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, 31 January 2016

YouTube video

After a good few months in the making a promotional video is now available to watch on YouTube about my approach to painting a picture in oils. It is called "Dreamlands - Oil Painting with Mark Harrison" and follows the progress of me painting a picture called "Borderlands", the time taken being compressed into one notional day. It was filmed by Cliff Wright of Eaglesmirror last year which he then edited with myself providing the music. I will put a link to it on the right hand side of this blog as well as having links to it on my website and Facebook page. 
It is not a regular oil painting demonstration video as such although it does follow the progress of "Borderlands" from initial sketch to finish. 
Here is the link:

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Naomi Rouge - stage 5

I painted an Alizarin Crimson glaze over the whole of the sky to unify the colour before working on the figure. I am still using mainly glazes on the hair and introducing some yellows and oranges into the skin tones on the body, the face is in shadow so that is getting some cooler colour on it. Probably won't get any work done on this tomorrow but hope to finish it on Monday.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Naomi Rouge - stage 4

Started to get the reds in on the background and the figure including a chance to use my super-expensive Genuine Chinese Vermilion. I intend the hair to flow into the background down her back and am tinkering with the idea of using some gold paint on her arm clasp. The hair so far has been painted just with glazes which I quite like as it glows against the red background.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Naomi Rouge - stage 3

I painted in the sky underpainting first with mixes of Venetian Red, Winsor Violet and Brilliant Pink thinned with some Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium, making sure to get the placement of the clouds right for the design that I had in mind. I then roughly painted in a glaze of Permanent Orange mixed with Liquin on the hair. Finally I painted a glaze of Permanent Orange and Manganese Violet on the face and shadow areas of the body.
I am hoping that the sky underpainting is the right colour to sit under the reds that I have in mind.....

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Naomi Rouge - stages 1 and 2

Stage 1
I fancy doing a painting that is all about the colour red and then realised that my regular model, the lovely Naomi Wood has red hair so I thought that she would make a good starting point. I am keeping the composition strong and simple with Naomi against a cloudy sky, her red hair set against the reds of the background, the theme of a figure against clouds has always appealed to me particularly when there is no landscape, the figure taking on a more iconic aspect.
Stage 1 has been "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. 
Stage 2 first had a wash of Permanent Orange thinned with turpentine applied with a rag to the hair and figure and then another wash of a mix of Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet and Alizarin Crimson thinned with turpentine applied with a rag to the face and background.

Stage 2

Life Drawings

Here are a couple of ten minute drawings from last night's session at the Sussex County Arts Club, the model was Laura Lenonen. Pastel pencil on Murano paper.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Dewi Sri

This has been painted for the Fantasy Illustration Library's upcoming "Gods and Goddesses" book published by Michael Publishing in the USA. I chose the Balinese goddess of rice and fertility, Dewi Sri for my contribution. I have depicted her as a kind of cosmic Balinese dancer, her costume being a combination of a Legong dancer with elements of how she is depicted in older Balinese statues. I must emphasise that this is very much a Fantasy painting of her and aficionados of all things Balinese need to cut me some slack on this depiction! The lovely Naomi Wood modeled for this although I substituted her head for a Balinese dancer that I had photographed on location many years ago (sorry Naomi!).
I conceived the design as two basic areas of contrasting colours, red and green and had to resist the temptation many times to introduce other colours into the background although I have linked them by having some oranges in the background and some greens in the figure (influenced by the exotic, somewhat Kitsch paintings of Tretchikoff). The rice padis in the background have been designed and painted in a slightly unrealistic stylised way to emphasise the symbolic content of the picture although anybody familiar with the Balinese landscape will know that it can look like this, particularly in the Sideman area.
She holds a sheaf of rice in her hand as she is usually depicted but I have gone out on a limb a bit by having sheaves of rice in her headdress instead of the customary flowers. Small shrines to Dewi Sri can be seen amongst the padis, a common sight in Bali where she is much revered, rice being so fundamental in Balinese culture.
I intend to show this painting at this year's Illuxcon in October in Reading PA. Oil on linen 21 1/2" x 15". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 15

Near the end now, I have put in most of the rice in her hand and headdress so I should be finishing the painting tomorrow. I don't do many of these kind of pictures with large figures and I can see why, they take too long - landscapes are my thing!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Drawing Circus, some drawings

I went to Jake Spicer's event at The Old Market on Monday evening called The Drawing Circus: Festivity! Here are a couple of drawings from that session, one of Felix and one of a model I am afraid I did not get the name of. Pastel pencil on Murano paper.

Dewi Sri - stage 14

Hopefully the end is in sight now on this painting, I worked around the figure today including the hands which leaves tomorrow to work on the rice in her hand and headdress and the burst of light in her fingers.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stages 12 and 13

Stage 12
Apologies for no post yesterday, it seems that Blogger does not support my version of Safari anymore and I am now using Firefox. I have worked on the figure yesterday and today, mainly on the decorative costume and some tweaks to the face and figure. Still glad I have kept to the original design concept of two areas of contrasting colour, red and green.

Stage 13

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 11

Finally able to get back to Dewi Sri after three days away from the studio. Working on the head dress and shoulder decoration today along with some more work on the face. I am glad that I wasn't tempted to put much variety of colour into the background as it has kept the strong design idea of the area of reds within the background of greens that I originally envisaged.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Life Drawings

In lieu of any more progress on Dewi Sri until I get back to the studio on Saturday, here are a couple of life drawings from last night's session at the Sussex County Arts Club. The model was the lovely Naomi Wood who I did mainly portraits of during the course of the evening. They don't do her justice of course. Pastel pencil on Murano paper.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 10

This painting is taking longer than usual due to the fact that there was a lot to get right in the background and then there is a large figure to paint as well. I have been working on the head today, I will only get a couple of hours work on it tomorrow before being away from the studio until Saturday.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stages 8 and 9

I didn't post anything yesterday as it was so dark in my studio that photography was impossible. Stage 8 shows where I got to yesterday and stage 9 is today. After finishing the background on stage 8 I started to work on the figure and decided upon a Tretchikoff-influenced green highlight effect as I felt the green would be appropriate to the theme of fertility and also linked her colourwise to the background. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 7

Because the background is from my imagination it is taking longer to paint due to making it up as I go along. I stopped at this point today as I want to leave it until tomorrow morning to have a look at it in the cold light of another day before I proceed. The area at the top of the painting needs some more thought before I finish the background (the shrines are still to be put in too).

Friday, 8 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 6

Finished off the foreground padis apart from the shrines and left it alone to look at in the morning. I have always had it in my mind that the background is green, green, green to get across the feeling of fertility but I need to have a think about how much I should vary the colour in the landscape. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Three book cover artworks sold

Guy Coulson has sold three of my old book jacket artworks. They are "Caddoran", "Hunting The Last Dragon" and "Andelain". "Andelain" was an illustration of the fictional land in the Thomas Covenant series of books by Stephen Donaldson and was used in "Realms Of Fantasy" published by Paper Tiger in 1983.
Hunting The Last Dragon


Dewi Sri - stage 5

Still working on the foreground rice padis. 

Infected By Art Volume 4

I have just heard that two of my paintings have been accepted for inclusion in Volume 4 of Infected By Art. They are "Departure Of The Bash Kadin" and "Sailing Into Byzantium" which were both exhibited and sold at last year's Illuxcon.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 4

Started work on the rice padis at the bottom of the picture. I would normally start on the furthest background in a landscape painting but I feel I need to start here to get the gradation of light right. I want the landscape to look as lush as possible, a sea of green.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 3

I have made a start on the rice padis, the idea is that it is darker at the bottom of the painting and then it gradates to lighter greens at the top - this should intensify the saturation. 

Artists & Illustrators magazine article

My latest article for Artists & Illustrators magazine has just been published in the February 2016 issue and is a step-by-step demonstration of how I painted "Idalou". The article is called "Dramatic Skies" and can be found on pages 68 and 69.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 2

Put down some transparent colour on the background landscape and figure ready for tomorrow's session.

Three paintings sold

San Giorgio Maggiore
Another part of the good start to the year, three paintings have just sold to a buyer in New York; "Late Afternoon, Bacino Di San Marco", "San Giorgio Maggiore" and "Spring In St James's Park". 
"Late Afternoon, Bacino Di San Marco" was largely painted as a painting demonstration at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago 18" x 36" oil on board. "San Giorgio Maggiore" was painted after my first visit to Venice 27" x 27" oil on board. "Spring In St. James's Park" was one of a large series of small paintings undertaken when the current recession hit 12" x 12" oil on board.
Late Afternoon, Bacino Di San Marco

Spring In St. James's Park

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Dewi Sri - stage 1

This is a painting to go in Volume Two "Gods and Goddesses" of The Fantasy Illustration Library's series of books (I had one in the first book "Lands and Legends") published by Michael Publishing in the USA.
I chose the Balinese rice and fertility goddess, Dewi Sri...well I would wouldn't I? I have depicted her as a kind of Balinese cosmic dancer holding a sheaf of rice with more in her dancer's head dress. This is meant to be more of a fantasy image of her although I have given her some correct Hindu decoration on the lower half of her costume. She dances within a fantastical landscape of rice padis, a misty green world contrasting against the warm reds and oranges of the figure (complementary colours).
Naomi Wood modelled for the figure but I used the face of a dancer I had photographed many years ago in Bali (sorry Naomi the face has to look Balinese!).
This stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. I then washed in a tonal underpainting with a rag using the same paint mix.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Field Of Dreams sold

Well that's a good start to 2016, a sale on the first day! Asgard Arts have just sold "Field Of Dreams" to a buyer in the UK with the paint barely dried. I might try a few more small paintings like this when I fancy a change from the more involved pictures as I have a good stock of reference photos of the lovely Naomi Wood to work with.
Oil on linen 15 3/4" x 11 3/4".