Sunday, 27 December 2009

Drawing someone drawing someone...

Here’s a drawing I did as a Christmas present for Susan. It’s her daughter, who upon seeing it said, she liked it, but I hadn’t finished it as it wasn’t coloured in…which made me laugh, lol :) Children can be tough critics ;)

I hadn’t done a detailed drawing like this for a while, so it was really enjoyable. Think I may do a little series along similar lines in 2010.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Single Pears all finished

Pear Floating Above Stone Shelf…numbers 1, 2 and 3… I know you’ve seen lots of these, but I thought I’d post the finished versions of them all anyway :)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Glazing Pears

Have been rather busy with some freelance work and making things for Christmas of late, so not much work to blog here I’m afraid. However, I finished off the single pears this afternoon so I thought I’d take a few photos of how I do the glazing stage.

Here I’ve got the four colours I want to glaze with and a small pot of oil. Each of the colours is transparent, not opaque (if it doesn’t tell you on the tube you can look up the brand you’re using on the internet, or it’ll usually tell you in an art materials catalogue). To start I’ve mixed each of the colours with a little of the oil…

Next I paint over the area I want to glaze with a thin layer of pure oil, this helps blending and gives you an even finish as you work.

Not brilliantly clear this photo (and sorry it’s a different pear…) but here I’ve just dabbed on the colours I want quite crudely, a spot here and there. Then using a clean dry brush you lightly pull the paint around on the surface, working around the spots of different colour you’ve added. Clean and dry the brush VERY frequently to avoid turning the colours to mud, but don’t be afraid of mixing them in certain areas. In the case of these pears taking the green into the red gave a lovely bruised effect on the skin.

A final pear with the glaze all blended together…In this instance I’m just using one layer of glazing, but you can use as many as you like. The only things to remember are…let each layer dry fully before painting the next, and use the paint thinly…the whole point is to trap the pigment within the oil and get a magical optical blending of colour…think of the way light travels through a piece of amber and aim for that :)

Friday, 4 December 2009

A Pears Progress…

A busy day today (actually, yesterday now…), I decided to do a little more work on the three single pears, just a couple of hours building up the colours further and adding some highlights, I want them to have a jewel like quality so I think this was time well spent…followed that with some work on a drawing I’m doing for a Christmas present (So you’ll have to wait to see that blogged)…Then moved onto the double/triple pears, added some initial modelling to the pears themselves and then started painting the shelves…2 meters of stone shelf edge takes a while to paint lol…

Friday, 27 November 2009


I’ve been doing a lot of scribbles for possible future linocuts/paintings of late. Usually while sat in the pub having a pint or two…I like sketching in pubs, I’m not sure if it’s because I was partly brought up in a pub, but I find them very safe, comfortable places to be with your inner thoughts…I don’t think it’s entirely due to the beer ;)…something to do with the smells and sounds…anyway, I thought I’d post a few pages from my sketch book…you may or may not see some of these appear in some form or other in 2010 :)

In case anyone is wondering the ‘In the Forest’ linocut is still progressing, albeit somewhat slowly…I think a couple more carving sessions should see it done, so perhaps we’ll get a first print this side of Christmas ;)

On vaguely related note, I’ve got one of the ‘Floating’ prints in Art Jericho as part of the Oxford Art Society’s Winter Show. Had a very nice little mention in the Oxford Times – “Graham Rice’s linocut Floating is a powerful study of twisted bodies in a boat moving towards what might be paradise. It’s a great picture. ”

…Floating towards paradise was exactly what this piece was about, so that was lovely to read :)

You can read the full article here.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Three single pears

Second job of the day was the main painting on these single pear paintings…the bachelors of the pear world to follow the comments of the previous post ;)…all looking nice and glowing now. I’ll add a few highlights to the front of the shelf and then glaze the pears once they’ve dried.

Drawing up next set of pears

First painting job of the day done, I’ve finished drawing up the next set of pear paintings…onto the next stage of the single pears now…:)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pears everywhere...

Well not quite the constant stream of posts I’d planned on today, took me a while to get starting and once things were finally progressing, I didn’t want to keep stopping to blog…so I just got on and painted…which is what I should be doing anyway :)

Started by glazing the original ‘pear on shelf painting’, you can’t really tell from this photo, but it’s got a lot more depth and life in the pear now, only took 10 minutes to do, but it’s really made a difference.

Then moved onto the three floating pears, did the underpainting on the pears as I developed the stone shelves then I’ve gazed a little colour over the pears to create the shadow colours (hence the pears look very dark here). Will let that dry over night and then start building up the forms and highlights properly.

I really like the floating element in these, it feels like they’re developing a very magical ingredient. :) Anyway, enough rabbiting on, off to do some work on the linocut.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Mirrors and wine...

