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, 1 April 2020

Skyline - stage 6

Not a wildly productive day today although to be fair I have spent some of my time looking for the right location for the next one.
I painted another darker glaze over the landscape and then painted in some plants in the left foreground. I also darkened the background of the sign ready for the lettering to go on tomorrow and worked a bit on the other side of the road.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Skyline - stage 5

Something bugged me about the sky so I worked on it a bit more today by putting more smaller ones as the original cloud shapes were too heavy and dominating.
After that I prepared the sign for the lettering and worked on the landscape, trying to keep it relatively monochromatic to contrast with the colourful sky.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Skyline - stage 4

Finished off the sky pretty much barring a few tweaks later and then roughed in some more tonal colour into the landscape keeping the colours based around violet. I want the landscape to be relatively monochromatic to counter the fairly colourful sky. Still not sure if I want some tail lights of cars on the road or to keep it deserted.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Skyline - stage 3

First colour pass on the sky. Colours used were: Prussian Blue, Kings Blue Light, Ultramarine Violet,  Pale Violet, Permanent Orange, Yellow Lake Deep, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Lemon Yellow, Zinc White and Warm White. 
I then gave the buildings and land another coat of the Burnt Sienna/Winsor Violet mix with a rag.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Skyline - stage 2

Tonal underpainting stage using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin applied with a rag and a flat brush. I might change my mind about having some car tail lights on the road and keep it deserted, I'll decide later.
I forgot to mention that this is the second painting of this location, the first one was called "Vaughn" but looking back at it now I don't like it very much! Way too garish colour just for starters. I notice that I used a different motel sign in the foreground.

Vaughn

Friday, 27 March 2020

Skyline - stage 1

Carrying on from the last picture this is another painting in The Big Sky series that won't be having an ominous sky. This one will be an evening sky over an old motel ("Skyline Motel")  quite dark in the dusk light with the taillights of some cars on the road. The location is Vaughn in New Mexico which I think is on Route 66 like the last picture. I usually try to avoid obvious Americana but... couldn't resist dipping my toes in that water for this one.
This is the first stage where I have "drawn" it up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.

Chambers

Bearing in mind the current climate of fear and paranoia I will lay off the threatening/ominous skies and do something softer and less threatening. I have chosen a petrol/gas station out in the boonies of Arizona and wanted the feel of getting towards the end of a hot afternoon out in the desert. Chambers is a loose collection of buildings just off Route 66 in Arizona, the building at the right sells American Indian artifacts (not sure what tribe). This is another in my series of American landscapes called The Big Sky. At some point when I have enough I am happy with I will approach some US galleries (if there are any left at the end of all this) and see if I can get some interest.
Oil on linen 20" x 16".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting including what colours I used in previous posts on this blog.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Chambers - stage 3

Actually it's really stage 4 as I forgot to post what I did yesterday! As you can see I've been working on the buildings and landscape trying to get the lighting effect I want, a low afternoon sun just hitting the top half of the petrol station. The next post will be the finish as it won't look vastly different to this.
Colours now being used: Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow light, Yellow Lake Deep, Indian Yellow, Permanent Orange, Naples Yellow, Brilliant Pink, Manganese Violet, Winsor Violet, Pale Violet, Permanent Sap Green and Warm White -  mostly Michael Harding paints.

Marrakech Medina sold

Pleased to see that people are still buying paintings, "Marrakech Medina" has just sold to a buyer in New York. Apparently she had Googled Marrakech Medina and this painting came up in the search.
It's loosely based on a photo I had taken there in 1986 and is one of my older paintings when I was working on mdf board. 18 1/2" x 18 1/2". 
Also pleased to see that FedEx are still working relatively normally to deliver the painting!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Chambers - stage 2

First colour pass on the sky. I want this to look like the later part of a hot afternoon but it won't make much sense yet until I get in the foreground.
The colours I used were: Kings Blue Light, Pale Violet, Manganese Blue, Permanent Orange, Brilliant Pink, Naples Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Zinc White and Warm White.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Chambers - stage 1

Taking into account the current climate of fear and paranoia I will lay off the threatening clouds (for a while) and do something softer and less threatening, a petrol station out in the boonies of Arizona on a dusty late afternoon. I'm after a particular warm feeling to this one which somehow reminds me of holidays (remember them?) in hot climates about five in the afternoon as the sun gets lower in the sky and a lovely yellow/pink light suffuses the landscape... Egypt comes to mind.
Chambers is the name of the small group of buildings in Arizona just off Route 66.
This is the tonal underpainting stage where it was first "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin in the morning session, then in the afternoon I put in the tone with a rag and brush using the same paint mix.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

