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!

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

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Ice - stage 1

While "Adult Books" dries ready to be scanned for posting up I have got on with another Roadside America painting, "Ice", the location of which is in Vaughn New Mexico. I'm looking back on earlier ones in this series and can actually see some improvement for a change. I think the trick is to go for run-down buildings and locations and paint them more broken up and less accurately to the reference and then ramp up the atmosphere with skies and lighting.
There was an earlier painting called "Ice" which is now renamed "Ice 2"!
This stage was first "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin in this morning's session and then I applied the same paint mix with a rag and Flat brush this afternoon for the tonal underpainting.
Oil on linen 20" x 16".

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Adult Books - stage 3

Put in more colour today and gave it a darker stronger contrast ready for the reds to go in tomorrow. Red usually looks best when it is against dark colour so hoping that it will all pull together tomorrow. The red areas are pretty much the whole point of the painting...I also introduced some blue into the billboard at top.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Adult Books - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
There is an earlier painting called this but I will now rename that as "Adult Books 2"! 
I am returning to my Roadside America series now for a while and intend to try out using thicker paint on these as I want to move things forward a bit in terms of the way my work is painted. The building is on Michigan Avenue in Detroit; I am more drawn to painting the urban American landscape than I am my own in the UK - not sure why yet!
I am using an analgous palette based around red, the red areas being the focus of the painting so I am going each side of red to include oranges and yellows as well as violets. Colours used so far are Winsor Violet, Manganese Violet, Pale Violet, Burnt Sienna, Scarlet Red, Yellow Ochre Deep, Naples Yellow, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Zinc White and Permanent Sap Green.
Stage 1 is the tonal underpainting using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and applied with a small bristle brush and a rag.
Stage 2 is the colour underpainting.

Stage 2

Monday, 22 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad

When I received the IX 2019 Commission from Pat and Jeannie Wilshire I sent them a few ideas as to what I could paint for it. We agreed on the landscape idea "The Dark Citadel" which I finished earlier this year and will be exhibited at IX in Reading this coming October. However they also liked the sound of the figurative idea "Dawn of the Hamadryad" and suggested that I paint that as well to bring along to the show. I finally got round to painting it when I came across the circular canvas's that had just arrived at my local art supplies shop, Cass in Brighton. I had been thinking about painting one for some time and this was the final impetus for starting it on a larger scale after painting a couple of preparatory pictures earlier, "Dawntree" and "Dryad". The circular format seemed to give it something extra that I needed to make a start and I decided to compose it in such a way as to make good use of the circle, tree trunks and branches being ideal for this as you can move and twist them around to fit. 
I intended this to look a little like a Victorian painting such as by Leighton, Draper etc (the hubris!) and gave it a suitably overblown title but once I had started on the tree it became pretty clear that it was going to be very much a Fantasy painting...which is fair enough. I think that if I had painted the tree more realistically I might have got nearer to my original intention but I just got carried away with the writhing branches etc. Incidentally this kind of circular painting is called a Tondo.
I managed to scan this painting on my A4 scanner by assembling 17 separate scans in Photoshop as I have never been satisfied by anything that has been photographed digitally in Copy Shops etc.
So I will be bringing this and the studies to the IX show in October. Oil on canvas 24" diameter.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 11

I worked on the figure today, putting in some colour into the hair and face and sorting out how the hands and arms merge into branches. Also trying to work out how the hair merges into branches. I think I will paint a thin scumble of semi-transparent yellow/white over the face and hair when I'm finished as I suspect it will need knocking back a bit.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 10

Worked more on the tree branches at left and carried on with getting in the figure. Started to use a very light mix of Warm White and Winsor Violet as the highlight colour on the figure - if it's a yellow light the shadow will be it's complementary, violet.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 9

Decided last night whilst under the influence of a stiff gin and tonic to have the back of the tree to go into the mist...I think it was a good idea, I'll look at it tomorrow morning over breakfast coffee and see if it was. Finished parts of the tree now so it was time to start work on the figure. I want the figure to be somehow emerging out of the tree into the sunrise of another day and want het to look slightly unsubstantial...new territory for me so we'll start seeing tomorrow if I'm able to pull it off.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 8

Superficially this doesn't look much different to the last post but in fact I have been working all over the picture and no area is as yet finished. I am essentially making this up as I go along (apart from the figure reference) so progress is a little slower after the quickly put in earlier stages.
Incidentally this idea of the tree spirit was one of the alternative ideas I put to Pat and Jeannie Wilshire for the IX Commission. They went for the landscape "The Dark Citadel" which can be seen in earlier posts but they liked this idea as well and encouraged me to paint this too. Hopefully I will be bringing this to show at IX in October if it works out OK.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 7

I made a decision this morning over my morning coffee about the sky, painted in some blue sky and clouds and then carried on with the right side of the picture. Once I have finished this area I will be able to paint the rest of the picture; as I am making this up as I go along I am proceeding quite cautiously until things get more fixed in my mind as how to proceed. 

