" stage when I changed it from a city to an Eastern Palace so that it was more Arabian Nights than sci fi as it could have looked.
I am again working on Winsor & Newton Smooth Cotton Canvas as the picture is quite small, 16" x 12".
The first stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet mixed with Liquin. The second stage was the same paint mix thinned with turpentine and applied with a rag.

Stage 2

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Al Zimbra

I intend to paint a number of small pictures to take to IX alongside the larger ones, these like the others will centre around the skies as being the main reason for painting them although the skies are not always the dominating feature compositionally.
This is just a scene from my imagination, there is nowhere called Al Zimbra, the title is partly from a David Byrne track that I always liked the name of. I originally intended for the colours to be based on turquoise blue/greens over warm red/oranges, the clouds more fluffy and summery but I suddenly changed my mind and went for a more Maxfield Parrish look with the clouds more vertical and dramatic. There is also a hint of NC Wyeth in some of the cloud shapes...no bad thing!
I was able to link the two areas of red/oranges and green blues by painting the domes within the largely red/orange area a similar colour to the blue/green sky. This was a nice link as well as maintaining colour harmony.
12" x 16" oil on Winsor & Newton fine weave canvas.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Al Zimbra - stage 3

Finished off the sky and made a start on the outcrop and buildings. I decided that the way the outcrop met the bottom edge of the picture was awkward so I have brushed over some cloud to soften the edge and to give a bit more movement to the composition.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Al Zimbra stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
I intend to paint a number of small pictures to take to IX alongside the larger ones, these like the others will centre on the skies as being the main reason for painting them although the skies are not always the dominating feature compositionally. 
This is just a scene from my imagination, there is nowhere called Al Zimbra, the title is partly from a David Byrne track that I always liked the name of. I originally intended for the colours to be based on turquoise blue/greens painted over warm red oranges, the clouds more fluffy and summery but I suddenly changed my mind and went for a more Maxfield Parrish look with the clouds more vertical and dramatic. I am painting this on a Winsor & Newton Smooth Cotton canvas as the weave is finer than linen and might suit a smaller picture. Oil on canvas 12" x 16".
Stage 1 is the tonal colour underpainting over a very sketchy "drawing". Most of the colour mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine was applied with a rag.
Stage 2 is the first colour pass using mixes of Permanent Orange, Unbleached Titanium, Lemon Yellow, Warm White, Venetian Red, Burnt Sienna, Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Kings Blue Light, Naples Yellow and Yellow Lake Deep.
Stage 2

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar

The fortress city of Al Kazaar has sat on the rock outcrop in the burning desert of Khalifa for centuries. Once within a fertile land on the edge of the desert the inhabitants have watched the encroaching dunes move nearer and nearer over time until now they push against the very foundations of the city, forcing them to abandon the access through the gate at the base of the city. A passing storm has cleared the sultry air for a while in the late afternoon leaving pools of water between the dunes that will soon disappear into the arid sands of the Khalifa. They will endure.
Another of my fantasy landscapes/cityscapes with the emphasis on the sky, this one is set in the desert which is a nice change from the last painting "Agharta" which was set in the frigid mountains of Tibet.
The painting is based around a red/orange - blue/green complementary axis, the pools of water reflecting some of the sky colours into the bottom of the painting so that it links the sky to the land. In my landscapes I always try to avoid verticals and horizontals in favour of diagonals which impart more movement into the composition. This composition is unusual in that the lightest part of the picture sits dead in the middle so I have offset that by making sure that the rest of the painting is made up of uneven areas and uneven placings of the land and clouds etc.
This will probably be the last of the large-ish paintings that I am taking to IX next month, I might have time for another but may well try and paint a couple of small ones in the time that I have left.
Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 14

Probably the last post before I finish it, I have been working on the sand dunes going right to the horizon. All I need to do tomorrow is finish off the dunes, put in the reflections in the puddles of water in the dunes and paint in the distant mountains. I will wait until it dries and then scan it in and post the finished painting from that.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 13

I have now roughed in a large swathe of the foreground sand dunes, hoping that I might be able to finish them tomorrow...maybe.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 12

I joined the rocks to the city walls today as well as tweaking the cloud behind the far end of the city and then I put some more colour into the foreground in readiness for tomorrow's painting session. I broke up the pools of water lying in the sand dunes after the storm has passed through as they were too evenly spaced and similar in size to each other.

