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!

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