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, 30 April 2014

Dream Street - stage 1

This is an early block-in for a hopefully dreamlike painting of a single figure walking up a deserted street. I will put on a second tonal layer of a mix of Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine tomorrow morning before I go to the Sussex County Arts Club to help hang the May Exhibition for the Brighton Festival.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold

I wanted to paint something more contemporary after the last Orientalist painting that was the nearest I want to go to what could be called a more traditional Fantasy style. I thought that it would be nice to use the upright panoramic format on an American street scene although the point of the painting as with so many of my pictures is really just about colour and atmosphere. I don't think this will go to Illuxcon as there is not enough of a Fantasy content to it so this will go for sale in a UK fine art gallery. I have used a lot more transparent paint as well as Zinc White in the mixes and have happily got away from a "chalky"look to the colours and therefore to me has more impact through better contrast. Oil on canvas 11 3/4" x 31 1/2". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting on previous posts on this blog.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold - stage 5

I was hoping to finish this today but ......I have put in most of the reflections except for the most important one which makes sense of the title, the stream of golden light coming towards us from the low sun. I have put in a rough figure of a woman on the pavement (sidewalk) and that is as much as I could do today.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold - stage 4

I pretty much finished the buildings today so that I am ready to put in the reflections and the figure tomorrow. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold - stage 3

Using mainly transparent colour mixes using a lot of Liquin so that it will be dry for tomorrow, I put in all the shadow detail on the buildings and reflections in the wet street. I have decided to base the whole picture on a red/violet - yellow/orange complementary colour axis with an area of blue/green that will go well with the red/violet. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold - stage 2

After yesterday's block-in using a rag with Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine I managed to get some tonal colour on it this morning before I go away for a few days. With a mixture of Dioxazine Purple, Magenta and Burnt Sienna I used a brush and the side of a credit card to   put in some more rough shapes that will hopefully sit under the proceeding layers of colour and give the painting some grittiness and texture.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Streets Are Paved With Gold - stage 1

I feel I need to move away from a more straightforward Fantasy style and content and get back to something more contemporary, an American street scene. I have opted for an upright panoramic format as it will complement the design of the picture, the whole composition is about the reflection of golden sunlight that will track vertically down from the sun that will be positioned above the pavement on the right where there will be the silhouette of a woman in the distance. The traffic lights will offer scope for some nice red or green reflections that will track down the left. It will be the colours that should connect with the current fantasy thread of work that I am undertaking for exhibition at Illuxcon later in the year as I intend to use a certain combination of pink/purple and yellow/orange that I came across in the last painting. I have to be away from Tuesday to Friday this week so unless I can get some work done tomorrow morning the next time I will be able to work on it again will be on Saturday.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite

"Fatima, the Sultan's favourite concubine of the seraglio waits for his attentions on the raised terrace that  overlooks the palace and surrounding oasis town. A hot wind blows off the desert in the sultry late afternoon offering little relief from the oppressive heat that has forced everybody else in the palace to seek shelter until later in the day. Naked apart from some jewellery she drinks mint tea on a fine Persian carpet from a small ewer after smoking some apple shisha in a narghile brought to her by one of the eunuchs. Her thoughts drift to the evening ahead, languid but forever trapped in the gilded cage of the Sultan's Harem......."
OK as you can see, I have decided to paint an Orientalist picture with nods to GĂ©rome, Ernst and many other painters from the great era of Orientalist art in the late 19th century. I wanted to do a picture with the sun behind instead of contre-jour which so many of my paintings use as it's main lighting. I wanted rich bright colour using lots of reds, oranges and yellows for a hot almost oppressive atmosphere and thought it would be nice to paint an Orientalist fantasy. Fantasy this very much is of course and have made no attempt to veer away from the fevered imaginations of those previous, very European painters who never had any access to Ottoman harems and palaces and as such they indulged in very male fantasies of naked women lying around in opulent interiors at the beck and call of indolent Caliphs and Sultans which of course was a far cry from the reality of life in the seraglio. This proved to be a very fiddly picture to paint and is the nearest to what I used to do many years ago as an illustrator and as such is to me a one-off exercise which has been painted purely with a view to exhibiting it at Illuxcon in September. 39 1/4" x 15 3/4" oil on canvas. There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in preceding posts on this blog.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 10