Friday, 14 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 11

Progress slow again at the moment due to yet more family commitments. I have pretty much finished the walls and city and hope to join up the walls with the rock outcrop tomorrow. I think I need to slightly change the lower cloud as it kind of looks like it's all emanating from the city like from a huge hidden chimney!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Michael Harding Paints

I just won a tube of paint in an Instagram competition ran by Michael Harding paints. You had to post up on their page your favourite Michael Harding colour which in my case was Permanent Orange and say why it was...I find it a very versatile and useful colour and said so! Wonder what the tube will be?

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 10

Fiddly work carried out on the ramparts and buildings on the right side of the rock outcrop. Once the buildings etc are finished the sand dunes foreground should go in relatively quickly...

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 9

Something has been bothering me about the composition, the horizontal line of sunlit sand in the distance. I felt I needed to break it up with maybe a few small rock outcrops but I realised this morning that what it needs is that the shadow of the city on the rock outcrop should only go partway across to the left so there are now more sand dunes in the sunlight coming around the left side of the picture thus getting rid of the original thin horizontal strip. I try to avoid verticals and horizontals in paintings and try to give landscapes more movement by using lots of diagonals.
I also have made a start on the ramparts and buildings.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 8

I have got the basic rocks in and have started to work on the ramparts and buildings. I need to make sure that the line of sunlit buildings is more uneven than here as it will be visually more interesting as well as being a better composition. 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 7

I have made a start on the rock outcrop as I once I have that in I can tell if I have the correct values for the sky. I'm breaking up the line of sunlight hitting the top of the city so that it is more uneven and interesting.

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 6

Maybe finished the sky, it might need a warm glaze once I have painted the foreground but not sure yet. I have kind of changed my design for the lighting and colour, I am now going to have the sky background relatively subdued in colour and have the foreground landscape in richer, darker colours which I think will help with the sense of distance that I always like to get.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 5

Worked on the sky today although it will have to wait a day to be finished as I will be unable to get much done tomorrow due to family commitments. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 4

Didn't get a lot of time today for work but have made a start on the thunderclouds using mixes of the sky colour and Warm White, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Orange and Naples Yellow Reddish Extra (by Old Holland).

Monday, 3 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stage 3

I have just scrubbed in some rough semi-transparent colour as the second stage of the underpainting. It will start to look better when I have got the sky painted in. A very thin wash of Permanent Orange was used for the clouds and a wash of Ultramarine Violet was used for the landscape. The sky is a very subdued blue/green made up of Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Zinc White, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Orange and Brilliant Pink.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

The Ramparts of Al Kazaar - stages 1 & 2


Stage 1
Another of my fantasy landscapes/cityscapes with the emphasis on the sky, this one is set in the desert which is a nice change from the last one, "Agharta", which was set in the frigid mountains of Tibet. There are connections too to another earlier painting called "City of the Sky People" in that the lower landscape was centred around the flowing curves of river meanders, in this one it will be the curves of sand dunes. The lighting design for this one is everything in the bottom half will be in shadow with the late afternoon sun hitting the very tops of the ramparts and buildings and the distant thunderclouds only. I will base the colours around an orange/blue complementary axis with the colours kept subdued apart from the distant thunderclouds.
Al Kazaar does not exist of course and is a nod towards my love of Orientalist paintings including the slightly overblown title reminiscent of a title to an Edwin Weeks painting from the Victorian era.
Stage 1 was "drawn" with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin .
Stage 2 was painted mostly with a rag using the same paint mix but thinned with turpentine and an old synthetic 3/8" flat brush.

