Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Still life with peonies, a hen and a little china cup

Still life with peonies, a hen and a little china cup

After my flower painting workshop on Friday I came home with some gorgeous flowers. Although I have painted many still life demos in the last year I haven't painted a still life for my own enjoyment for a long time. I couldn't resist these big blowsy peonies though.

You know how I love to paint over an existing painting given half the chance? Well I had this canvas with half completed demo from the workshop so I turned it on it's side like this and that's where I began...

I then began work in acrylics with thin glazes of colour, at which stage it looked like this...

Quite dark at this point but very exciting with it's transparent colour and splashy washes! 
When the acrylic underpainting was completely dry I started on the oils...

Then it was just a case of building things up until I was happy, keeping the bits I liked until I was satisfied overall.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ginger on the red carpet

Ginger on the red carpet
Oils 12" x 16"
I went back to the allotments to finish this one and made a new friend while I was there. Well I just had to let him star in the painting didn't I? He was sooo affectionate!

I'm afraid I haven't captured a very good photo of this one, it's a bit fuzzy and the colours have gone a bit too garish!

Anyway here's a closer look at the cheeky chappie...

I'm very busy this week (as ever), so forgive me if I don't blog for a few days! I'm going into the SAA HQ tomorrow to shoot some pictures for a book and then on Wednesday I'm in London all day and hoping to fit so much into that day! I will report on what I achieve there! Finishing off the week with a day workshop on painting in gouache - I can't wait to show everyone there how fabulous gouache is as a (much under-used) medium :-)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Red carpet at the allotments

Painting at the allotments again :-)

The day before yesterday I made it to the allotments again, probably my favourite place to paint away from the sea! 
I was really interested in the red carpet, the pegs on the string and the bendy canes! I love love love allotments because I'm a sucker for pattern really. That and typography are both passions. Anyway here's a run through of what went on...

Stage one, blocking in large green masses...

More definition, varied greens, darker greens... (by the way the board isn't white to start with, it's painted in Winsor & Newton Galeria pale umber acrylic paint)

I used a colour shaper tool to lift off the highlights for the posts and string while the paint was still wet.

Starting to put in the reds and browns...

Strengthening some of the darks and highlights ...

I scratched out the thin wiggly lines for the netting, and added more definition of leaves in the foreground. This is where I had to leave it, but  I came back today to finish it off. I'll take a photo of the finished thing to show you next!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Barn interior

Barn interior
I finally managed to get a half decent photo of last week's barn painting as well as a couple of other recent ones. I've also been planning a trip to Cornwall to paint, coming up very soon!

Lots going on as always, including two workshops this week on painting a still life with flowers in acrylics. One was for the lovely members of Newark art club and the next one is this coming Friday. Today I was painting at the allotments again (hooray!) and last week had a try at painting canal barges - it was tricky -pictures to follow! :-)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mystery in shadows and brilliant greens

This barn is only a few hundred metres from my house and I often notice great painting subjects around and within it while walking past with my naughty but cute dog. I painted this corner last summer, but less barn and included the lane going up the hill.
This week it was all about those bright fresh greens of early summer and the deep mysterious coolness of the barn interior in shadow.
To my absolute delight I had an unsuccessful painting to work on top of.

I was really fed up with this painting back in Easter on Bréhat. I got caught in a real downpour stuck out on the rocks!
Now I was thrilled to have this dry base to work on, with it's existing colours and textures.

I started with a dark glaze over the barn area...

Starting to place the greens, at this point it's becoming less of a seascape!

Putting more definition into those greens...

Adding the light colour of the sky...

All starting to come together, working on what is going on inside the barn from here on and little highlights for the cow parsley flowers.

I will try to take a better photo of the painting to show you tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plein air demo at Patchings

At the corner of the Barn gallery

Again a great big welcome to all new blog visitors who have found their way here from the Patchings festival!
Amazingly the weather stayed fine for the whole event and really cheered up for Sunday afternoon, the last day. I painted this plein air demo down at the corner of the Barn gallery. Of course I was attracted to the bunting tracing a line across the dark foliage, linking the two red brick buildings. The flowers in the foreground add a second point of interest, and as for the wheelie bin... well, a lot of people thought it was a shame it was there but I disagree! It creates a useful step between the foreground and middle distance, and also is a marker of modern life. I love to include signs of modern life in my paintings, where I can. I also embrace the ordinary!

And here's how I went about it...

Starting quite dark to block in the buildings, more interested in getting tonal values right from the beginning than accurate drawing...

Moving on to block in the medium dark greens all around....

And then going darker into the darks ... oh look, the wheelie bin's gone in!

Starting to place some of the lighter values

The whole painting was finished on the spot in less than three hours, including talking time!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Patchings festival day two!

Plein air painting at Patchings
As you can see we were blessed with glorious weather again for day two of the festival! Thanks to my wonderful helper Sue taking care of everything in the marquee I was able to demo plein air painting down in the pretty courtyard at Patchings art centre.
It is so lovely to be here meeting everyone! I will be on my stand all day today, and tomorrow I will paint plein air again. If you're able to get over to Nottinghamshire please come, you won't regret it!
There's so much going on here :-)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Patchings and a workshop and... a prize!

Some of today's lovely workshop attendees and their very fine work!

Today was the first open day of the brilliant four day event that is Patchings festival, and what a very busy and fun day it was with glorious weather! 

This afternoon I was teaching a workshop painting still life with cupcakes - my favourite kind of still life! As you can see I had a very talented bunch working with me today and all go home with a lovely goody bag which includes paper, paints, brushes, palette and a few little gifts from me including a delicious cupcake :-)

The Patchings/The Artist exhibition that I've been talking to you about also opened this morning and I'm delighted to tell you that 'Chicken huts in the snow' won a £250 Royal Talens prize and also I hear that the painting has already sold! So all in all a very happy day :-)

You can see the whole of The Artist and Leisure Painter exhibitions online now on the Patchings website, well worth a look if you can't visit in person. I wish you could all visit in person, but it's the next best thing. Click here!

And I also should say a big welcome to all my new blog subscribers who are meeting me at the festival and meeting my blog for the first time, we're glad to have you here!

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