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!

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Faery Queen - stage 6

I have put the first layer of red over the gold as well as the under colour for the figure; the painting is based after all on red and gold (with black so that the red looks strong and rich) so with red underlying the figure this should unify the painting. I am also making the tree darker with lots of lost edges planned to keep it soft and many branches still to go in. Like most decorative portraits I have done I tend to make decisions as I go along as this painting is happening in relative unknown territory, previously I have used acrylics but this time it's in oils on linen and am having to discover new ways of doing things.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Faery Queen - stage 5

As I was helping to hang the Summer Exhibition at the Sussex County Arts Club in the afternoon I only had a chance to put down the gold over the textured sky background today. The gold paint I used was a mix of Liquin and bronze powder which I mixed together with a palette knife before applying with a brush.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Faery Queen - stage 4

I have finished off putting in the texture on the sky and have blocked in the main tree branches with a mix of Alizarin Crimson and Permanent Sap Green (I never use Black). I want a strong diagonal in the composition which I hope will be provided by the tree against the sky the shape of the base looking like it flows nicely on from the wings.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Artists & Illustrators magazine

I just came across this on my Facebook timeline, Artists & Illustrators magazine has posted an old article I had written for the magazine on atmospheric cityscapes.

The Faery Queen - stage 3

After much thought about this picture while I was away I am now pressing on with what I have decided. A very dark (black) tree will be in the background against a textured gold metallic sky washed over with reds, the smaller tree branches being semi transparent against the sky. A gold disc (Sun or Moon) lies behind the branches centre-top of the picture, maybe with an Aries astrological symbol in it. The wings will be in gold leaf over a textured surface. At this point I have made a start on the textured background sky with Liquin Impasto. When it is finished I will put the gold over it and then the red washes will go over that.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Life Drawings

The time has come to select three life drawings for the Sussex County Arts Club Summer Exhibition during the Brighton Festival next month (Private View on April 30th). After going through a small mountain of drawings I have settled on choosing three from these, all pastel pencil on Murano paper from the Tuesday evening sessions, all ten minute drawings.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Faery Queen - stage 2

I only had time today to put in the design for the wings as I have to go away for the weekend which means there will be no more work on this until Tuesday. The wings will probably be in a textured gold leaf with some overpainting and I have made them large enough to just plausibly lift a body of this size...well it's Fantasy.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Faery Queen - stage 1

The subject of the painting is the lovely Naomi who indeed considers herself to be one of the Faery Folk so although it seems on the surface to be purely a fantasy painting it is in fact a portrait of somebody I am fortunate to know. It was always conceived to be a picture based on reds and golds to which end I have bought some gold leaf which I will use sparingly along with my bronze powders and metallic paints. The influences for this picture are artists that have used gold in their work; the first one is Gustav Klimt who was a huge inspiration for my work in the1990s and the contemporary artists Brad Kunkle and Joan Lossel.
This stage just shows the "drawing " up of the basic figure with a small bristle brush using my usual mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges

The first painting resulting from my recent trip to India, this is the unmistakable Varanasi (Benares) that lies on the banks of the River Ganges, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It is based on a boat trip along the the ghats at sunrise I went on although in this picture I have made it more of a fantasy than a topographical painting as I have moved buildings around for compositional purposes. I have based the whole picture around pinks so it is sort of a limited palette tonal painting but using quite a rich colouring. So another kind of Orientalist painting that I may take to Illuxcon in October depending on feedback and what else I have to choose from when the time comes.
Oil on linen 22" x 16". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 8

God it seems like it's taking forever to finish this painting! Today I got as far as putting in figures and other details on the steps etc and then put in the water nearest the shore and a start on the foreground boat at which point I stopped as I felt that I didn't want to hurry the foreground. I am happy with the initial work on the water and want to look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow morning before proceeding further. This could be a nice picture so it would be silly at this point to rush it through and maybe not get it as good as it could be and make a difference between just another painting and a possible seller.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 7

I have put in a lot of the architectural detail now which is a bit misleading at this stage as I intend to put a mist over it in varying degrees but I need this detail in first before I mist things over a bit. I will probably need to put in some of the water too before I mist things over. There will be a number of boats drawn up to the river's edge too so I guess I need to put pretty much everything in first come to think of it before I apply the mist! There will also be people on the steps......

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 6

Pretty much finished the buildings on the left and have made a decent start on the main temple building right of centre. It seems to be slow going again on this one but that is because I am painting buildings which are always fiddly, it would be nice to do a landscape next but am gearing up for the decorative portrait of Naomi in reds and golds.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 5

After working some more on the sky I started to put in the background stupas before painting the top of the building on the right where the first rays of sunlight are hitting the top (the red temple building on the right will also have this light falling on it).

Monday, 11 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 4

I have put down a first layer of colour to give me an idea as to how near it is to my original thoughts on it. I will adjust accordingly tomorrow when the paint is dry, particularly the sky as I used Underpainting White in the mixes so I should be able to get the relationship of the sky to the buildings much nearer then. I have left the canvas showing through where I intend to have some misty lights and a fire.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stage 3

I have put down a basic colour underpainting today with a pale green in the sky that is destined to sit under a pink scumble as I want the whole picture to be variations on pink bringing in subtle tints of the adjacent colours, purple and orange as well as some of it's complementary opposite, green, for the neutrals.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Sunrise On The Ganges - stages 1 & 2

A painting resulting from my recent trip to India, this is just a working title at the moment. The location is Varanasi (Benares), somewhere I had wanted to visit for many years although this painting is half real half fantasy in that I have moved buildings around to suit the composition and the lighting and atmosphere is a very ramped up version of what I saw there a few weeks ago. I am planning on basing it around pink, mostly subdued apart from the first rays of the morning sun that are hitting the top of the main temple at the left.
The first stage has been "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium to ensure it was relatively dry for the afternoon session when for Stage 2 I applied the same mix thinned with turpentine with a bristle brush and rag.