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, 29 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 9

Again not really much of a stage, it's just the progress I made this morning before I leave the studio, back on Tuesday next week. I put a green/blue glaze over the sky and background mountains (apart from the light area around the moon) and then sorted a bit more out on the line of mountain with the waterfall - the whole of this painting apart from the figure is painted from imagination with all the shapes of clouds, rocks and mountains painted in as I go along.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 8

Since my return to the studio yesterday afternoon I have pretty much finished the sky bar a glaze or two (waiting until there is more landscape finished) and the mid-ground mountains bar the area around the waterfall; I am planning on some glazes to go over most of the landscape but need to get more painted in otherwise I will misjudge the values.
Something was bugging me about the area around the moon and fortunately while looking at a photo of the painting on my iPhone while I was away I realised that I had the perspective of the clouds wrong. The lower clouds were painted like they were near the horizon but of course in this picture it is much lower so once I had sorted that out I was able to get on with the rest of the painting.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 7

Not really a stage as such, just the work I was able to get done on the sky this morning before packing up to leave the studio, back on Tuesday. There will be a couple of glazes over the sky once I am happy with the area around the moon.

Firefox won't let me upload the photo so this is just a post to say I will be back on Tuesday to carry on with the painting!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stages 4 - 6

Stage 4
I wanted to block in a lot of colour today so that I can see where it's going. The first stage was to get some sky painted in with mixes of King's Blue Light, Phthalocyanine Blue and Green, Permanent Orange and Lemon Yellow. I decided that it would look more interesting if I put in some clouds after originally seeing it as a cloudless sky. In stage two I blocked in the distant mountains with the moonlight hitting the ice on the peaks and lower lying clouds. 
In stage three I blocked in most of the rest of the painting with transparent mixes of Phthalocyanine Blue and Burnt Sienna. This now gives me a good idea of the general look of the painting and want to leave it now and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow morning.

Stage 5

Stage 6

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 3

When I returned to the studio this afternoon I decided to give the whole painting another wash with a rag of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. It is a moonlight painting so it would be darker with less contrast and I want a warm cast to the whole picture which I hope to achieve by the brown underpainting showing through the top coats of paint. The distant mountains are to appear quite ghostly just being lit by the moonlight - planning to start the sky and mountains tomorrow.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 2

With a rag I washed in an initial tonal underpainting of a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. This gives a very rough idea of the lighting design with the lightest areas being the moonlit sky and reflections in the beach at low tide although the shapes won't be so defined in the background as I intend to have banks of fog and cloud lit by the full moon, but generally speaking the area at right of centre will be the lightest. The painting will be based around a red/orange - green/blue complementary colour axis.
I will be away from the studio now until Thursday when I hope to make a start on the sky and block in some more tone in the dark areas.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Midnight Keep - stage 1

The last of the series of five nocturnes this one is going to be much more colourful than the previous ones as I am going to paint it as though it's a combination of Atkinson Grimshaw and Albert Bierstadt of the Hudson River School. This first stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine. The next stage, which I was hoping to do today but it took longer to draw up than I had planned for, is quite crucial in that I am going to block in some tone which will determine the lighting design for the painting, this will now be done tomorrow morning. There will be a full moon in the sky which will illuminate the landscape with much warmer colours than I have so far used in this series, these colours being very influenced by the Victorian painter Atkinson Grimshaw. I have put a small figure in the foreground which may or may not make it to the final painting.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Midnight Mahal

The fourth in a series of five nocturnes, this one was conceived to be very dark with no light source showing so the colours have to be pretty saturated to make it look interesting. It is based on reference photos I took at the Taj Mahal when I went to India last year. This is an imagination of how it would look on a barely moonlit night, although it is very hard to photograph and doesn't really show how the finished picture looks, it is darker and moodier than it appears here with much more of a blue/green cast to the colour. As the painting is pretty dark getting the values right was crucial and I can only hope that the scan will show it better (when it's dry).
18" x 24" oil on linen. There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 9