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 6

I worked mainly on the right side of the picture today working out how the rising sunlight comes through the tree branches and also putting some very light blue into the sky at top. I am making this picture up as I go along and haven't really worked out how I want the sky to look yet.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 5

At first glance this might not look much different to the last post but actually I have been working over a lot of the picture but on the cautious side! I have been adding glazes to the tree and put in more colour into the background but stopped here because as usual I want to have a look at it over breakfast tomorrow and see how I want to carry on; what I don't want is to keep on painting as I have been and then realise that I have gone too dark or whatever and then have to try and repaint areas.
Using glazes of Permanent Sap Green, Ultramarine Violet, Winsor Violet and Permanent Orange.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 4

I am starting to add some colour cautiously at first as I don't want it to get dark too soon to which end I have painted these transparent glazes of Permanent Sap Green, Permanent Orange and Cadmium Yellow Light. Looking at the study painting for this, "Dryad" that I painted recently I want to avoid the green wash at the bottom and probably the blue in the sky as well. I also think it is too dark which leads me to conclude that I might build this one up in glazes...I will decide over breakfast tomorrow!

Monday, 8 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 3

I'm wondering now whether to leave the underpainting and start on getting some colour in. I could put in more branches in the background but it might be best to do that later once I have the foreground painted. I will decide tomorrow morning over breakfast...

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 2

Started work on the underpainting now and have remembered to put in some weird faces into the tree as I want a slightly Darker side in this otherwise Light-side painting. I stopped here as I need to have a think about how I'm going to approach the rest. The figure won't be as distinct against the tree as it appears now in the final painting.
Still using the paint mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Dawn of the Hamadryad - stage 1

I have finally got round to painting this after putting it back for various reasons. I think the impetus came from coming across some circular canvas's in Cass Arts in Brighton which seemed to be the final element that I was looking for that I felt it needed to make it worthwhile to paint. A circular painting is called a Tondo and I felt an arrangement of tree branches could be composed that would make the most of a circular format having already decided that the format suited a Figurative piece. 
I had shot reference photos of Naomi Wood at the beginning of the year for this already so I sorted through them and went with this pose having done a trial painting using the elements I was going to include a few months ago called "Dryad" which was handy for making the final decisions on this larger painting.
I first "drew" up the figure with a small brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin which I let dry overnight. Then I applied the same paint mix with a rag the next day and just winged it putting in the branches, any that I didn't like I rubbed out with a rag dipped in clean turpentine. I tried to arrange the shapes of the branches to make the most of the circular format, in the back of my mind thinking of the way Mucha worked with circles. Hopefully it will come out with a feeling of Herbert Draper and William Waterhouse to it...yes I know a tall order indeed! .. and of course it will come out the way it wants to, I often find that a painting almost has a life of it's own and will come out the way it wants to!
Oil on canvas 24" diameter.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Ponte San Agostin

This is a painting I have done for a step-by-step oil painting demonstration article I have written for Artists & Illustrators magazine, the last of three articles recently commissioned. The article is titled "Combine Shapes Lose Edges" to show how I put into practice the mantras I have stuck to my easel from earlier in the year - "Lose Edges! Join Shapes!" and " It's The Painting Not The Place". There is more about these mantras in posts from earlier in the year on this blog. Actually I think the article could be titled "Design in Painting" as although those mantras are used in this picture my overall focus was giving it a strong "design". By Design I mean that it is a step along from Composition in that Composition is more about where you put things in a hopefully pleasing and interesting way but Design is taking that Composition and adding where and how it is coloured and lit so that at first glance it's the Design that you notice first and then the content. This is putting into practice the second mantra "It's The Painting Not The Place" in that it's the painting itself that is the primary point of doing it and the location is secondary to that. It is not merely an accurate depiction of a location but has become a more subjective and individual response. 
Anybody who has walked the backstreets of Venice at night will have come across a scene like this, deserted streets with just a few lights in the windows above, everything else quiet and peaceful usually lit by a single lamp giving a theatrical lighting to the the crumbling walls and passageways.
"Lose Edges! Join Shapes" was obviously used to combine buildings and having soft edges in the background between the buildings and sky contrasting with the hard edges of the foreground steps etc  which gives it more depth.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog and of course in a few months time there will be a much more detailed run through in the upcoming article in Artists & Illustrators magazine.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Ponte San Agostin - stage 5