County Road

This one took longer to finish than usual as I have been a bit distracted by Covid 19 and had things to sort out first before getting back to this. This is the second painting of this location, the first was called "Idalou" as it is near a small town in Texas called Idalou but I was never really happy with it despite it being the subject of an article I wrote for Artists & Illustrators magazine at the time. 
Following on from the previous painting that I was trying to get a feeling of depth and space into I thought that I would like to try it again with a painting of a lonely house in the middle of a featureless landscape and this location would be ideal. At this point I must add that this picture is not some comment on our self isolation amidst the storm of Covid 19, the timing is coincidental but I can see that it could be... I must have been unconsciously channeling the zeitgeist!
It is based around violet with it's complementary yellow popping up occasionally, the violet being varied by going toward the blue or red side of it accordingly. 
There is a step-by-step progress though this painting including what colours I used in previous posts on this blog.
Oil on linen 30" x 20".

Saturday, 14 March 2020

County Road - stage 5

The right hand side of the sky bothered me and I worked out that the shapes of large areas of cloud needed breaking up so I painted in some nearer dark clouds and broke up the horizontal white distant cloud too. I then painted in some transparent violets and yellow/greens into the landscape in readiness for tomorrow.

Friday, 13 March 2020

County Road - stage 4

Finished the sky barring some tweaks later on and put some colour into the landscape. The landscape will have to have plenty of dark relatively rich colour in it for the sky to work methinks...

Thursday, 12 March 2020

County Road - stage 3

First colour pass on the sky today using mixes of Pale Violet, Ultramarine Violet, Winsor Violet, Permanent Orange, Brilliant Pink, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon, Zinc White and Warm White. Hoping to base the whole painting around violet. The sky looks a bit heavy at the moment but hopefully it will look less so when I get the landscape in.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

County Road - stage 2

The tonal underpainting stage using the same mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin applied with a rag for the sky and a couple of Flat brushes for the landscape. I changed my mind about the colours and indeed the sky over my breakfast coffee this morning although I am keeping the dark sky at the horizon.
Incidentally you will see that the canvas was sagging a bit on the stretcher in stage 1 so I sprayed the back of the canvas with soapy water and it tightened up nicely overnight.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

County Road - stage 1

I have actually painted this location before when I titled it "Idalou" as it is near the small town called Idalou in Texas but I was never happy with it (even though I wrote an article about it for Artists & Illustrators magazine at the time) and am happy to return to it for a better stab at it now that I have improved my skies since then. I want to try and get across the loneliness of this little house amidst the  vast space of the Texan landscape. To this end I am going to set it against a brooding stormy sky with the house and landscape picking up some low sunshine against the darkness behind. As a change from the earlier two paintings I'm seeing this one as relatively monochromatic in brown/violets and pinks and oranges but will not be painted in the way I was doing the monochromes earlier in the year.
For this stage I "drew" it up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and erasing any faulty lines with a rag dipped in turpentine.

Ham Rock

Following on from "General Store" I am staying in the South West of America this time in the Arches National Park in Utah where Ham Rock can be found. I am using similar colours to the last painting but I wanted a greater sense of distance in this one so chose a lone rock against a landscape with clouds receding into the distance ending in a rain storm near the horizon. This is another painting in my The Big Sky series and I suppose I was looking for a John Ford Western kind of look but without using the Monument Valley backdrop.
I have slightly changed the landscape to make the Rock look larger than it really is for pictorial reasons, these paintings are about mood and scale and are not meant to be topographically exact to the location. 
Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting including colours used in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Ham Rock - stage 5

Still going along fairly carefully with this, determining where the areas of light and shade are going to be and have now brought the left foreground forward by making a bigger difference in scale of the bushes to give it more depth. Anyone who knows this place will see that that I am making it look bigger than it really is. Might finish it tomorrow, we'll see. This will be the last post on the blog until the finish.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Ham Rock - stage 4

Worked a bit more on the clouds and indeed I still feel they might need to be broken up a bit - I will decide over tomorrow morning's breakfast coffee.
I have started working on the Rock itself and a bit of the surrounding landscape. I an realising that I need to move cautiously at first on this as the contrast and colour are going to be the keys to this painting's success or failure.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Ham Rock - stage 3

