Monday 29 January 2007

You need hands...

Blocked in the upper hand and then started on the lower one tonight. They'll be lots of tweaking to do on the upper one, it really wants the light shining off it to make it standout from the tiles...and currently it's not doing that...:)

I'm starting to mull over some ideas for the next picture... I want to try and play with more acute angles when viewing the figure, while pushing the pose further from "the norm". I like the way the location of the bath is working in this picture, it's got a nice surreal feel, so the setting and events are also going to be key...One idea, is to try and paint a musician...I was wondering how I might depict that trance like state music can take you to...I need to chew on it all a bit more...Will post more thoughts/ramblings soon :)

Sunday 28 January 2007

Busy week

1. Started on the underpainting today. I'm keeping the tones in quite a narrow band at the moment, so there's room for the darks to get darker and the lighter tones to get lighter when I come to balancing things later. There isn't much in the way of brushwork within this underpainting, it's really just a case of me sloshing on the paint to get something rough down. The hand in particular has no definition on it yet, I might underpaint the other two arms in the picture and then start adjusting all the underpainting and working in a bit more detail. I'll probably look at getting something in for the bath and bubbles so everything will then be in place to start balancing whole painting.

2. I spent a bit of last week sorting out some fliers to go with some paintings I've just put in "Covered Arts" in the Covered Market in Oxford...So if you happen to be passing by, and want to take a look, there are four watercolour now hanging on their wall - Thanks Paul :)

3. Also spent some time last week, drawing up a design for a possible portrait commission. Not sure if I'll be posting any of that work on the blog, depends on if I get the job and if the customer thinks it's a good idea :) It's certain shaping up to be a nice complex picture however :)

Okay, that's it for now. I'll try and get a bit more done next week...Oh, todays closeup photo was taken in daylight, so the colours are a bit more accurate than most of the snaps...

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Bored with titles that say tiles part…:)

Just painted for a couple of hours tonight, but managed to move things forward. I've added a bit of shading to the two hues of blue tiles and quickly blocked in the side of the bath and the water, which will include shades from the tiles.

I'm going to leave the tiles now and move onto the flesh under painting. I've painted a mid tone on all the tiles and then taken the lighter tiles up a tone, I could now take the darker ones down in tone, but I think I want to wait until I got more down on the rest of the picture. I still haven't settled on exactly how much contrast to have in the overall picture... If I fix this as I'm working on the skin, I can then darken the outer tiles accordingly. They'll also be lots more colour and highlights to go on the tiles...So plently more work for that area yet...:)

Monday 22 January 2007

Tiles...Part Three...

Didn't get anything done over the weekend largely due to a splendid hangover...still made up for it tonight (a bit) by blocking in the remaining blue tiles, adding a bit more paint on the grout and then starting to build up a little shading on the turquoise tiles.

A couple of people requested a closeup of the brushstrokes, luckily there's now a bit more to show...As I'm taking the photos late at night, the camera's not capturing the colours that well, I'll try and take a better one during daylight as soon as I get the chance.

I'll do a bit more on the tiles (1 or 2 evenings) then leave them and move onto the under painting of the flesh...Sounds gruesome, doesn't it... :)

Thursday 18 January 2007

Tiles...part two

More tiles tonight. One more shade of blue to go in the remaining gaps and then I'll put on a bit of tone, then I'll leave them alone until the rest of the picture has some paint on it :) I'm really just blocking in the colour. Once I've done that on everything, I'll be able to see what I've got and start fine tuning...That's the point where the real fun and real headaches start :)

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Tiles...part one

Started on the tiles tonight. Painted the grout in first, then started blocking in some of the tiles...amazingly this took me nearly four hours...I expect the tiles alone will take around 25 hours to paint...I must be mad...That said, I really enjoyed painting tonight, although you can't really tell from the image above, the paint was sloshing on nicely and i think a few layers of loosely painted colour will add a nice depth to the tiles in the final painting. Should provide a good colourful backdrop anyway :)

Watercolours on website

Another day when I didn’t paint…still, I punished myself by doing some more work on the website. The watercolour page should now be up and running, so there are a few new pictures to take a look at, if you fancy…

Come hell or high water, there will be oil on that canvas tomorrow!

Monday 15 January 2007

Second Wash

Well, I've put another layer on tonight. I'm starting to spot the little areas where I can tweak the light and shade to add some nice contrasts. Hopefully you can faintly see an extra pile of bubbles on the left...this should allow me to have some darker water just below them, and just above the arm coming in from the left. The arm should have a nice highlight on the top, this will/should then standout nicely from the new "dark" water behind it.