Still keeping within the confines of the blue/orange complementary I painted in the bridge with the colour getting a bit warmer as it gets nearer using some more Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Violet in the mixes before going onto the lit area at the right. I used mixes of Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Lake Deep, Permanent Orange, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Violet for here. Because the blues and oranges are complementary each makes the other look more saturated.
I am writing the article for the Artists & Illustrators magazine as I go along which is just as well as the deadline of July 3rd is fast approaching and I need to let the finished painting dry before I can scan it so I can send all together to the publishers.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Ponte San Agostin - stage 4

I first gave the lit areas a wash of some warm Yellow Lake Deep and Permanent Orange which gave me a better idea of what to paint in the buildings in Moonlit shadow as well as making the blues look more saturated due to the orange being complementary to the blue. 
I left it like this to dry overnight and then I will run some slightly more opaque paint over areas of detail that I don't want to show very much tomorrow morning. I should be able to get all the buildings and bridge finished tomorrow so that I can make a start on the reflections in the canal on Sunday.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Ponte San Agostin - stage 3

I finished off the sky by just keeping the thinner paint around the moon and blocking in the rest so that it has a more magical feel to it. Then I painted in the furthest buildings keeping the edges soft and leaving little gaps where the warm underpainting shows through to suggest lights in windows.
In preparation for tomorrow's session I painted in the windows in the other buildings; a lot of them will disappear as I go along but I want them all in at the moment so that I can decide as I go along how many I want to see of them.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Ponte San Agostin - stage 2

I have now blocked in some transparent colour over the buildings and put in the sky. The picture is based around an orange/blue colour complementary to which end the sky is a mix of Prussian Blue, Permanent Orange and Zinc White with a dash of Lead Tin Yellow Lemon for the Moon. The transparent colour washed over the buildings is a mix of Prussian Blue and Permanent Orange and when nearer to the light areas is a mix of Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange.
The "design" of the painting is now becoming more apparent.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ponte San Agostin - stage 1

This is the tonal underpainting for a painting that will be the subject of a step-by-step demonstration article for Artists & Illustrators magazine called "Combine Shapes Lose Edges". This is where I put into practice those mantras from earlier in the year "Lose Edges! Join Shapes!" and "It's The Painting Not The Place". I have chosen a location in Venice and am working from a photograph when I was there a few years ago. I am going to keep the tempting detail down to a minimum and instead develop it into larger shapes which should give it a stronger design but will nevertheless have the atmosphere of a Venetian night through the colour and lighting.
This first stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin in the morning and then in the afternoon when it was largely dry I put in the tonal underpainting mainly with a rag and an old Flat brush using the same paint mix.
16" x 12" oil on linen.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Oliver's Island Autumn Sunrise

This is the last of the quartet of paintings of the same location, Oliver's Island on the Thames at Strand On The Green, under different lighting and season etc. I was dismayed to find that when I went to visit the location in West London last week the poplar trees were no longer there but I decided to paint them in for continuity's sake to fit in with the others. I was originally going to have a Summer blue sky with white fluffy clouds but again didn't feel that it would fit in with the others so I went for a warm and dramatic feel, two cold pictures two warm.
All four paintings are actually based on a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary, each one being a variation within that range of colour. 
I must now get on with writing the next article for Artists & Illustrators magazine that will be incorporating aspects of these paintings and other recent pictures.
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Oliver's Island Autumn Sunrise - stage 3