Pretty much finished the sky barring a few tweaks later on if it needs to harmonise with the landscape better. I think the line of cloud ending with the rain storm in the distance gives it a fair amount of depth. The main thing is to give the landscape receding areas of light and shadow  to which end I have gave it a second layer of the Burnt Sienna/Winsor Violet mix when I started to work out which areas will be in light and shade. I have decided to change the foreground landscape a bit to give it a better composition (a diagonal across the left side of shadow). I might have the top of the Mesa in shadow from the overhead cloud, I will decide over my morning coffee tomorrow.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Ham Rock - stage 2

First colour pass on the sky for "Ham Rock". I am using the same colours so far as " General Store": Kings Blue Light, Ultramarine Violet, Pale Violet, Permanent Orange, Zinc White, Warm White and Lead Tin Yellow Lemon. Hoping I can get a good sense of distance in this...

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Ham Rock - stage 1

Following on from "General Store" I thought that I would revisit the American South West and do a pure landscape using what I learnt from that previous painting. Ham Rock is in the Arches National Park in Utah and am hoping to get a good sense of space and depth to try and get across the dramatic landscape and Big Sky - yes it's another The Big Sky painting. 
Although I'm based in the UK I'm afraid that the British Landscape doesn't really interest me that much and much prefer the vastness that can be found in the USA and I suppose if I do more of these I could show it to galleries who sell this sort of work in the USA...
This stage was first "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using my usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet (Dioxazine) thinned with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium so that it dried quickly enabling me to apply the tone with a rag using the same paint mix in the afternoon session.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

General Store

Escaping the Stygian gloom of "The Vampires Of Venice" series I stumble into the light of the desert lands of South West America with another "The Big Sky" painting. The work I have been doing with monochromes is now being incorporated into the American landscapes that I will be painting, this being the first one. All of the landscape in "General Store" is based on a monochrome underpainting but this time there is a lot more showing through than I used to have. This now links up the land and buildings in a more satisfying way, indeed I had originally planned to have all the landscape in much darker shadow using lots of opaque paint but when I had got to the stage where the sky was finished I really liked the quality that the land had against it purely as a monochrome. I resolved then to keep the dusty pink general colour it all had and subtly worked colour into that instead of my original plan of much darker colour. I think it has a nice quality of light which I am going to develop in future paintings, indeed I might go back to some recent trial "The Big Sky" paintings and rework them nearer to this look.
The location is near Death Valley in California.
Oil on linen 30" x 20".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting including what colours I used in previous posts on this blog.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

General Store - stage 3

I decided this morning to go with working within a more limited range of colour and decided to go with the general dusty pink look to the landscape keeping to a sort of monochrome. I finished the sky first and then worked on the landscape using pretty much the same colour mixes with the addition of Brilliant Pink and a little Bright Green Lake for foliage etc.

Friday, 28 February 2020

General Store - stage 2

So here is the first colour pass on the sky and distant hills after deciding this morning over coffee to base it around violet varying it from the blue side to the red side with it's complementary yellow used in the clouds. The sky was painted with mixes of Kings Blue Light, Permanent Orange, Ultramarine Violet, Pale Violet, Zinc White, Warm White, Lemon Yellow and Lead Tin Yellow Lemon - all Michael Harding paints.
I then made up a mix of Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet and Permanent Orange thinned with Liquin and rubbed in a transparent glaze over the rest of the landscape with a darker mix painted into some of the shadow areas with a brush afterwards.
I'm in a slight quandry now as I quite like the monochrome look of it all against the sky so I have to decide tomorrow morning which way to go; either stick with the original intention of varied rich colours in the shadow landscape or to develop this monochrome version with quite a subtle range of colour instead...

