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, 15 October 2019

Mehtap - stage 4

Have had a few distractions recently (getting all my paintings ready, boxed and shipped to IX) so have only been able to return to working on "Mehtap" today. Basically I have been doing the fiddly work on the mosque which I will finish tomorrow along with hopefully a lot of the rock outcrop and palm trees as well.
If the painting works out I will be bringing it along to IX in my luggage as it's quite small....as long as it's dry of course!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Mehtap - stage 3

Finished off the sky, put in the distant riverbank and buildings and gave the rest of the painting a wash of tonal colour which immediately made apparent that I needed to sort out the dark areas. I have put in some more bushes but still see that I need to paint in some palm trees to the left of the mosque and also need to join some of the dark palm trees to form some larger shapes, looking a bit bitty at the moment.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Mehtap - stage 2

First colour pass on the moonlit sky using a mix of the following colours: Phthalocyanine Blue, Emerald Green, Permanent Orange, Zinc White, Warm White and Lead Tin Yellow Lemon - all Michael Harding paints.
I then added another layer of tonal underpainting including redrawing it so that the mosque now sits on a rock outcrop as the walls were too tall and the building out of scale with the setting; the downside of painting from the imagination, things like this can happen so you have to make it look believable.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Mehtap - stage 1

Mehtap is Turkish for Moonlight. This is a small moonlit Orientalist nocturne that I intend to paint in mainly green/blues with some orange/browns as the complementary. I like to return every so often to a moonlit Orientalist picture but I will on my return from IX later this month get back to my Roadside Apocalypse series - it's good to leave it for a while as you often bring something new and different along to add to the mix.
This tonal underpainting stage was first "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin in the morning and then when the paint had dried enough by later afternoon I put in the tone with a rag using the same paint mix.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

The Girl With Her Head In The Clouds

...it should be Woman really but the convention is "Girl" in this phrase.
Still keeping with my general thread of clouds and skies I wanted to do another small figurative painting and this idea has been half-formed in my head for a while so I decided to try it out. I wanted it very limited palette and desaturated with a fairly limited tonal range too so that the figure loses itself a bit into the sky with the hair breaking away to merge into the clouds. I actually made a mistake and used the wrong mixed colour for the sky behind the clouds, I had mixed a desaturated blue but for some reason I steamed ahead with the colour that was supposed to be for the skin tones on the figure. As it happens it may be for the best because the figure would have stood out too much from the background so I guess it worked out for the best!
The title btw is in no way a reference to the mental state of the lovely Ruth that modelled for it!
I might bring this with me to IX later in the month, I will see what I have to choose from of the recent pictures and make a decision then.
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is s very short progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

The Girl With Her Head In The Clouds - stage 2

The first colour pass over the whole painting using a basic blue - orange complementary but keeping it quite subtle and desaturated. Colours used were: Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Orange, Winsor Violet, Zinc White, Permanent White, Warm White and Lead Tin Yellow Lemon.

Luna


This was going to be mainly a sky painting then I introduced a figure and decided to do it as a nocturne with the Moon and then realised the tondo format suggested the shape of the Moon itself so I eventually changed the idea to having the clouds echo the shapes of the dark areas on the Moon to give it an extra dimension. I have painted it in such a way that the way the tones work to suggest the spherical shape, indeed it kind of looks like a glass marble!
I kept the colours very subtle based on a red/orange - blue/green complementary but quite desaturated and didn't want the figure to be too distinct from the sky background.
The lovely Naomi Wood was my model, the reference photo coming from a previous session for a vampire painting.
I will probably be bringing this along to IX in a few weeks time as part of a number of small paintings to hang alongside some quite large ones.
12" diameter oil on canvas.
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

The Girl With Her Head In The Clouds - stage 1

While "Luna" is drying I have got on with another small figurative painting, "The Girl With Her Head In The Clouds". This will be a very limited palette, virtually monochromatic tonal picture and am hoping it turns out well enough to take to IX in a few weeks' time.
The title btw is no reflection to the mental state of the lovely Ruth that modelled for it!
This is the first tonal underpainting stage for which I used a small bristle brush and a rag with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Luna - stage 3