I’m about half way across the lino block now, nothing wildly exciting to post, but I thought I’d take this snap to show the way I’m using a mirror as I’m carving. When I transferred the original design to the lino block it was reversed. By standing a mirror up and looking at my drawing in that, I can see exactly what I should be cutting. As this design is quite detailed this is proving essential, whenever I come to a fiddly bit, I’m checking the drawing in the mirror…then I take a sip of wine… ;)

Other news… Didn’t progress any further in the Little Xmas competition alas, but am looking forward to going to see the exhibition. Had a look around the gallery and studios when I dropped off the picture and both are lovely…would love a studio like one of those…:)…if you’re in that neck of the woods, go take a look…better yet, go and buy something…well done to the winners, very well deserved and a really excellent selection of work across the board :)

In theory tomorrow will be a “Pear” painting day…if so, I’ll post at various stages again so we can see how things develop….positively one hopes :)

And finally, I’m going to change the settings on this blog so you can comment without a Google account. Since installing the ‘Lijit Wijit’ I’ve been fascinated to see where all these people looking at the blog come from…so if you’ve been lurking there in the background, post a comment and say hi….that means you in particular Matthew ;)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

New cards

I’ve had three new cards printed up for the next Eynsham Art Group Exhibition

Saturday 21st November – Sunday 29th November
10:00 - 4:00 (Sunday 2:00 – 4:00)
At the Bartholomew Rooms in Eynsham.

The cards are of the following paintings…

Eynsham Primary School Through The Trees
Woodstock at Night
Eynsham Square 3:25 June 1st

Just need to get some actual paintings ready now…;)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

In the Forest - first carve

Also started cutting the first ‘In the Forest’ lino block today. I’ve done one of the wolves and a couple of trees. Very intricate so it’s taken quite a while…and I now have very sore fingers…still, no pain, no gain. Carving is going well though and I think I’m getting some nice lines…as always we’ll have to wait for the first print to see if that’s actually the case. :)

Floating Pears - 3 paintings - Drawing stage

A variety of odd jobs to do today, the first of which was getting these ‘Floating Pears’ drawn up on canvases. They’re intended to all be individual pieces, but I’ve composed them so they work as a triptych as well…seemed like a good idea at the time.

Also, my Linocut ‘Floating’ (the couple in the boat) got into the Little Xmas Art Competition. You can see all the shortlisted artists on the OXART website. Sue Cook, Sue Templeman and Jane Tomlinson also got through the first round, so the Eynsham Art Group is very well represented. Good luck to all :)

Monday, 26 October 2009

In The Forest - marking up 1st lino block

I transferred the ‘In The Forest’ design onto the first lino block this evening. I’ve traced the original drawing and then rubbed that onto the block, then I’ve gone over this with a permanent marker. The combination of the rubbing and thick(ish) tip of the marker means the original sharpness of the drawing has been lost…but very thin lines and fiddly areas have also been removed (or blurred to a mess), so next I shall go over the drawing with a white chinagraph pencil to sharpen things up and fix any confusing areas…hopefully what I then have, will carve well…time will tell :)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Still Life Day - 4:00pm

One Pear on a Stone Shelf.

Okay I’m done on this for today. I may do a bit of glazing work on it in a week or so, once it’s dried a little…then again I may just leave it as it is…need to live with it for a day or two :)

I’d hoped the combination of bare canvas, exposed drawing and a bit of detailed work would give me something interesting and I think it has. With all the still live work I’ve done I’ve been trying to find a balance between the traditional and contemporary, this one feels like a good step :)

Still Life Day - 2:00pm

Some colour into the pear and more detail in the front of the stone shelf…

Still Life Day - 11:40am

A couple of hours in and the drawing is all done, just starting to apply the darker shadow tones. I’m planning on leaving lots of this stage of the painting just as it is now, working into the stone shelf a little and refining the pear a lot more. But the background will be bare canvas as it is here and I’ll leave the drawing lines in place where possible…

Still Life Day - 9:45am

Am doing a little experiment with still life today, want to see how far I can get in a single day…9:45 now, so enough blogging on with the painting…will post though the day as things progress…or not as the case may be :)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Oxford Art Society Open Exhibition 2009

The Boscastle painting above is in the Oxford Art Society Open exhibition at the Said Business School at the moment, The exhibition continues until 31st Oct, check the website for opening times – Oxford Art Society. Susan also has a picture selected, one of her shoe paintings, so it's well worth a visit.

If you can't make it into Oxford for that show, don't forget there's a selection of my work at the Meller Merceux gallery in Witney at the moment :)

Things are getting busy...:)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

In the Forest

Some more work on this lino design today, currently titled “In the Forest”. The next stage will be to transfer this onto the lino block and then start cutting, I’ve left lots of the lines too fine in this drawing, I’ll cut them thicker and then probably do a couple of test prints as I refine them. There’s also a lot of variety of shading in this drawing, particularly the background trees and I did wonder about making those a separate colour to get that depth in the final prints. But I want this to have a very oppressive feeling so I’m going to cut everything you see here as black. The figure, creatures and grass will then have a colour pass, with the background and birch trees remaining white…hope that makes sense ;)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Some work on the next lino design

Have been working on this second lino idea from Wales tonight…while enjoying the Scorpions on Spotify and a couple of glasses of wine...and cider...and scotch…very nearly a perfect evening :) Anyway, it’s starting to come together, still quite a bit to workout on the creatures (wolves/tigers, whatever they are :)) and then a general tidy up will be needed, but all in all good progress :)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Graham Rice paintings at The Meller Merceux Gallery

You can see a selection of my paintings at the Meller Merceux Gallery in Witney over the next few weeks. They have a mixture of the watercolours and oils, hopefully something for everyone :)…it’s a lovely gallery, well worth a visit :)

Friday, 2 October 2009

Back to Black...and Red...