Thursday, 27 February 2020

General Store - stage 1

It's now time to get back to some "The Big Sky" paintings again as I escape the Stygian gloom of "Vampires Of Venice". Actually this one is a bit of cross-pollination between the recent monochromes I have been painting and the American landscapes where I had the land in virtual monochrome set against a colour sky. "General Store" will have the landscape in shadow like previous ones but both the land and the sky will be painted in full colour using opaque paints. The location is in the Death Valley area of California and I like the idea of a General Store seemingly in the middle of nowhere... which it is.
This stage was painted with a small bristle brush and a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet (Dioxazine) thinned with Liquin. I think I am going to base it around a Violet/Yellow complementary but I might change my mind over tomorrow morning's coffee when I assess it with fresh eyes

Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Vampire of Rio de la Veste

I think I'll take a rest now from these monochromes so this will be the last "Vampires of Venice" painting for a while as I get back to some more "The Big Sky" pictures. 
I based this one on a different colour monochrome, a mix of Indanthrene Blue, Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange (to temper the saturation) thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag and brush in a series of glazes. I have learnt to paint the whole picture from one large pile of mixed paint as it is very difficult if you run out to get the exact same mix of colours again and any area using a different paint mix shows up straight away. 
So far I have been choosing to set the pictures in the quiet back streets of Venice and not the more famous and obvious locations that shout out "Venice!" For instance Rio de la Veste is in the famous San Marco Sestiere of Venice where St Mark's Square etc is located which is constantly thronged with thousands of tourists (at least in the day time) but once you leave that area it all becomes somewhat quiet and mysterious. Indeed this is the main attraction of Venice for me, walking around at night in the dimly lit back streets, beautiful but mysterious too, no wonder films like "Don't Look Now" were set here.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Vampire of Rio de la Veste - stage 1

This will be the last Vampires of Venice painting for a while as I need to get back to my The Big Sky series of American landscapes. I thought that I would try a different monochrome colour this time ; it's a mix of Indanthrene Blue, Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag and brush. I'm still looking for that old movie still look with the Vampire a bit closer in the doorway at right. Hopefully when/if I come back to this series I will have a slightly different way of doing them as I like to move on and not repeat myself...
Rio de la Veste is in the San Marco Sestiere of Venice but a lot quieter here than the area near St Mark's Square etc.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Monday, 17 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto

Following on from "Santa Croce" where the figure on the bridge would have been too small to work with I decided to try it coming closer in to another bridge (named Ponte Storto) this time. I have placed the figure centrally and at the apex of the bridge but everything else is asymmetrical to balance this out - even though the Vampire is small he is given more prominence by where he's positioned.
Although the bridge of Ponte Storto is real I have moved things around and changed it quite a lot for compositional reasons. I want these Vampires to be only half materialised as though they come from another world, this one has just noticed you.... run for it!
All these paintings in the Vampires Of Venice series are influenced by black and white photography from the 1930s and the German Expressionist films like Nosferatu although I am trying to be a bit subtle about it as well. I might indeed try later on a scene more like Nosferatu with the buildings etc at crazy angles... or is that being a bit obvious?
The whole picture was painted using a single mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and applied in a series of transparent glazes, the transparent paint gives it a quality that I don't think you can get by using opaque paint as the white of the canvas shows through it all I guess giving it a quality nearer to a film still which is kind of appropriate.
Oil on linen 20" x 16".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto - stage 2

Basically just adding more layers of the Burnt Sienna/Winsor Violet mix with a rag and brush. I reckon it's time for the Vampire to go in tomorrow...
That vertical line of light was going to be a distant light on background buildings but I might keep it as something weird going on in the distance - I'll have another look at it tomorrow morning to decide.

Magic Night and The Lost Cathedral sold

Magic Night
A good friend and his wife have bought two paintings, "Magic Night" and "The Lost Cathedral". 
"Magic Night" started life as plein air painting on mdf board the location being near Isfield in Sussex UK. Originally a daytime painting when I got back to the studio I thought that I would change it to a night time picture so I darkened areas and put in a full moon in the sky. Then a few years later I decided to give it a more magical feeling so I darkened it a bit more and added a trail of tiny green lights in the middle distance field hoping to suggest the possibility that there could be fairy folk around.
"The Lost Cathedral" is a nod to Caspar David Friedrich, the title being a nod to a piece similarly named by Debussy called "The Engulfed Cathedral".

