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!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio

On a moonlit night a concubine smokes a nargileh in the seraglio of the Sultan. The smoke floats lazily in the sultry air of the harem, the high walls separating her from the outside world, the only evidence of which she can see is the dome of a mosque glinting in the moonlight on the other side of the walls. A gilded prison.
Another Orientalist fantasy painting this time centred around blue varying from blue/green to purple with a few additions of oranges and reds albiet mixed with Manganese Violet. I may run a very light glaze of blue over the figure tomorrow morning when the paint is dry.
It is very difficult to photograph this painting, the original being a bit softer than it appears here.
As ever the lovely Naomi Wood posed for the figure although I have given her darker hair here and have not tried to achieve an accurate likeness for variety's sake!
This is a painting that I may exhibit at this year's IlluXCon.
Oil on linen 18" x 24". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 12

Painted in more of the interior, the hanging light, the pillar and the underpainting for the figure on the couch. Debating to myself about having something in the foreground in front of the figure on the couch to break up the line where the couch meets the bottom of the picture.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 11

Pretty much finished the pillar and curtains although the actual colour of the painting is nearer to a more aquamarine blue particularly in the background. I then put in the underpainting for rest of the middle ground ready for tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 10

Just worked on the foreground curtains and pillar today, both of which should be finished tomorrow. I'm using glazes of Ultramarine Blue and Winsor Violet mixed with a little Permanent Orange to slightly neutralise the colour.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 9

For some reason I wasn't able to post up stage 8 yesterday so here is stage 9. I have now finished the background and the top half of the mid ground arches and I'm now working on the foreground curtains and decorative pillar before returning to the mid ground and figure. When it is finished the purple underpainting should just be visible enough to give the whole painting a slightly warm cast.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 7

Didn't quite get the background finished today, just the windows and door at the bottom to do, quite pleased with the slight glow from the dome in the sky (looking slightly rough here in the photo, it's smoother in the actual painting).

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 6

Put some blues into the curtains before starting on painting the moonlight on the background. For compositional reasons I decided to have the shadow of another dome coming in on the right. Hoping to finish the background tomorrow. I am using Lemon Yellow as the highlight colour.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 5

Painted some blue mixes over most of the picture toning them all down by adding some Permanent Orange or Naples Yellow to the tints. The purple cast to the whole picture should start to disappear as more blues are added; I also increased the tonal range and improved the composition by having some bright light in the hanging lantern. The figure will be darker and blending in more with the foreground when I get to painting it.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 4

Starting to paint some blue glazes over all of it, not worried about losing some lines and tonal variation as I have now established the tonal design and where things are going. Hoping to make a good start on the background tomorrow.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stage 3

Applied some more washes of tone, a mix of Winsor Violet and Burnt Sienna thinned with Liquin and turpentine to all the painting. Something then started to bother me about the composition in the top left corner and I decided I needed to close it off with another curtain as the arches were shooting out that corner in a very bothersome way! My plan is to work within a quite narrow range of colour, with blue/greens in the background and blue/purples in the foreground with a few bits of red here and there.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Moonlight In The Seraglio - stages 1 & 2

This painting has been kicking around in my head for about a year but haven't been able to work out what I wanted to do with it until now. It is influenced by the moonlight paintings of Mead Schaeffer and I intend to paint it in blues and blue/purples with touches of red here and there. I want quite a complicated picture surface that hopefully will reduce to a pattern of tones with plenty of contrast between the light and dark areas but with lots of nicely controlled middle values too. Moonlight is shining onto the back wall and the dome beyond but I don't intend the light area to stay as it is here as I want some raking shadows to cut across the walls to create some interesting shapes with reflected light shining onto the foreground figure lying on the divan.
The first stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of manganese Violet and Burnt Sienna thinned with Liquin and turpentine and the second stage was using the same paint mix but applied with a rag.


Friday, 10 June 2016

The Golden Temple

The third painting resulting from my recent trip to India, this is The Golden Temple in Amritsar.  I first saw it at night after a day's journey from Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas and despite being pretty tired a group of us got some rickshaws down to the temple in time to see the evening procession. The Golden Temple looked amazing at night with all the gold glinting in the lights and the moonlight, so glad I made the effort!
For this picture I decided to make the whole painting based around yellows. oranges and violets instead of having the gold temple contrasting against other colours. I also tried to keep it quite simple in composition with everything really hanging off the sun as opposed to the temple itself, so like many of my paintings it less about the place and more about colour.
Oil on linen 20" x 20". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Artists & Illustrators magazine Facebook post

Artists & Illustrators magazine has just posted an article I did for them a few years ago on Facebook about painting an atmospheric cityscape although the original article was really about using full saturation colour...

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 7

My design strategy of everything hanging on the sun is now becoming apparent now that I have painted in the first stage of the light burst above the temple and roughed in the reflections in the water.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 6

I painted in a glaze of Yellow Lake Deep over the sky with some Permanent Orange on the horizon. I then put a light yellow edge around the sun although I notice it isn't quite even (it's meant to be slightly flattened) so I need to tweak it slightly tomorrow. I then painted another coat of a mix of Permanent Orange and Manganese Violet on the buildings.

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 5

This photo is a bit misleading as it is showing a lot of reflections in the sky but basically I worked on the sky to get ready for the glazes and then put in some dark tone on the buildings.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 4

However I photograph this the contrast in the sky is less than it looks here. I think a few glazes should get the sky how I want it to be but it is now important that I get in the semi-silhouetted buildings in so that I can judge as to how dark the sky should be, to which end I have made a start. Everything should hang on the sun and the light flare on top of the temple.

Friday, 3 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 3

Painted in a basic colour underpainting for the sky which I plan to be darker than this as I want the disc of the sun to be the focal point of the picture - I want it very moody.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 2

Only had time today to rough in some colour using a rag but it is quite handy as it gives me a good idea about how the sun is going to work within the painting.
The rest of the day was spent designing a new book that I hope to have available for IlluXCon in October.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Golden Temple - stage 1

Decided to do something compositionally simple after the last more complicated picture so this is one resulting from my recent trip to India, the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It will be based around the sun sitting just above the roof of the temple with the resulting light flare turning it into gold, the rest of the painting will be based around violets and reds with a dramatic sky which might have some green/blues in it (undecided at this point).
This stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin.