Saturday, November 24, 2007
Oil on canvas
Painted from sketches and reference shots I made the warmth of my car on the way back up the coast. I liked the energy an colours of the sky over the 'ugly' power station at Cockenzie.
In the distance further round the coast is Edinburgh with Arthurs Seat visible. Wanted to keep these elements subdued and secondary to the sky.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Oil on canvas
Had a real learning curve with this, portraits are tricky to get right and the head in profile can be trickier yet! Getting the shapes and angles right take a fair amount of observation. This one took a while as I waited for layers to dry inbetween painting sessions.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I've been doing an evening class working on still lifes in oil paint, picking up a few tips here and there. I do find still lifes a great training exercise for painting. Its a real challenge being presented with a new object and working out how best to render it in 2D.
The copper pot had great colours and shine to it and the different cloths and the weathered slate were also a challenge. I opted for the white cup being the focal point as for me it stands out from a busy set-up.
This took about 5 hours to complete over three weeks. We're now looking at more abstract work and will be working up another finished oil. Abstraction will be a departure for me so I'll see how it goes....
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Acrylic on canvas paper
I think the summer (what little we had here!) is just about over, so glad I managed to get out for this plein air sketch. This was from a clifftop walk down by Dunbar called Belhaven bay. All in all took about 2 hours.I was excited by the yellow band in amongst the purple/violets/blues going on in the sky.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Soft pastel on Murano paper
This was a sail boat moored up in Musselburgh harbour along the road from me. Made sketches and took some reference shots. I've simplified the scene (removing other boats that distracted) and played with the composition a little to make sure the placement of horizon and mast sit on the 'golden mean'.
Plan to work this up into oils later
Haven't posted in a while as my PC finally died and had to be replaced!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Fresh off the easel, decided to try out a still life as haven't done one in a while. Had just bought some fruit and decided to put it in.
Here is a photo of my set-up
And this is my rough drawing with charcoal onto the canvas. Trying to get the correct tone here.
Next its time to get painting- first blocking-in the main colours at the tonal values set down in my charcoal sketch
Thursday, June 21, 2007
A small painting worked up from my previous ink sketches from my recent life class (see below). Mixed marble dust and a little impasto medium into my acrylic for this to add a bit of textural element to the brushstroke.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Really enjoyed this one. Was using Acrylic again for PA this time I was armed with some retarding medium and a water spray gun to stop it drying out too fast. This worked much better than the PA I did at Newhailles house (previous post) as I felt much more in control.
A cool thing that happened was the breeze kept blowing sand into my paint which really added to the painting!! A Scottish artist I really like must do this, as this is the effect he gets and I wasn't sure what he was doing. His name is Davy Brown, if you want to google.
Cliffs at Dunbar
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I just did another Life class through the National Galleries of Scotland- which have been really excellent.
For the first 1/2 hour we go up into the gallery and look at the master paintings, with our tutor pointing things out. Then we have a 2 hour life class working on the techniques discussed.
There is a great exhibition of on at the moment of drawings, which were the studies for major paintings. Edgar Degas, Seurat, Raphael, Poussin all are represented here. I was taken by a sketch by Poussin done in ink and wash, the finished painting was also on display. (will try to get a link)
Here were my attempts in this medium- quickly done ~5 mins each. We used sharpened willow sticks to dip in the ink and draw. The wash of diluted ink was applied with sponge. These unusual implements really made you consider line and mark-making. First one on the left I put down to learning the marks made by the tools!! I think they improved!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Applying the final touches!
This was a really challenging painting due to the size, composition and colour strategies. It has forced me to really study the Bass Rock and get to know it intimately. All the other studies that I've done certainly paid off as painting the final parts (the rock and sea) were done from memory/imagination and previous paintings.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 12 inches
At last the weather is changing for the better! Have a gloriously warm weekend and managed to get to do some plein air painting- first of the year!!
