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!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Saharan Sunset

...As in the Saharan Motor Hotel on Sunset Boulevard LA. Another high-contrast, high-saturation painting making the most of the contrast by looking straight into the setting sun. I decided to make the road and pavement deserted of cars and people for a more surreal effect; I also chose an odd height for the observer to be. We are about ten feet in the air in this picture which also gives it a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere. Oil on linen 20" x 16". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in earlier posts on this blog.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Illuxcon 2015

I am pleased to say that I have been accepted in the Main Show for Illuxcon 8 to be held in Allentown, Pa October 21 -25 2015! It will be a great chance to meet up with friends old and new as  well as to hopefully build on the contacts and connections I made in September this year......and looking forward to all those diner breakfasts and pumpkin ales.......

Saharan Sunset - stage 5

Painted in the lettering and pretty much finished the motel so started on the background in addition to painting another glaze of pink/blue over the sky. I'm still thinking of keeping the Boulevard deserted....

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Saharan Sunset - stage 4

I realised that the lamp post at left was too high so painted some out which I think will make it a better composition with the main palm tree being the only object now breaking the top picture edge. I then put down the first glaze of pink/orange over the sky before starting to resolve the motel and the short palm tree at left foreground. Not getting a lot of painting done in this dismal weather, I don't trust or like the light you get from so-called "daylight" bulbs!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Saharan Sunset - stage 3

Put down some base colours into the foreground and gave the sky another coat of pink/orange ready for the first glaze tomorrow. Thinking of having Sunset Boulevard empty of cars and people....maybe a more surreal feel to the picture?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Saharan Sunset - stage 2

Made a start on the sky including a decision to put in the sun as I want the maximum contrast tonally in the picture, from some near-blacks in the foreground to the virtual white of the sun. Managed to get two coats down of an Alizarin Crimson/Dioxazine Purple mix over the bottom of the painting through the use of Lukas Number 5 Medium that allowed the first coat to dry so quickly.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Saharan Sunset - stage 1

"Saharan" as in the motel on Sunset Boulevard LA that is! This is another of my high contrast, high saturation pictures this time based on an analgous colour set of orange to violet (at least that is the plan at the moment). I am using an interesting method of obtaining reference material which I will write more on at a later time. I first "drew" it in with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and then washed in a tonal underpainting with a rag and brush using a mix of Permanent Orange and Permanent Rose for the sky and Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine for everything else.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Drive Thru

Continuing with me trying out a higher contrast, higher saturation look this is a painting of the well-known Rock and Roll MacDonalds at 600 N. Clark in Chicago and references a photo I took there many years ago. It is based around a pink/orange - green/blue near complementary colour axis trying to keep each colour area distinct for a stronger design. 
My recent Orientalist paintings such as "The Arrival Of The Concubines" and "Approaching The Citadel" which use a high contrast, high saturation look that has been well received have informed my current approach to my other work such as this picture. I like how I could continue to paint for different markets, each one connected and informed by the other; one, the more fantasy influenced Imaginative Realist the other more for the "fine art" market in the UK and USA.
20" x 16" oil on linen. There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Magic Night

This was originally a plein air painting that I changed into a night picture back in the studio as I felt it could be more interesting. I was going to bring it to Illuxcon but decided to bring all canvas paintings as they are lighter and therefore cheaper to ship to the US. As a plein air it was painted near a village in the East Sussex countryside called Isfield on a warm Spring day a couple of years ago and then subsequently worked on in the studio. Oil on board 18 1/2" x 18 1/2".

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Drive Thru - stage 5

Tweaked the values on the upright poles, put in the flag and then worked on the foreground cars and any shadow areas with a further glaze of blue/green. Decided to take out most of the pinks in the ground in foreground areas to ensure that the basic design works; one area of pinks and oranges and one area of blue/greens in unequal proportions. I am linking the foreground to the background with just a few touches of pinks and oranges (toned down) in the blue/green area.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Drive Thru - stage 4

Worked on the left side of street and background buildings at right before starting to resolve all the foreground areas making sure to keep within a fairly narrow range of colour so that the two areas of colour are distinct from each other - the pinks and oranges of the sun and background distinct from the blue/greens of the foreground areas.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Drive Thru - stage 3

Started painting in the setting (or is it rising?) sun and the buildings in the distance and then painted two more glazes of blue/green over the rest of the painting as it I want this area to be unified in tone and colour. This should then best express the pink - green complementary design of the painting as well as making the lighting work.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

20,000 Page Views so far!

I am happy to report that this blog has just exceeded 20,000 page views. Well it makes me happy but of course this is probably small beer compared to many other blogs!

Drive Thru - stage 2

I have blocked in some colour into the sky and then washed in some transparent glazes of yellow, orange and pink into the area where the sun is. After that I painted some transparent glazes of blue/green over all the shadow areas; at this stage I am not worrying to paint up to many lines as I want it to look quite "busy" in terms of texture and content. I was able to paint several layers of glazes in one day by using the wonderful Lukas No. 5 painting medium which dries so incredibly quickly.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Drive Thru - stage 1

Another painting where I want to try out this high contrast, high saturation look this time back on canvas (linen) again. I first "drew" it out with a brush using a mix of Sap Green and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine then went out for lunch (very nice) to give it time to partially dry. On my return to the studio I then washed in a tonal underpainting with a rag using a mix of Burnt Sienna (and a touch of Quinacridone Red) and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine. The painting's location is the famous rock and roll McDonalds drive-through restaurant at 600 N. Clark Street in Chicago using a reference shot I took there many years ago.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls

I fancied painting something simple after all the difficult perspectives in the last one so I chose a tonal landscape. It is based on an island I saw at Buscot Park in the Cotswalds UK but has the influence of the Isle of the Dead paintings of Arnold Bocklin and Ferdinand Keller although since I have finished it I detect some Maxfield Parrish in there as well. I wanted the light and colour to be dramatic with a strong a contrast as I could get away with and is a look that I will hopefully develop in some upcoming pictures. It is based on a yellow/green -  violet/purple complementary colour axis with a guest appearance of some pink/orange. Oil on MDF board 18 1/2" x 18 1/2". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 6

Painted a glaze of a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Dioxazine Purple on the sky and finished off most of the water and reflections. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 5

Only had the morning to work on this today as the light in the studio faded in the afternoon (I don't like painting in artificial light, even with so-called "daylight" bulbs) so all I did was to paint a glaze of Ultramarine Violet over the sky and work on the water in the left half of the picture. Also received some bad news about a potentially lucrative deal with a hotel which fell through so that kind of knocked the stuffing out of me as well this afternoon.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 4

It's starting to look like how I imagined it at the outset, very moody! Still basing it around a yellow/green - violet complementary with just a touch of vibrant pink/orange; I want that sun to look so bright that you feel you need to squint your eyes to look at it.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 3

I painted a semi-transparent glaze of Manganese Violet and Lemon Yellow over most of the sky and painted in the darker areas such as the island trees and the background trees to get a bit nearer to the tonal values that I want for this picture. It's all about mood and colour.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 2

I have now got down the first layer of colour based on a yellow/green - violet/magenta complementary. I have widened the temple a bit since taking this photograph as it was looking too small. This painting will look much nearer to how I intend when I get the glazes on it, hopefully Monday.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Isle Of Lost Souls - stage 1

After the complications of the last painting I decided to do something simple and tonal. A setting sun reflected in a lake with water lilies in the foreground, an island lies in the middle of the water with a wall around it. Flanked by classical urns on pedestals steps lead up from the water to a classical temple higher up framed by cypress trees. The tonal underpainting has been put in with a rag and brush using a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Dioxazine Purple thinned with Liquin and turpentine. I had to use a brush as the paint does not go down so well on MDF as it does on canvas (I fancied painting on MDF for a change). Obvious influences are the Isles of the Dead paintings by Bocklin and Keller.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Dreamer - the final version

I tinkered around with "Dreamer" a bit more as various issues started to bug me. Firstly I darkened the orange/red sky including the moon itself as I thought it was too bright and distracted from the figure. I then put some green/blue glazes over the background buildings to make it more obvious that the two ends of the street are different environments. I put more green/blue glazes over the shadows in the nearer buildings and finally made the lit part of the figure stronger and more colourful against the intenser green/blue behind her.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke wins Second Prize

In addition to "Approaching Rain, Devil's Dyke" being a finalist in International Artist's Landscape Challenge (to be published in the next issue), it also won Second Prize. This amounts to a two page feature in American Art Collector magazine in the January 2015 issue, a magazine that I have wanted to show my work in for a number of years. There will be four or five paintings reproduced in the article so it is important that I make the correct choice that will appeal to the American market.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Grand Drawing Circus

Unicorn - Laura
Finally posting up some drawings from last week's Grand Drawing Circus superbly organised by Jake Spicer. A plethora of fabulously attired models were available to draw in various environments spread around The Old Market in Hove accompanied by the strangely interesting music of the Drawchestra. I left after five hours as my brain was beginning to hurt but here are the best of what I managed to produce, all Derwent pastel pencil on Murano paper.
Monkey - Emma
Showgirl - Alicia
Monkey - Emma
Showgirl - Alicia
Columbina - Michaela
Lion - Johanna