Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas bouquet inspiration

I received a lovely bouquet from my son and his young lady on Christmas Eve, its lasted really well so I thought it an ideal subject for a much needed painting fix.  I took out the gold sprayed leaves and red and cream roses to concentrate on the symphony of white lilies but still felt it justified quite a big support. This turned out to be a challenge to do in the time.  Flowers move only marginally less than human models and the blooms seemed to be opening before my eyes so this was done fairly quickly.  A photo of my setup and start, I knew it would be dark by the time I finished so I started with the lights on.

 Oil on 18" x 14" deep canvas

Paints used
Michael Harding (MH) Permanent Sap Green - love this for foliage
MH Bright Green Lake - does what it says on the tin, its bright
MH Titanium White
MH Flake White - not really needed
MH Bright Yellow Lake - a cool zingy yellow
Winsor and Newton Cad Yellow
Vasari Rousseau Green Extra Pale
Vasari Ultramarine Violet - not too strong so good for shadows and neutralising
Old Holland (OH) Red Gold Lake - excellent stamen colour right out of the tube
OH Green Earth - used for intitial drawing, not too strong
OH Neutral Tint - I find neutrals  useful when I dont have a classic red, yellow, blue palette

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Last life of 2012

I did a lot of work from life in 2012 and think I made progress in some areas, certainly I am a quicker painter now but it took until one of the last sessions of the year to have something different happen and maybe become a turning point. All these are on 12" x 16" supports and I am most pleased with the small very quick poses on the same page.  These range from 15 to 40 minutes each if I remember correctly and I was deliberately going for more subtely with my colours and a higher key.  I used earth colurs along with ultramarine blue and I do think they lend themselves well to skintone. 

This was the longer pose about 1.5 hours (done before the quickies) and was much less successful, really I am not sure what that says about my approach!!!

This was an evening pose in a warm glowing light from a heater light, it has some issues but I liked the dramatic lighting.

These two were unfinished as the concensus was to change the pose after the break, about 40 minutes each.  I took some snaps of my set up and as I am the only painter in this session I try and keep everything neat and contained in my painting box, set up and clean up time is very short but after a year of working this way I have it off to a fine art now.  I use water miscible oils in these situations for practical reasons and out of consideration to my fellow artists - they work just fine.  The Arches oil paper I have been using also works just fine but its much harder to cover in the time than a more slippery surface.  I'll post more information on my materials and equipment next year but largely I think that its about getting used to what you are using rather than there being some ultimate selection of tools.  We all have preferences of course and some things suit better than others but its the artists brain that is the ultimate tool in my opinion and I will be forever working on getting mine to function as well as it can.....

So thats it for 2012 - onwards and upwards in 2013 and I am using the Christmas break to formulate my goals for next year and to think about and review the last 12 months.  Thinking is a major part of an artists job after all.  HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Italy Workshops 2013

The highlight of my artistic year was the workshop I attended in Umbria in Italy (see here for the start of my blog a day entries) - two weeks of study, painting, food, culture great companionship and awesome exploration of the local area under the superb guideship of Jason Bowen.  Well he is doing it again next year with two artists, John Poon and Huihan Liu and I definately would love to go.

For further information including pricing, registration and deadlines email