Thought I'd have a go at acrylics (haven't used them for a while), thinking that the quick drying time would make for easy (and mess free!) transport home. This is undoubtedly a great advantage as the painting sketch was completely dry within minutes. The downside is the drying time being so fast! I'd gotten so used to oils where you can mix colours on the canvas, scrape off etc!
It was great fun though and I might try to get some of the mediums for acrylic that can slow the drying a bit.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Another one from the night classes I'm doing. Model was very slender (yes her leg was this bony!)
One from another life drawing group I've been going to organised by the National Gallery of Scotland, led by the artist Damien Callan. This has been a great series of life classes, with a suberb artist and teacher. Having the class in the National gallery is amazing as for the first 1/2 hour we go up into the gallery and are looking at the Titian's, Ruben's, van Dyke's, Rembrandt's, Velasquez's, Degas.....
Damien talks at these master paintings giving us pointers, then we go back and try it out- superb! Highly recomended if your around Edinburgh.
Tonight I went to see an exhibition Damien is having here and was really taken by the loose expressive style. You get a real sense of movement and animation in his work that coupled with vibrant colour make for a striking image- please visit the link below:
Another quick sketch (20mins) from the Damien Callan class
Have been doing loads of life drawing for the last 8 weeks which has been great, need to get back to painting though!
Monday, February 26, 2007
Another Bass Rock painting, this time working up from my pastel ideas into oil. This was painted entirely with a pallette knife (except a couple of moments of finger painting- still the artists best tool for softening edges!)
I love the textured affect that can be acheived with the knife, it prevents you from being too detailed. Also I love paintings that from a distance are based on realism but as you go closer the image breaks up and can be quite abstract.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Here's another study of the Rock, this time a bit more close-up and with a different colour strategy. I've toned down the sunset a tad and introduced some of the warmth into the colours on the rock. The water and the rock itself are also darkened helping to create more depth to the painting.
Also thought I'd publish a photo of the Bass Rock for those not so familiar with the subject
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Trying out some ideas for a large new oil painting of the Bass Rock I'm about to start. The small photo here on the blog doesn't do much justice to the actual colours of this painting, which is a shame. I'll definitely get a better shot for the gallery image!
The area around North Berwick and the East Lothian coastline are a constant source of inspiration for me. This rock sits just off the shores of North Berwick close to the Bass Rock which I paint more often. I decided it was time to try to paint the neighbouring rock for a change!
Male profile pose (20 mins)
Soft Pastel on pink rice paper
Male front pose (25 mins)
Charcoal on paper
Female reclining pose (30 mins)
Soft Pastel on pink rice paper
In some of the previous life classes I've done I tried to be pretty precise and accurate, this time I'm deliberately trying to keep a loose feel to the sketches- hence the wacky bright pink paper!
As the class goes on I'll share more
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Soft Pastel on paper
My second foray into pastel painting. I love the direct approach of pastel painting, allows images to be created quickly which is great for keeping that fresh spontaneous look.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Oil on board
I love the Bass Rock as a subject. Its colour constantly changes with the light along the coast. On this day there were nice clear skies giving the sea a brilliant blue. The Bass Rock took on these same colours and with the haze coming off the sea, it had wonderful soft edges.
I added the sail boats from a previous sketch to add a bit more foreground interest and to help provide a sense of scale.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It's a New Year so I'm starting a new sketch book. I try to carry one around as much as I can, capturing scenes figures that catch my eye. I though I'd start the year by posting some of the sketches I did last year that haven't made it to the gallery yet, though a couple shown here have been used for other studio paintings.
All are drawn with Staedler pigment liners of various thickness. I try to not only get a fairly accurate sketch down, but also try to indicate tones and textures and sometime add written notes to remind of colours time of day, weather etc. This information is very useful in allowing me to work up ideas into paintings and are often more insightful than photographic reference notes because they are my take of the scene as it was when I experienced it. These (particularly the figures) are all captured very quickly plein air, as conditions and people don't sit totally still for long unless you pay them!
At last the days will be getting longer and means I can get more sunlight and painting done fantastic.
I have also enrolled in a series of Life Drawing/Painting workshops and night classes so I can brush up on my figurative work