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, 29 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City finished

As I reached the end I realised that I did'nt like the water tower; it was a distraction and drew too much attention to itself within the composition so I painted it out and I am relieved that I did! I also changed the sky colour to a lighter and warmer hue. I was able to get the article to the magazine before my deadline and I believe that it will be in next month's issue.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City sixth day

I made a determined effort today to get in the left side of the picture. The blue of the sky is looking better against the sunlit buildings now and will probably only need a slight adjustment when everything else is painted in. I will also make a final decision on the shadow colour shortly. The sloping street was decided right from the start as I wanted to vary the very vertical/horizontal composition, this at least introduces a subtle diagonal.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City fifth day

I am working on different areas of the picture as I go along. The cinema is now ready for the final highlights, shadows and washes of green for the shade area. After that I need to sort out the left side of the picture and paint in the diner.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Monday Afternoon Session - figure painting

Here is the better of the two paintings I did at the Sussex County Arts Club session on the 14th May. The model, Lucy Potts (aka "The Divine Ms Potts" - Paul Cemmick), had brought along a motorbike helmet as her prop.....which was interesting. As ever, I am trying to finish a painting in the 50 minutes available including background.

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City fourth day

I have now put in some darks so that I can gauge how light to make the sunlit surfaces and how dark to make the shadows on the buildings. I am leaving the shadows alone and will come back to them when I have all the dark areas in. I want to try and get across the dazzling light of a summer afternoon, everything else is subordinate to that idea. That blue sky is the wrong colour too!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City third day

I spent most of the morning changing some things in acrylic. I decided to reinstate the glass fascia on the cinema fa├žade to add more variety to the buildings, tweaked the building at left and put in some telephone wires to break up the verticals and to emphasize the triangle-lying-on-it's-side compositional device that I am employing. Hopefully tomorrow I will start getting some oil paint down.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City second day

Acrylic underpainting
I have put down a rough acrylic underpainting to get an idea of how it is to look and to start ironing out any elements of the composition that I don't think are working. I think the figure needs to be bigger and should be holding a white umbrella and the blue sky should be darker for instance. I am also concerned that everything could start to look "bitty" so I must make sure that the buildings have a coherent design that holds up across the whole painting. Tomorrow I paint the first oils, then we shall have a better idea as to how things are going.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City first day

Initial sketch
Pencil layout
After a some thought I settled on trying to get across the feeling of an hot early afternoon in a deserted street (bar a figure with an umbrella eating an ice cream) in an unspecified city in the US. Everybody else is getting some shade, maybe in the cinema whose entrance provides cool escape from the heat in the street. Right from the initial (rough) sketch I had a strong design in mind that was based on the play of shadows on sunlit buildings with one strip of blue sky showing approximately a third from the left of the picture. As the buildings are predominantly pre-WW2, it will have something Hopperesque about it although the scene is essentially timeless as there are a couple of modern buildings in the background too.

Acrylic painted over pencil
All of these stages of the painting as I progress will be shown in the article along with
accompanying explanatory text to make up the twelve stage step-by-step demonstration.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Horizons New - First attempts at figure painting

OK before I go any further, I am not posting these paintings because I think that they are any good! This is the second week that I have attended the Monday afternoon painting session at the Sussex County Arts Club led by Kate Shields which comprises two 45 - 50 minute poses by a model who is encouraged to bring a prop with them (hence the microphone!). I reckon that this is just enough time to finish an oil painting and thus I guess the challenge has been set. I am hoping that over the coming weeks....months.....years, I will be able to hone any skills I may possess to produce some paintings worth exhibiting, whether they would be these or larger and more ambitious studio pieces I have yet to find out. I have absolutely loads to learn, I know that, but it is something that I have had in the back of my mind for some time and hope that the life drawing classes that I go to as well will help with my anatomy issues, proportions etc etc.

So hopefully the future postings will show a continuing improvement over time.....otherwise they will all be edited from the blog and I will pretend that nothing long as you conveniently forget as well.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Artists & Illustrators magazine - Summer In The City

I have just been commissioned by the editor of Artists & Illustrators magazine Steve Pill, to write a feature for their "Summer" issue (not sure which month yet). The theme of the issue is "Summer In The City" with my feature being the "Masterclass" section of the issue, a twelve stage step-by-step demonstration of how I paint cityscapes in oil. Initial thoughts are revolving around sunlight bouncing off pavement, probably afternoon light, heat, shadows of people, maybe somebody catching some shade, a busker?....I am tempted to make it hot and oppressive but it would be nice to avoid a sour note for a change in one of my paintings! Yes, let's try and get across the feeling of heat in the city. I don't intend to illustrate the Lovin' Spoonful song.....although having just read them, the first part of the song about the daytime does seem to be what I am thinking about.