Nearly finished now,  I put some more work into the foreground today including the pavilion. I just need to finish the figure, the billowing material and then any final glazing that needs to be done. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 9

More work on the foreground today, still not sure about the tiled area but managed to make a start on the table and nargileh and pretty much finished the carpet bar some glazing at the end. This is quite a fiddly painting!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"All At Sea" - Store Street Gallery exhibition

I have six paintings in a group show at the the Store Street Gallery, 32 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. It is an exhibition of marine and coastal themed work by six artists called "All At Sea" and runs from 17 April to 10 May 2014, the Private View is Thursday 17 April 6 - 8 pm.
Here are five of my paintings in the show (the sixth one will not load!):
The Longest Day
Out Of The Blue

Time To Go Home

Here Comes The Night
It's Nice To Get Out

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 8

Started work on the foreground terrace including breaking up the area of blue tiles, some indications of stonework on the floor and a start on the carpet. I decided to have a shadow coming in from the right to give some variety to the foreground and it also helps to lead the eye into the picture. I also corrected the perspective on the raised platform where the pavilion sits.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 7

Finished the palace and mosque area today (bar any glazing when everything else is put in) and then roughly painted in the figure and octagonal table.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 6

Only managed to get some more work done on the palace area today. I want a richly colourful, hot, almost oppressive feel to the colours which I am now seeing is coming into the picture but I don't want the palace area to be as precisely painted as this so I hope to break things up a bit tomorrow with more random highlights and shadows.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 5

I worked on the palace and mosque area today, defining some of the buildings more and lightening the areas in the sun as they were too dark as well as putting in more shadows such as on the blue dome.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 4

All I could get done yesterday was to put in some basic shadow areas on the palace buildings before I had to go to London to deliver some paintings to The Store Street Gallery. Today I painted in the background landscape at right and made a start on the palace buildings. In my mind's eye I have always seen this picture in very rich warm colours with an orange/pink cast to the palace buildings and warm orange/yellows in the foreground which I think will only work if I can get some very dark shadow areas and then use glazes over the whole painting to get the lighting and atmosphere that I want.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 3

I darkened the sky yesterday but stopped as I didn't like where it was going and left it alone to look at the next morning to see if I could resolve it in the cold light of a new day. I decided that it needed more blue in the sky, to make the clouds more variable in colour and to get in the sunlit mountains on the horizon. So I changed the sky near the horizon, put in indications of sunlight on the far mountains and then put in an indication of the sunlit land in front of them. I need to fix in my mind how the lighting is meant to work in this picture so I put in more darks into the foreground  before I start on the background palace buildings. This is quite a difficult picture to paint as it relies so much on the lighting and colour to get across the atmosphere I want.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 2

I have now put in some very rough colour to give me an idea of what works and what doesn't. The sky needs to be darker and I need to work out the colour of the shadows in the background palace buildings, these are the first things that I have noticed so far. I also need to make sure that the blue domes are a different colour and tone to the foreground pavilion and I need some touches of red in the palace buildings....and the foreground light areas should be more orange.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Sultan's Favourite - stage 1

Original sketch
Early draw-in
I have chosen to paint an Orientalist picture in rich, warm colours to which end I am going to try using Zinc White as opposed to Titanium White for hopefully more saturated less chalky mixes and tints of colour as well as glazes for a richer effect. It is set in the early evening with the last rays of an orange/pink sun illuminating the scene of a naked girl sitting on an oriental carpet on a belvedere with pavilion overlooking a sunset-lit palace. There will be indications of town/city buildings on the right with a plain and distant mountains in the far background. I plan to have lots of rich reds, blues etc and the strongest contrasts in the foreground while the palace building will be softly lit against a slightly darker sky for more mood and atmosphere. This is of course a fantasy in every way and is very much in the tradition of the Western Orientalist paintings of the late 19th century whose imaginings of languid naked girls waiting for the attention of the Sultan as they bask in opulent interiors was in complete opposition to how harem life actually was. I have mixed up various Islamic architectural styles together in this picture as I want it to remain a fantasy with no specific location or country being depicted. It was first "drawn" in with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine before a tonal block-in was painted over it using the same colour mix also using a rag.

Tonal block-in