Worked on the sky some more and painted in the first colour pass on the figure. Trying to get the right tonal balance between the sky and the figure, getting there...
So far the colours I have used are: Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow, Permanent Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Yellow Lake Deep, Zinc White, Warm White and Prussian Blue - all Michael Harding paints.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Luna - stage 2

This is the first colour pass on the sky although since I got back from being out this afternoon I decided that the darks were too strong and rubbed some of the darker paint off the clouds, so at the moment it looks slightly different to this!
I am painting it in a very limited palette centred on quite desaturated yellows, oranges and blues.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Luna - stage 1

Tonal underpainting for "Luna", a small painting probably going to IX in October. This was going to be mainly a sky painting, then I introduced a figure and decided to do it as a nocturne with the Moon and then realised the tondo format suggested the Moon so decided this morning over breakfast to paint the clouds in the shapes of the dark areas of the Moon itself to give it an extra dimension. The figure will be more indistinct than it appears here and at the moment I am planning to paint it in Atkinson Grimshaw colours, kinds of greens and oranges... although I can always change my mind and go for blues.
This stage was first "drawn" up with a small synthetic brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and then the tones were put in with a rag using the same paint mix.
Oil on canvas 12" diameter.

Draco Niger Grandis prints

I will be bringing a small number (7) of prints of Draco Niger Grandis that I recently found in my studio to IX in October. I painted it in 1998 during my "Gold" period when I was using acrylics with gold leaf, gold paint and bronze powders. The artwork was sold long ago but I have these prints for sale at the show, the image area is 16" x 11 1/2".

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse

This started out as a commission wherein the buyer asked me to push the Apocalypse aspect of my current series of Roadside Apocalypse pictures to something more dystopian.
I was thinking of a classic American Main Street location for my next painting anyway so I decided to incorporate that in this commission. The setting is a kind of Mad Max post apocalypse America where the survivors of whatever has happened are eking out an existence in the ruins of their town using whatever technology that still works but kind of doomed really as once the tech stops working and/or the feeble power available cuts out they are left with nothing. They have some feeble power for some rudimentary lighting, even a few neon signs are still sputtering away in the late afternoon light. A lead runs from the car to the lamp post with it's chaotic jumble of cables and wires, maybe they have managed to use the car engine as a generator...what happens when there is no more petrol?
For this picture I remembered the amazing chaotic electric cabling that I saw in Indian cities and thought it would be ideal to use here as an example of adaption to circumstance. 
It is based around a red/orange - green blue colour complementary and have managed to paint the whole picture just using those colours apart from a few dashes of pink for the neon.
I will be showing this painting at the forthcoming IX in Reading PA next month.
30" x 20" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this paint in previous posts on this blog.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 8

OK sorry about lack of progress on this but I was in Sicily for five days and must admit when I got back it took me a whole day to to get my brain working again and make a fitful start on finishing this painting! 
To ease my way back I decided to work on the road which has actually helped as I had lost focus on this picture as originally I really wanted to finish it before I went away but realised that I would mess it up if I hurried it.
I will need tomorrow to finish this area before making a start on the lamp post and cables but at least I'm back in work mode!

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 7

Right, that's as much as I can get done before going to Sicily tomorrow for five days. I have about two day's worth of work left on it for when I get back. Didn't get as much done today as I hoped due to being distracted by preparations for the trip.
Hoping to walk along the crater rim of Etna...

Friday, 13 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 6

I don't post an update every day now as although I work on it every day there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between them when you look at them on the blog. In fact it could be argued that it is often the case that the first colour pass really establishes at an early stage how the final painting will look.
I have toned down the foreground car a bit now in preparation for tomorrow's session when I hope to finish it - it's been toned down a bit as I want the background storm cloud to be the lightest part of the picture and don't want two areas vying for attention on first glance.
I needed the fascias of the buildings to be in shadow as it helps to show the feeble lights and the occasional working neon against the relative darkness.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 5

I spent today working on the main building on the right using the same colours  as the sky mixes pretty much apart from a bit of Cadmium Yellow Light in the windows where there are lights on. Hoping to finish the painting before I go to Sicily for five days on Monday.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 4

I managed to finish the sky yesterday bar a few tweaks possibly later on and today painted in a very rough first colour pass on the rest of the painting. I am trying to just use the colours I have in the sky for all the buildings etc so that a colour harmony based on the green/blue - red/orange complementary is maintained.
Although it is all pretty rough at the moment it gives me a very good idea on how to proceed with the buildings and the lighting I want. The road will be a lot more of a mess in the final painting and there will be a lot of Indian-style electric cabling too. 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 3

Managed to paint the the first colour pass on the sky today, sticking to the blue/green - red/orange colour complementary originally planned. Colours used were: Prussian Blue, Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Emerald Green, Permanent Orange, Naples Yellow, Yellow Lake Deep, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Lemon Yellow, Zinc White and Warm White - all Michael Harding colours.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 2

Managed to get the tonal underpainting done this morning using a rag and a Flat brush with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with plenty of Liquin.
Looks like I'm going to set it late afternoon/early evening so that I can show that there are people living in some of the buildings by having lights on in some of the windows. Will also have a few streetlights working and a bit of flickering neon. 
Probably going to be based around a green/blue - red/orange colour complementary, I will decide over tomorrow morning's coffee!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Main Street Apocalypse - stage 1

This is a commission that came in from posting the previous painting "Whiteface" on the IX Facebook page. They have asked for me to push the Apocalypse aspect of my current Roadside Apocalypse series towards something much more dystopian and as such this will be painted outside of that series so as to keep continuity.
I was thinking of a classic American Main Street location for my next painting anyway so I decided to go with that for this commission. The setting is a kind of Mad Max post apocalypse America wherein the survivors of whatever has happened are eking out an existence in the ruins of their town using whatever technology still works but kind of doomed really as once this tech stops working they are left with nothing. Yes all a bit downbeat I know but this is what they want!
For this picture I remembered the amazing chaotic electric cabling that I saw in Indian cities and thought this would be ideal to put into this, kind of a Fourth World country reduced to a Third World (mind you India is developing fast and although that cabling looks mad, it still works!)
I think I am going to set the time of day as early evening because I would like to have a bit of neon still working and a few lights in windows to show that people are living there.
This was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet mixed with Liquin.

Artists & Illustrators magazine

I have a four page "Masterclass" article published in the September (no. 408) issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine.  It is a 12 step progress through a painting called "Ponte San Agostin" that I painted especially for the article based on thoughts of those two mantras that I have stuck to my easel. For more information on them please go to posts on this blog earlier in the year. Although the title is "Lose Edges, Join Shapes" I always felt it should have been called "Design in Painting" but they stuck to the original title. It's all about simplifying shapes by losing edges and combining the shapes so that the painting has a stronger design. This is the last of the three articles they commissioned from me for this year so far, I did suggest a couple of ideas for others but I haven't heard back from them on that.



Thursday, 5 September 2019

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine

As I was able to get three paintings accepted for this year's Art Renewal Center's 14th International Salon book I was offered a discount on having my work featured in an article about the Salon in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine published in the USA. Although not exactly cheap I thought that it was worth a try as I need to get my work in front of US buyers outside of the IX Imaginative Realism arena.
I now realise that it has a link to my website that I haven't updated for a couple of years...and I'm not sure if I can remember how the program works...
I chose a landscape painting that was not Imaginative Realism even though the three paintings that were chosen were in that category in the book. I just felt that this was a chance to reach a wider market and hope I haven't wasted five hundred pounds!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Roadside Apocalypse

These paintings are an extension of an earlier series called Roadside America which in the end were somewhat unfocused as to what I was trying to get across.
In 2016 I wrote in the Roadside America section of my book Dreamland  "It is not the modern bustling city that I'm interested in but the places where time has not marched on and has rather left them behind, the look of the America that I saw on television growing up in the 60s when there were many hit American shows broadcast in the UK. The urban architecture, the billboards, the cars, the colours looked so iconic of America in that era although tempered with the threat of the Cold War always there in the background".