That's it for the under painting now, time to get some oil on, usually I'd start with the face, but I think this time I'm probably going to put a rough set of tiles in the background. There are a couple of reasons for this...

1. The tiles are pretty fiddly and there's lots to paint over them, so doing them first will give me nice clean edges for the foreground elements.

2. The face is quite dark and I'm a bit worried about balancing this with the dark tiles in the background...If I get them down first, I "think" I'll find it easier to balance the two...but check back tomorrow, because I may have changed my mind by then ;)

Sunday 14 January 2007

New Website

I seem to have been running around doing chores all weekend. When I finally got a moment to myself I really wasn't in the mood to paint, so I thought I'd do something with my webpage...It's been sat with nothing but a single image on the title page for months...

Anyway i've now uploaded something new, take a look if you get the time and let me know what you think. I've just setup a page for the oil paintings so far, I'll add one for watercolours and one for "lines" ie drawings and prints soon. There's also a simple link to this blog and email. So hopefully it'll be fairly simple, clear and easy to maintain.

Okay, time for a Whisky and a snooze. Back to the painting tomorrow evening.

Link to Website on the right and here

Wednesday 10 January 2007

First wash

Well, here's a first quick wash over the main drawing. I'll probably do a bit more on this before I start on the oil. I want to try and make some of the oil strokes as bold as possible, so I'd like the tonal sketch underneath as acurate as possible.

Nice to have a big juicy painting up on the easel again...:)

Sunday 7 January 2007

Initial sketch

Okay, well here's the basic design for my Jack portrait. I've taken loads of photos of all the various elements, so I'll draw up something more accurate directly on the canvas...and with any luck, get him to sit in front of me every now and then as I'm actually painting it.

I've tried dozens of different hands coming into the frame and originally was thinking of having a hand coming up out of the water, but that just looked too weird. Also the head resting on his hand was quite different from what I'd originally envisaged, but it came together nicely as he was sitting. He had quite a classical look in the light, almost Caravaggio ish...always something I'm drawn to...

I've picked up a canvas (32" x 32") so the plan for this week is to get the drawing done directly onto the canvas and start the acrylic under-painting. I use acrylic mainly to seal in the pencil marks and to paint in some rough basic tones. As it drys so fast, I can get that stage of the painting done and move onto the oil painting itself as quickly as possible.

So hopefully by next weekend I'll have a nice accurate drawing on canvas to show the world...:)

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Welcome to 2007

Well, we're just back from the festive break, managed to get a couple of watercolours done while we were away. Here's a few work in progress shots of one of them, just took these with my phone, so the qualities not that great. I'll try and get a couple of better shots of the finished paintings done over the weekend.

So, with my desire to get a bit more done this year, I thought I'd start 2007 with a nice challenging project...I'm going to enter the BP Portrait Award...There, now I've written that up here, I guess I'll just have to pull my finger out and actually get painting...This has always been one of my favourite exhibitions, the quality of the work is superb and very varied...IF I ever managed to get a picture in, it would be a great accomplishment... I have entered once before (with my painting of Neil and Chloe) , alas that picture didn't make it into the exhibition. The rejection (and expense) of not being selected for any exhibition is always disappointing, but, "no pain, no gain" as they say... And the quality of some of the other work that didn't make it was very high...So you can be rejected and still be in good company :)

Anyway, I've always wanted to get a painting into this exhibition... I thought I was running out of time. It only used to be open to artists under 40 yrs old... And time is ticking by... But luckily they appear to have changed the rules this year and opened it up to artists of all ages, so with luck I'll get a few more cracks at it.

Unfortunately the picture I was going to enter (The portrait of Jack from the last post) is too small for the competition, paintings must be at least 8" x 10". So I need to get something new painted before the March 4th deadline.

I've decided to paint another of Jack (He's a cheap, obedient model, with his fathers good looks...;). I've always fancied using the mosaic tiles in our bathroom as a backdrop. So the plan is to have Jack sat in the bath, looking every bit the sullen 11 year old, while a number of hands enter the frame offering him soap, flannels etc...which he's duly rejecting...Perhaps the title will be "Trying to teaching my son that soap is his friend..." or something like that...

I'm going to start making some sketches and taking a few photos over the next couple of days, so hopefully I'll get the first of the sketches up here over the weekend...I don't think he'd thank me for posting any reference photos, so you'll have to make do without those :)