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, 21 February 2019

Dark Citadel

At the request of the people commissioning this painting I will not be posting any more updates on this painting until it is finished. Once they have received it in the US they wish to publicise it themselves as a precursor to the exhibition later in the year. As soon as they show it on social media etc I am free myself to show the painting, this I have been assured will be soon after they receive it.
I am continuing to photograph the stages for my own archive.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dark Citadel - stage 5

Finished off the sky and then did the underpainting for the background mountains with the same Phthalocyanine Turquoise/Permanent Orange mix but more thinned down with Liquin. I want the mountains to emerge out of the sky which is why I have used the sky colour for the shadows.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Dark Citadel - stage 4

Managed to work on two thirds of the sky today and left the right side alone until tomorrow to mull over what I want to put in there. I'm making it up as I go along as I'm not really working from reference as such, I know the effect I'm looking for and will stop when I've got it.
The colours I used for the sky are pretty simple so far - Phthalocyanine Turquoise, Permanent Orange, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White, all Michael Harding paints.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Dark Citadel - stage 3

I've put in the basic Tonal Underpainting now but things won't start to make sense until I get some colour on it as it's all about the lighting. I know what I want it to look like but there is a lot of invention to come in when I start painting each area. I will start with the sky tomorrow and then the background mountains...
Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin applied with a rag.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Dark Citadel - stage 2

Going quite carefully in terms of drawing it up as it's a large important painting that I don't want to have big problems with later on. I have been working on the bottom right corner and the citadel; the corner is very important as I need a secondary focal point which is why I am putting a figure in here. If it is just a landscape painting there is not an obvious focal point that IX can use as publicity as the show gets nearer, with a figure they have a choice to come in on it or use the landscape as a whole.
The citadel buildings are only roughly put in for the moment, a lot of them will emerge as the Tonal Underpainting is put in.
Still "drawing" it up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and a dash of turpentine.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Dark Citadel stage 1

Sorry about lack of blog activity but was first put out of action by a heavy cold and then I have been making the final decisions for the IX Commission. After lots of thoughts, ideas, changes, reassessments etc I whittled it all down to a fantasy landscape which I am calling "Dark Citadel". Once I had a concept sketch approved by Pat and Jeannie Wiltshire who run IX I settled down to the fine tuning of what I was going to do. The idea is simple enough, high up on a protruding ledge overlooking a valley are the battlements and buildings of a city. Simple enough but I agonised for several days on which format to use, Landscape or Portrait. Landscape as the name implies gets in the most err... landscape but it looked more ordinary in this format. Portrait had more scope for making the city more dominant and better enabled an idea I had to give it more drama; a moving perspective. At the bottom you are looking down onto the river meanders and the ruins, as you move to the middle the horizon is approx the end of the valley in the distance and then you start to look up to the city on the ledge, then the mountain at right and finally you are looking high at the sky on a moonlit night. so it has the effect of a vertical angled wide angle lens view of a landscape. The other important thing about "Dark Citadel" will be the colours and lighting. A full moon in a dramatic sky lights up a landscape in hopefully quite a magical will see what I mean as it progresses...
Normally I "draw " up a painting in less than a day, but this is much larger which gives more scope for additional elements to include to help with the sense of scale. This has meant that I will have to do this over another day before I can move on to the Tonal Underpainting.
I "drew" it up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and a little turpentine. Any mistakes/changes are rubbed off the canvas with a clean rag with a bit of turpentine on it.
Oil on canvas 30" x 40".