Stage 2

Friday, 24 August 2018

Agharta

Agharta is a Buddhist concept of the Subterranean World and is believed to be secretly located somewhere in Tibet, the gateway being guarded by Lamas. There are also connections to the Hollow Earth theory of advanced Atlanteans living under the Earth's crust in Antarctica with Nazi connections to this theory through some expeditions sent by them to Tibet and Antarctica and a mysterious voyage by a U Boat to Antarctica at the very end of the Second World War.
This is a companion picture to some recent ones like "City Of The Sky People" and "Butte States" in that it has a fantasy city in it with an emphasis on the sky. This picture was originally going to be of Antarctica but when I came across the Tibetan connections I decided it would be more visually interesting to set it there.
It was originally conceived as being painted in desaturated colours in quite a limited palette but once I had painted in the underpainting I changed my mind and went for a warm top half and a freezing cold bottom half with the cave glow breaking up the otherwise fairly monochromatic bottom part of the picture. Compositionally I have placed the cave with Tibetan buildings above and the foreground tower building at a third in from the sides forming a central diamond with the background mountain. The mountain is loosely based on Mount Kailash (Meru), the most sacred mountain in Tibet and important to Buddhists.
I hope to be bringing this to show at IX in October. Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Agharta is also the title of a favourite Miles Davis album...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Agharta - stage 15

I gave a bit more definition to the Tibetan-style buildings above the cave mouth and made a start on the rock face at left. Maybe finish this tomorrow if I can get long enough to work on it and will post the finish from a scan the next day as my digital camera is not capable of getting across the tonal variations or the true colour...

Monday, 20 August 2018

Agharta - stage 14

I have pretty much finished the right side of the foreground and have made a start on the rock face on the left side. Leaving the cave entrance till last. These digital camera photos are making the painting look more contrasty than it is so I will post the finished painting from a scan.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Agharta - stage 13

Today I painted in the foreground building along with the rocks it sits on and the foreground snowy slope at right. I am trying to keep the snow within a narrow fairly dark tonal range as I don't want it to interfere with the composition. Although a complex looking image the composition is based around two areas of colour, the snowy foreground and landscape in cold subdued blues and the warm sunlit background in warm blues and pink/oranges.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Agharta - stage 12

Again didn't get a lot done today but managed to pretty much finish the Tibetan-style buildings above the cave and made a start on the foreground building at right centre. As can now be seen it is going to be a landscape covered in snow and very cold and remote.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Agharta - stage 11

Didn't get a lot of time to work on this today (as usual these days) but managed to get most of the Tibetan-style buildings in and worked a bit on the rocks and snow around them ready for tomorrow when I intend to paint some freezing mist over the buildings and nearby landscape ridges.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Agharta - stage 10

Working on the mid-ground snowy ridges and Tibetan-style buildings over the cave entrance. Using mixes of Indanthrene Blue (Winsor & Newton), Kings Blue Light, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Orange and Ultramarine Violet for the snow and rocks.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Agharta - stage 9

Now starting to work on the snowy slopes in the mid-ground having decided to keep the colour cast to the area below the mountain in desaturated blues to contrast with the warm colours of the background mountain.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Agharta - stage 8

Working on the mid-ground snowy ridges today, slowly working from the background to the foreground which is my usual method of working. I decided to go with my original colour design of all the foreground landscape in desaturated blues with the warmer sky and mountain occupying the top third/half of the picture.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Agharta - stage 7

I am continuing with working on the mid-ground foothills and have washed in a tonal colour over the foreground landscape. Although the landscape below the mountain is planned as being in desaturated blues I quite like the warm violet cast that it currently has. I will decide which way to go over my breakfast coffee tomorrow morning...

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Agharta - stage 6

I knocked back the clouds a bit by putting more pink into them...in fact I still may make them even pinker/darker, I'll have another look at them over my breakfast coffee tomorrow. The mountain which is only loosely based on Mount Kailash is pretty much finished, I'll just paint a few misty clouds around it's base and then I hope to start on the mid-ground mountains and foothills. I want to try and keep all the foreground in fairly desaturated colour so that the mountain glows in the late afternoon light to which end I want to keep the violets in the snow to be kept well back and desaturated.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Agharta - stage 5

I decided to keep the orange/pink late afternoon light that came through on the colour underpainting and go with that as it looked more interesting than how I was originally seeing it in my head. Something about the clouds still bugs me so hopefully I will spot it tomorrow morning over my breakfast coffee and sort them out! Then it's time to finish off the central mountain.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Agharta - stage 4

Worked on the sky and mountain today, the sky will do as it is for the moment as I can always adjust it later on when I start working on the landscape. I hadn't originally planned to have much warm colour in the picture as this but I quite like the Sienna/Orange around in the sky and mountain and will probably go along with this for the moment. It is meant to be a very cold picture and was going to keep the colours fairly monochromatic but I quite like how the mountain glows so we'll see how this painting pans out as I go along.