The Lost Cathedral

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Santa Croce

This was originally intended to be another "Vampires Of Venice" painting but I realised that the figure of the vampire that was going to be on the bridge was going to be too small to work with so I decided that it would be nice just to do it as a moody Venice painting. Anybody that has walked the back streets of Venice at night will recognise this kind of scene, quiet and still no lights in the windows and the bridge lit by a single light, looking in fact like all of Venice at night, like a stage set.
I have just realised that it also looks like an old canal in a run down Northern UK town at night, somewhere I would not be walking around at night by myself as opposed to Venice where I feel pretty safe... if it wasn't for these damned Vampires!
Santa Croce is a Sestiere of Venice where this is located.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a short step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Vampire of Ponte Storto - stage 1

While "Santa Croce" dries I am getting on with another Vampire of Venice painting, this one actually follows on from the previous one in that I was going to have the Vampire on the bridge but realised that it was too small and far away to be able to get in a Vampire so this time I've come in closer to the bridge. The location is Ponte Storto but anybody that knows this area will see that I have changed a few things for compositional reasons particularly at the left of the picture. I want the Vampire to be kind of spectral and only partly there as I think it's creepier that way, just trying to decide at the moment if the figure is at the right size to the bridge... This was actually quite tricky to draw up and will look more logical when I paint in the posts and balustrades at the far side of the bridge although I was thinking of composing it like a still from a German Expressionist film like "Nosferatu"in which case the angles would be crazier - maybe do that for another one.
This was first "drawn " up with a small bristle brush using my usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 20" x 16"

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Santa Croce - stage 3

A couple more glazes have been added of the same colour mix as before, maybe two more layers of glaze should get it to the level of darkness and contrast that I am looking for. The next Venice painting will have a vampire in it again!

Dewi Sri sold

I have just sold "Dewi Sri" through Asgard Arts. It was originally painted for inclusion in The Fantasy Illustration Library Volume 2 "Gods and Goddesses"published by Michael Publishing in 2016. I chose to paint the Balinese Rice Goddess Dewi Sri as I have had a long-held fascination for the Island of Bali in Indonesia and have visited it many times over the years.
Oil on linen 21" x 15".

Friday, 7 February 2020

Santa Croce - stages 1 & 2

Stage 1
This was originally intended to be another Vampire of Venice painting but I decided that the figure which was originally going to be on the bridge would be too small to work with so I thought that it would be nice just to do it as a moody Venice painting. Anybody who has walked around the back streets of Venice at night will recognise this kind of scene, quiet and still, no lights in the windows and the bridge just lit by single light. Stage 1 shows it when I was leaving space for the vampire on the bridge and stage 2 shows it after deciding to leave it out. It will be much darker than this before it's finished!
I'm using the usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Stage 2

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Cold Constantinople sold

Well it took five years but "Cold Constantinople" has finally sold after being shown at IX and Abend Gallery Colorado in the USA and being published in the Art Renewal Center's International Salon catalogue and Infected By Art... it's funny, sometimes a painting that I think is one of my better ones still doesn't sell. Ya just never know.
A nice guy who works in the City of London bought it which I personally delivered to him this morning. He actually tried to buy it before but it was promised to the gallery show at the Abend and I didn't want to mess them around, luckily he came back to me a week ago enquiring if it was still available.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The Vampire of Campo Mosca

While I was waiting for some paint to dry on the next "The Big Sky" painting I decided to get on with another monochrome. It is potentially the first in an occasional series called "Vampires of Venice", this one being set in a small Campo in Venice called Campo Mosca. Incidentally I think the name translates to "Square of Flies" so god knows what used to be there many years ago! I have been to Venice a number of times and was captivated by how it looked at night, I'm not talking about San Marco but all the back streets as it were and wandered around for hours taking photos. Venice has this reputation for being a romantic city but to me it's always been about the sense of mystery that it has particularly at night. Because there are no cars and many Venetians can't afford to live in their city any more it is eerily quiet and deserted as you walk around, little wonder that there have been a number of moody films set in Venice notably Don't Look Now.
This series came about because I had noticed the unexpected photographic quality some earlier landscape monochromes had and it set off a train of thought about painting something that looked photographically real but had something impossible in it. Initially I was thinking about surreal juxtaposition but then in the bath (!) one evening I got the idea for using Venice as a backdrop for something menacing and settled on vampires. This is not a new idea there was a Klaus Kinski film called Vampire of Venice (I think) and much to my dismay an episode of Doctor Who called something very similar which I discovered when Googling the title.
The idea is to paint the vampires soft and indistinct, even only partly there as I want them to look elemental and not wholly of this world as though they materialise and dematerialise at will haunting the hushed deserted alleys and squares.
It was all painted using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and applied with a rag and brush.
Oil on linen 16" x 12".
There is a brief step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

IX Gallery Solo Show

I have a solo show with the IX Gallery this month, I will try and have a link to it at the end of this post. It's an online show only and will run until the 29th of this month, The title, Mark Harrison: Two Sides literally has two separate sections: one has a good number of my book jacket illustrations mainly from the 80s and 90s and the second part has about thirty more recent personal oil paintings most of which have been shown at IX over the years.
I have priced them TO SELL!  Four have sold already....