Did some work on this one today...using oils now rather than acrylics...not much to say other than to the pub now :)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Postcards from Prague

Am just back from a short break in Prague, took a few photos so you may see some Czech swirling landscapes or linocuts over the next couple of months ;) Only managed 3 postcards while I was there, so apologies if you didn’t get one this time around…seems like a good excuse for me to take longer holidays doesn’t it :)

Pen and wash again, but a lot more detail than the last Welsh ones. Two from the hotel garden where I was staying and one from a small café. The Café one has a bit of a Prague feel to it but the other two could be in the Med. Will aim to get much more of a Czech flavour into anything I develop from the photos and general experience later on :) Be warned there maybe a flying nun linocut on the way ;)

Friday, 18 September 2009


Here’s a final print, I’ve finished about half of them today, need to wait for the second colours to dry before finishing the other half.

I’m really pleased with the way they’ve come out. I think I’ve struck a good balance between a clean print and one that allows the nature of lino to show through, so all the prints have a nice individual feel to them.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Print of second cut

Finished the second cut today and did a quick print on the yellow prints…looks promising so far…

Friday, 11 September 2009

Marking up for second cut...

Have marked up the colour block for its second cut. Will start on that now…

Thursday, 10 September 2009

First print...

First print today, couldn’t mix the exact colours I played with on the computer last night but got a couple of nice variations…Yellow, which I’m not sure about, might be a bit dull now it’s dried. Flesh tone, Sage Green(ish) and a Peach colour that I really liked and went a bit mad with when I was mixing…so I now have 33 pieces of paper with some kind of background colour on…we’ll whittle those down as we progress…not really enough space in here for this many prints, far too many cats wanting to sit on things. I shall have to look for a bigger house with space for all the things I need…

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Some colour ideas...

Finished the first layer of carving on the colour block tonight and then started playing around with some colour ideas on the computer…I think I’ll try and print 6 of each and hope for 18-20 good prints in total…

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Cutting second block

Did some work on this tonight, marked out the areas to be reserved for ‘dark brown’ (these are outlined in black). Then marked the areas to be cut as white (these are marked in white…PLUS the swirling ripples coming from the boat)…since photographing this I’ve cut the ripples from the boat…then I started on the fish, but following a few ciders found I couldn’t focus on the lino, so thought I’d better stop cutting before I buggered it up. Drunk at the moment, so probably a good time to stop typing, but, really enjoying this one…it’s an image that means a great deal to me and I ‘think’ it’s coming together in a way that works as a piece of ‘art’ in it’s own right, which is an all too rare a combination…well, we’ll find out if that’s true when the final image appears…

Friday, 4 September 2009

2nd lino block...

I’ve made a couple of minor adjustments to the black outline block (bottom right), printed that onto paper (top left) and then quickly printed the ink from that paper onto a second lino block (bottom left), this will now become the colour block...

Monday, 31 August 2009

Test print...

Cut the first block today, here’s a quick test print. The next job will be to get the colour block marked up…

Saturday, 29 August 2009


Here’s the first lino block all drawn up and ready for cutting.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A couple of sketches...

Here are the designs for lino/painting. The second one still has a fair bit of drawing to be done, placing trees in the background and working up the figure, but the first one is all sorted from a layout point of view. I’m going to start with this one and do it as a linocut first, so the next stage will be to define some interesting outlines, currently all lines are the same thickness and it just looks like a cartoon. I want to go for something similar to the Golden Key painting with the lines, adding more lines as texture within the figures themselves, these I’ll cut into the colour on the bodies. Haven’t decided how many colours to print in yet, either two or three (one of which will be the black outline) If it’s three I’m going to do the colours on a separate lino block using a ‘Jigsaw’ method. You carve the block and then cut out the areas of different colour, inking the parts separately you reassemble them (like a jigsaw) before printing from them…the theory sounds good, though I can see it getting messy ;)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Welsh Postcards

Am finally back from my travels in the Welsh mountains. Weather as you might expect, so had plenty of reading and drawing time. I did a couple of figurative designs for lino cuts or paintings (haven’t decided which yet…possibly both…) will post those soon, but for now, here are the postcards from this adventure, simple pen and wash this time, just trying to capture things as quickly as possible 4-5 minutes each and then onwards :)

Welsh Postcards 2