I have painted over two glazes of Phthalocyanine Green and Blue thinned with Liquin and Lukas Number 5 Medium, once in the morning and another in the later afternoon. In tomorrow morning's session before I am away for a few days from the studio (back Saturday) I need to paint another glaze over certain areas to bring back some volume to the building as well as darkening the sky.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 8

On my return to the studio this afternoon I managed to get it ready for the blue/green glazes tomorrow by finishing off the foreground trees and undergrowth. As ever the painting looks much more blue/green than it appears here, it may be that I will only get a good representation of this painting when I scan it but of course I have to wait until it's dry for that.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 7

In the couple of hours I had this morning before leaving the studio for a few days (back on Monday) I have corrected the size of a few trees and put in some more distant ones to show the size of the building better and to break up the lines of the distant path. I was hoping to have it ready for the first blue/green glaze on my return but there was too much to do so will have to postpone finishing the trees etc until Monday and paint the glazes over the next two days of my stay.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 6

Once again I have to state that the colours are not like how it looks here and are in fact all variations of blue/green -  hopefully the scan should be more accurate but that will have to wait until it's finished and dry!
Basically spent the whole day getting it ready for the blue/green glazes which I was hoping to make a start on tomorrow but instead I will finish off getting ready for the glazes tomorrow so they will go on next time I'm here (Monday 12 June).
As I say the painting will be a lot more saturated and darker than it appears here...

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 5

God this painting is hard to photograph! Had a couple of hours this afternoon after getting back to the studio to put in some contrasty underpainting on the Taj ready for the glazes to go on later. It needs contrast as many of the middle tones will disappear when the blue/green glazes go over it - this painting is meant to be dark but quite saturated in colour  and will not look like this when it is finished. I hope to finish the underpainting on the Taj tomorrow morning so that it will be dry for the first glaze the next day. The painting itself is more blue/green than it appears here.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 4

Just a chance of a couple of hours work this morning before I leave the studio, back on Wednesday. I just worked on the dark areas, starting to work out the shape and design of them as they will become important later on as the painting develops. They are more solid than they appear here as they are difficult to photograph.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stages 2 & 3

Stage 2
After posting yesterday I did indeed put some more foliage in front of the building before this morning with a rag, washing over the whole painting a mix of Phthalocyanine Green, Indranthene Blue, Ultramarine Violet and a touch of Permanent Orange to knock back the saturation, the whole mix thinned with Liquin, turpentine and Lukas Number 5 Medium so that it would be dry enough for the afternoon session. I also blocked in some of the dark shapes with this mixture.
Then in the afternoon I blocked in the sky with a mix of Emerald Green, Kings Blue Light, Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Indranthene Blue and Permanent Orange to moderate the saturation before going  over the dark shapes with another layer of the dark mix from this morning. I also added some Phthalocyanine Green to that dark mix and painted it over the grassy areas. I need to remember as I go through this painting that it is all about the lighting and intend it to be dark and dramatic with not too much light on the white marble, as if it was a moonless night, the whole picture in saturated blue/greens.

Stage 3

Friday, 2 June 2017

Midnight Mahal - stage 1

I couldn't quite fix in my mind how the next Atkinson Grimshaw-inspired painting was going to look so I have got on with my other nocturne idea of a pretty dark painting with no light source showing, the brightest parts of the picture only in mid-tones and lots of dark dramatic shapes. I settled on a moonlit Taj Mahal using reference that I had shot on location last year with this kind of view in mind although now I am looking at it as I write this post I think that I am showing too much of the Taj. I want it more about the shapes and lighting and less about the subject matter so I may well put some more foliage and trees in front of it before proceeding.
This stage was painted with a small bristle brush and rag using a mix of Ultramarine Violet and Indranthene Blue thinned with Liquin and turpentine.