"This feeling is very much reflected in "Main Street" above, where I have a lone vapour trail streaking over the landscape... is it a Soviet bomber? Where has everybody gone, are they hunkered down in their fallout shelters waiting for the end of the world?"
It is this theme that I am now developing in Roadside Apocalypse, the American urban landscape overlaid with the threat of the Cold War which somehow seems to have returned with the reemergence of Russia as a Superpower now vying again for power on the global stage.
When I was a kid in the 50s and early 60s in the UK I have memory of my parents going out one night leaving me alone in the house. I heard a lone jet aircraft passing over high in the sky and wondered could that be a Soviet bomber on it's way to drop the H Bomb. It must have affected me because I still remember it frightening me. This was the height of the Cold War period and that threat was always there in the background even for a twelve year old kid. The world of Dr Strangelove was real, 24 hours a day.
Many American TV shows were shown in the UK back then and the American urban landscape became very familiar to us. When I finally got to the USA in 1979 it was at the tail end of the big gas-guzzling cars era and many older buildings were being knocked down and replaced by more modern architecture. In more recent years as the world becomes more homogenised (Americanised?) a lot of the USA looks like anywhere else and the older America of my childhood TV days is harder to find... but it's still out there, you just have to go and look for it.
All the locations I paint are in the present day American landscape. My subject matter is not Americana per se, I might well have a motel sign or diner in a picture but I'm much more interested in a relatively ordinary street scene in a small nondescript town with that older architecture of the earlier half of the last century preferably somewhat run down.
These paintings enable me to incorporate a subject that I am becoming increasingly interested in painting - clouds and skies. I have always felt that the sky can set the mood for a painting and with these pictures they not only do that but are also very much part of the underlying theme that I am interested in. I have finally also been able to include a penchant of mine for huge single storm clouds that previously didn't go with the subject matter of the painting as it always looked too apocalyptic - now it fits! The clouds will never be atomic explosions as such, they will always be storm clouds, it's just about suggestion. I like to keep the scenes empty and deserted which gives them a surreal and nightmarish quality although an abandoned car here and there adds to the possible narrative... what has happened? Somebody has suddenly stopped their car in the middle of the road and ran for it... what is that looming shadow in the foreground all about? Is it an invasion of alien machines like War Of The Worlds?
There is a feeling of nostalgia in these pictures which I have been amplifying by using colours that have a quality of those old colour photographs shot on Kodachrome that people of my generation still have from those days.
The cloud from a nuclear explosion like the cloud of ash from a volcano or an approaching storm have been described as having a terrible beauty and that is what I'm aiming for with these paintings - maybe beautiful in terms of colour etc but mixed in is the dread of Cold War extinction. That's the kind of picture that I like to paint. beauty tinged with darkness and mystery...
Whiteface

Ice

Adult Books

The Last Stop sold

An older small painting of mine has just sold through Artfinder to a buyer in the USA. I seem to remember that I was really into red when I painted this and was looking for any excuse to use it in a painting. I still am into red, it's quite a tricky colour to use because it's actually quite dark and if you want it to stand out you often have to darken the colours around it and/or use a complementary next to it like green.
Oil on board 12" x 12".

Monday, 2 September 2019

Whiteface

Another painting in my Roadside Apocalypse series this one is located in a small town called Whiteface in Texas near Route 66. I am close to finishing a write up on the underlying themes to this series which I will post separately. 
I wanted a more contrasty look to this one and decided to base it around a blue/green - red/orange complementary the only other colour used being a small amount of violet. 
These paintings are all about a number of visual clues that hopefully together add up to an implication of something apocalyptic has happened or about to. I am looking for a bittersweet kind of image that in one one way is a painting with beautiful colours and lighting yet is of something cataclysmic. The terrible beauty of a nuclear explosion. I have always liked paintings that are beautiful but within them is a darkness, kind of yin and yang, darkness and light.
Anyway I will explain all this better in a separate post.
On the surface this is just a deserted small town in America with a storm cloud in the distance...
30" x 20" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Whiteface - stage 5

This will be the last post before the finished scan that I will post in a couple of days. I have worked over all of the painting now and hope to finish it tomorrow. I have kept the colours within the blue/green - red/orange complementary apart from some yellows and a tiny bit of violet. Also trying to make this one have more contrast than usual. Really need to finish off writing the background to all these paintings in the Roadside Apocalypse series and post, hopefully at the weekend.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Whiteface - stage 4