I have actually already finished the painting and am waiting for it to dry so I can scan it but in the meantime here is the stage from yesterday when I had finished the sky and island etc and I had started to block in the colours for the water reflections. As you can see I use a flat brush to lay in vertical strokes of darker versions of the colours in the sky into the water area. When all the area is covered I run a dry brush horizontally across the surface of the paint to give the impression of light reflected on water.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Oliver's Island Autumn Sunrise - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
Actually I did these a few days ago but have been away for the weekend where there was no wifi or phone signal so the is the first chance to post them. This is the last in this series of paintings of the same location in different lighting and season etc. I was going to do a Summer one with blue sky and fluffy white clouds but I didn't think that would fit with the others so I went with another more dramatic tonal one instead. I actually have a bit of a dilemma with the poplar trees on the island; I went there last week and was mortified to see that they are not there any more but for continuity's sake I have decided to keep them there for the last one. 
Stage 1 was "drawn" up first with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet with some Liquin and then with a rag I rubbed in the tonal underpainting over it using the same paint mix.
Stage 2 is the first colour pass on the sky and in common with the rest of this series it is based on a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary. Colours used were Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Pale Violet, Permanent Orange, Burnt Sienna, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Yellow Lake Deep, Zinc White and Warm White - all Michael Harding paints.

Stage 2

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Sunrise

This is the third in this short series of paintings of the same location in different lighting conditions, season etc. As the first two were cold in colour I thought that I would paint this one in warmer ones in this case a sunrise in the Winter. All these paintings are basically Tonalist in palette with this one based on a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary using relatively desaturated mixes of Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White with some Permanent Sap Green later on - all Michael Harding colours.
I now want to paint the last one in the Summer and have just got back from a generally frustrating trip to West London to photograph the island in Summer foliage. I managed to get the photo's but achieved little else otherwise!
I have been trying to apply the mantras stuck to my easel from trying things out earlier in the year, "Lose Edges, Join Shapes!" and "It's the Painting not the Place" (see posts on this earlier in the year on this blog). Indeed I have to start writing very soon an article for the Artists & Illustrators magazine on this very subject...
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in a previous post on this blog.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Sunrise - stages 1,2 & 3

Stage 1
I have now moved on to the next one in this short series of paintings of the same location in different lighting conditions, time of day and season. The first two have been cold in colour so I thought I would paint one in warmer ones, in this case sunrise. It's based around a blue/green - red/orange colour complementary.
Please go to earlier posts for information on the location in West London.
The first stage, the Tonal Underpainting was painted first with a small bristle brush and then with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
I added colour in the second stage using mixes of Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White - all Michael Harding paints.
The third stage used the above colours plus the addition of Permanent Sap Green with which I roughed in the Island and water etc.
Stage 2

Stage 3

Oliver's Island Winter Storm

Before getting on with "Dawn Of The Hamadryad" (and as a change from more branches and twigs) I am going to paint a series of probably four pictures of the same location under different lighting conditions, weather and time of day. I have chosen Oliver's Island on the Thames at Strand On The Green in West London and have already painted the first a few months ago, now retitled Oliver's Island Late Dusk". The Island or Ait as they are known in this area was supposedly where Oliver Cromwell stayed for a while during The Civil War but probably a myth, the London Underground bridge to Kew and Richmond can be seen at the left of the island. I have chosen a London location with one eye on entering them in the Royal Institute of Oil Painters juried show at the Mall Galleries, this year's theme being "London" - I have been accepted a number of times previously.
I'm fairly happy with it but think it's a bit too photographic for my intentions and will try and make the next one look a bit more "painterly".
Based on a blue/orange complementary I have tried to keep it relatively desaturated and cold looking in keeping with the season.
16" x 12" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Storm - stages 2 & 3

Morning Session
Managed to paint most of the sky this morning and the rest this afternoon. It's based on a blue/orange complementary and was painted with mixes of Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Orange, Zinc White, Warm White and Naples Yellow - all Michael Harding paints.
I blocked in a thin mix of Prussian Blue and Permanent Orange over the land and water in readiness for tomorrow's session. The lightest part of the picture will be the large white cloud directly above the boat and jetty, roughly composed using the Rule Of Thirds for placement. The overall colour of the painting is to be kept cold and relatively desaturated.

Stage 3

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Oliver's Island Winter Storm - stage 1

Before getting on with "Dawn Of The Hamadryad" I fancy getting away from twigs and branches for a while and will be painting a short series of the same location under different lighting conditions and weather. I have chosen Oliver's Island on the River Thames of which I have already painted the first a few months ago and have retitled it to "Oliver's Island Late Dusk". I have chosen a London location (it's an island or Ait near Strand On The Green in West London) with one eye on the upcoming Royal Institute Of Oil Painters juried exhibition at the Mall Galleries for which I will enter these if they work out OK. The theme of the show is "London".
This first tonal underpainting stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium so that it would be dry for the afternoon session when I put in the tones with a rag and flat brush using the same paint mix but without the Lukas Number 5 Medium.

Oliver's Island Late Dusk