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Monday, 29 September 2008

Nottingham Canal - continued

I'm on a roll today. Managed another 20 minutes on this one before the rain came (working outside because of inconsistent light in studio). Having looked at the previous days work I decided that I was nowhere near the tonal range that I wanted. Again I have made no attempt to paint any details at this stage. It really is all very rough and ready but I am now closer to the full range of tones that I want. I will let this dry now - it shouldn't take long because I've mixed a little liquin into my colours. I will review the progress again when it is dry and, if I'm happy with it at that stage, I will try and break up the tonal blocks into more interesting shapes whilst being careful not to disrupt the tonal pattern that is already there.   

Sunlight on horses

A slight detour from the WIP that I started last week (I will be progressing this soon honest!). On Saturday I started working on a 20x20 of some horses seen in early morning sunlight and, like a good book, it got hold of me and I couldn't put it down. Here is the picture up to now although if you have followed any of my other posts you will now that things can change and often do!


Thursday, 25 September 2008

Demo - Nottingham Canal

I thought I would share the development of a painting for those who are interested. Starting with a photo of the Nottingham Canal my first step was to lighten the shadows using photoshop (they were rather dense and heavy in the original). I then cropped the image to a square to end up with the photo you see above. This is now the starting point for my painting. I must stress here that I am not trying to copy the photo; it is a tool to get things started and once the painting is underway I will probably discard the photo altogether and take my cues from the painting itself. 

The surface I have chosen for this picture is a 16x16 linen canvas that I have stretched myself. It has had two coats of acrylic gesso on top of which I have put a mid tone oil ground (burnt sienna mixed with ultramarine and lead white primer). The colours on my palette for the first stage were Cremintz White, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Venetian Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Mars Black. All the colours are artists quality (mainly Michael Harding and Old Holland). 

I roughed in the composition using charcoal before blocking in the main tonal pattern in paint thinned with liquin. At this stage I am not interested in committing to any detail. All I want to do is cover the canvas in broad blocks of tone. The photo below shows the progress up to this point.

The black and white patches in  the bottom left are only there to remind me of the full tonal range and will be removed before the end of the painting. 

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Nearly there!

At last the troublesome beast is starting to look more like beef than pork. Not the best photo - the light appears to be catching the weave of the canvas which has badly affected the darks. 


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bloody cows!

Whilst I'm in the mood to blog about altering pictures here's those cows again. Honestly, I ought to take up golf - I sure as hell can't paint cows. I must make a mental note at this point to refuse any commissions that involve livestock. I think the picture is now working better as a whole but my problem is the cow standing farthest to the right - despite my best efforts it looks like an overinflated pig. 

Floods; Another reworking

I simply can't stop myself. If a painting stays in the studio for any length of time the chances are I will see something about it that I am not satisfied with and I will be compelled to change it. This is a painting I blogged about a few months ago. There was something about the mass of land in the bottom right hand corner of the original that I wasn't happy with so I have removed it along with the narrow spit of land emerging from the water half way up the left hand side of the canvas. Much happier with the whole thing now.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Trent Fields

Managed to get out today and paint. The weather was very overcast and for a while I thought I wasn't going to find anything worth painting when this very simple view struck me. Essentially there are only four main tones and the whole thing hinges on the single tree on the right balancing the group of three on the left.
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