Haven't done much on this until today as the combination of a wedding I went to on Sunday and the glorious weather has disrupted my normally habitual work pattern. I have at last however managed to paint in the rough colour into the buildings and landscape today. I intend this one to have quite a high contrast to it for maximum drama and trying to keep all the colours used within the complementary palette of blue/green - red/orange.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Whiteface - stage 3

I was hoping to do a lot more today than finish the sky but it was such a nice day I took most of the afternoon off so it will have to be tomorrow morning when I get to paint some rough colour into the buildings etc.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Whiteface - stage 2

I was hoping to get the whole sky painted in one day but it's too large an area so I will finish it hopefully tomorrow. As the picture is based around a blue/green - red/orange complementary the colours I used are: Prussian Blue, Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Emerald Green, Permanent Orange, Zinc White, Warm White, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Lemon Yellow and Yellow Lake Deep - all Michael Harding colours.
I intend to make this one more contrasty and dramatic at least in terms of lighting.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Whiteface - stage 1

Another in my Roadside Apocalypse series this one's location is a small town in Texas. I plan to make this one more dramatic with more contrast and a very limited palette probably based on a blue/orange colour complementary but kept quite desaturated. Somebody suggested that I could make them more dystopian which I will do at some point but I want to keep them generally more subtle and ambiguous. I am including a small truck abandoned in the road with a door open. What has happened? Has the driver stopped and made a run for shelter or have they just stopped to pick something up from a shop and left the door open? The visual clues would suggest maybe something bad has happened...where is everybody?
Oil on linen 30" x 20".

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Jet

I painted this location a number of years ago and called it "Main Street" which actually didn't reflect the architecture of a typical Main Street in in US Towns. This is the same location but from the opposite viewpoint and keeping the vapour trail and the red brick foreground building. "Main Street" was in my Roadside America series which was generally a bit unfocused and delved often into the genre of Americana but this painting unbeknownst to me would be the precursor to this current series that has morphed from Roadside America into Roadside Apocalypse. I will write more about this in a separate post as there is too much to include in this post.
Broadly speaking although all the pictures in Roadside Apocalypse are at locations in present-day America, I have chosen architecture that was common in Cold War era times when the threat of The Bomb pervaded life below the surface. The clouds are ordinary storm clouds but put into the context of deserted streets and a vapour trail high in the sky they take on the attributes of a nuclear explosion...or to another viewer maybe it's just a picture of a storm cloud in Oklahoma.
The sky was painted in a one-day session as I find if I spend too much time on clouds they start to look heavy and overpainted and is nice to keep the spontaneous brush marks in place wherever possible. 
The painting is based around a blue/orange complementary trying to put the blue of the sky into the other colours in the landscape such as the greens so as to try and keep the colours harmonious.
30" x 20" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Jet - stage 6

Pretty much finished the left apart from the water  tower and the vapour trail  and have been working on the rest of the road buildings trying to keep them simple and "blocky" so that they recede. Could well get the rest finished tomorrow...
"Jet" btw is the name of the town that can be seen on the sign at left. it's in Oklahoma.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Jet - stage 5

Didn't seem to get a lot done today. I have been working on the main brick building and the ground to the left of it trying to get the lighting right with the sunlight just hitting the top of the building and the rest in shadow. Trying to put the blue of the sky into these areas so as to link these areas together as I still want the whole painting to be based around the blue/orange complementary.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Jet - stage 4

I have now started to paint in some basic colour into the buildings and street etc. I want the lighting to be sunshine just hitting the tops of the buildings and everything else in shadow and indeed an even darker more ominous shadow in the bottom right foreground.
I am trying to link the colours between the sky and land although of course there are two red/orange buildings that sit out from their surroundings. Having said that the basic colour complementary is still in place over the whole picture, orange/blue.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Jet - stage 3

Didn't get a lot done today, just a little bit of work on the sky and another layer of tone on the rest ready for tomorrow's session when I will start with colour on the buildings etc.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Jet - stage 2

On looking at the painting this morning over breakfast I concluded that it didn't need another layer of tone and that I could start to use colour. I managed to get the sky done in one day in a morning and afternoon session and don't want to overpaint much tomorrow as I want to keep it looking lively and fresh. An orange/blue near complementary palette was chosen, I used the following colours for the sky: Prussian Blue, Permanent Orange, Naples Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Zinc White, Warm White and Warm Light Yellow - all Michael Harding paints.
Although it's a storm cloud I want to suggest a nuclear explosion as well. The deserted street hopefully gives it a melancholy and surreal feel...