http://www.ixgallery.com/artbyexhibition.asp?eId=1000

Vampire Of Campo Mosca - stage 2

Another layer of glazes made up of a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin was painted on today. As it progressed I decided to make the figure even more subtle and have started to lose more edges than I originally intended - I want the Vampire to be as creepy as possible.... 
I will make the background a bit softer tomorrow with the next coat of glaze, the new American Landscape painting will have to wait a bit although I did manage to "draw" in the basic shapes ready for when I do start on it.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Vampire Of Campo Mosca - stage 1

While I wait for some paint to dry on a new The Big Sky painting I though that I would get on with another monochrome. It is potentially the first in an occasional series called Vampires Of Venice this one being "Vampire Of Campo Mosca". This series (if it becomes that) came out of noticing the photographic quality that the earlier monochrome American landscapes had and in the back of my mind had set off the train of thought about painting something that looked kind of photographically real but had something impossible in it. At first I toyed with the idea of surreal juxtaposition and then put it on the back burner while I got on with some American landscapes and it was only when I was going to be fiddling with my thumbs waiting for the paint to dry on the other painting that I have on the go at the moment that I thought of starting  this as in the meantime (actually in the bath!) I had come up with some ideas about vampires in Venice. The figure will be painted soft and indistinct against the Venetian square at night lit by one lamp on the wall.
I used the usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin. Oil on linen 16" x 12".

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Butte

This follows on from the previous "Shadowland" in that all the landscape is in shadow except this time low afternoon sunlight is hitting the distant butte. I wanted the colours to be a lot warmer than the last one and I also wanted to introduce some subtle colour changes into the foreground landscape. The original idea was to have all the land in shadow painted with glazes of transparent colour and the butte was going to have the sunlit areas painted in opaque colour but as the painting progressed it became apparent that I needed to keep all the paint transparent as the opaque colour would bring the butte further forward and ruin the sense of distance. The transparent colours used were Burnt Sienna, Transparent Oxide Red, Transparent Oxide Yellow, Winsor Violet, Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange.
I am enjoying painting near-desert landscapes at the moment (I think they particularly suit the transparent painted land in shadow) with this one being located in Arizona. I may well do another one somewhere around here before moving on. Once I have enough of these "The Big Sky" paintings I will start to approach some US galleries and see if I can place them for sale in the USA.
30" x 20" oil on linen.
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Infected By Art

I am pleased to see that I have had a painting accepted to be included in Infected By Art Volume 8. I think I've managed to get at least one piece in for the last five years or so...
The jurors chose "Long Way From Home", one of my rusting spaceship paintings from last year. This one is unusual in several ways, first there actually isn't that much SF work in IBA I would say that it's mostly Fantasy in some way. Secondly the rusting spaceship series I did last year is highly unusual for me as I hadn't previously done an SF piece since I was painting book jacket illustrations in the 80s and 90s. The painting itself is a bit Old School and could have been painted in the 70s even but I went with the idea that came along of painting it as though it was real and happening now. The spaceship looks like it's been travelling for a millennia before it got to Earth (or has it been flying around for many years in our atmosphere and started rusting up?) and flies half hidden by cloud, below a city full of humans getting on with their little lives oblivious to the enormity of beings from another planet flying around above them. Of course the spaceship could have been travelling for thousands of Earth Years and all the occupants have died and is just running on autopilot....

Oil on linen 20" x 16".

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Butte - stage 5

Have given the landscape the first glaze of a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin to knock it all back into shadow as well as working on the bushes to make them define the shapes of the landscape. Not sure if this picture is going to work but I hope I've learnt a few things at least!

Monday, 27 January 2020

Butte - stage 4

Have now finally roughed in all of the landscape in preparation for the glazes and the opaque highlights to go in on the sunlit butte. The blueness of the sky worries me but I'll get the land in shadow painted first and then I'll see if it needs to be changed.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Butte - stage 3

Using mixes of Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet, Ultramarine Violet and Permanent Orange thinned with Liquin I have roughed in the landscape at the left.  Not worried about colour or tonal accuracy at this stage I am just getting the underpainting in ready for glazes of transparent paint that will hopefully make it look like a landscape in shadow apart from the sun hitting the butte which will be painted using more opaque colours.