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