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Jet - stage 1

I painted this location before a number of years ago and called it "Main Street". This one is from the opposite viewpoint but still keeps the vapour trail and the red foreground building. This is another in my Roadside Apocalypse series with more overt references to the Cold War with the vapour trail and the storm cloud looking more like a nuclear explosion in the distance. I will write all this up properly in another post about the series itself.
I am working larger this time, 30" x 20" as I feel I need larger pictures in the series for possible gallery interest etc. This is the tonal underpainting stage which I "drew" up first with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin. When this was dry I added the tone with a rag using the same paint mix. I think it will need another addition of tone tomorrow before I proceed to colour.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Ice

This is the second recent painting that was in my Roadside America series but this series has now morphed into "Roadside Apocalypse"...I think I will expand on this in a separate post.
This one is based around a yellow/violet colour complementary with some guest greens and reds. Although I was originally going to paint these with thicker paint I have reserved this just for the focus of the painting, the foreground building. Everything else is painted in a softer way with thinner layers of paint. This gives the building a three dimensional quality as it stands out from the background. I quickly decided to not paint the clouds in thicker paint as they are more mysterious this way and need to recede to the background, thicker paint would have brought them nearer.
OK I will leave it at that with this one and expand and explain the "Roadside Apocalypse" in another post as it covers quite a lot of different elements that need to be  put together in a coherent way....
Oil on linen 20" x 16".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Ice - stage 4

Worked on the buildings and landscape today and hope to finish tomorrow. I have realised that this series is settling into a theme that I have had hanging around in my mind for a while and in fact develops the Roadside America series to a different level. More about this later...

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Ice - stage 3

Painted in the first colour pass over the whole picture so I have a good base to work on tomorrow. Basing it around a yellow/violet colour complementary and so far have used the following colours: Ultramarine Violet, Winsor Violet, Naples Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Zinc White, Warm White and Permanent Sap Green - virtually all Michael Harding paints.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Ice - stage 2

I didn't have a lot of time to paint today so I decided instead of going to colour that I would give it another darker underpainting glaze to get it nearer to the tonality that I want to add colour to tomorrow. Same paint mixture as yesterday but with less Liquin.

Adult Books

I painted the same location four years ago and have returned to it to give it another go using what I have learnt particularly over the past year in terms of painting and atmosphere. I am now renaming the first one "Adult Books 2" as this new one in my opinion is better. Looking back on the first one I am immediately unhappy with how literal I painted it, how I've painted the buildings too clean and tidy, the jarring green I introduced and basically how dead it all looks. This version gets across the general run-down feeling this area of Detroit has and I'm starting to introduce my mantras of "Lose Edges Join Shapes!" and "It's The Painting Not The Place" (see posts from earlier in the year about these). I have also put in an atmospheric sky that I have been playing around with for most of this year and I like the slightly  claustrophobic feel that it now has.
I want to start painting with thicker paint marks as well so these kind of old buildings with decaying paintwork etc are ideal. I based the whole picture around red as the red areas are the primary focus and used an analgous palette going each side of red towards oranges and yellows and purples and violets on the other side. 
I am very much drawn to the earlier American urban architecture that I saw as a child on TV shows which have a much more distinctive look than the modern anonymous buildings of today...the same goes for all the great American cars of earlier days compared to what you see today. The urban architecture of my own country, the UK, just doesn't seem to interest me that much!
This will be the first in a new series of Roadside America pictures that I started painting four or five years ago but maybe only now will I get some pictures that are nearer to what I'm looking for.
Oil on linen 16" x 12"
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Adult Books 2