Monday, 29 October 2012

Self-portrait in felt tip and gel stick pens

 felt tip and gel stick pens
8" x 10"
I've been experimenting with water soluble felt tips again. I was the only model available so I'm afraid it had to be a self-portrait! This post has to be short and sweet as I'm off to Norfolk right now to a birthday celebration! 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A tricky painting!

'Tea and a Chocolate Digestive'
oil on board
6" x 6"
Staying with the 'food' theme, I began this painting yesterday and finished it this afternoon. I have to tell you though that it turned out to be a tricky painting. Why is it some pieces go like a dream and some are just...well, plain argumentative! Yesterday the plant pot was white, but I concluded today that the painting was too white and I changed the colour of the pot to pink which I'm now satisfied with. So here you have it, 'Tea and a Chocolate Digestive' very British!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Eggs at Lunchtime

'Eggs at Lunchtime'
oil on board
8" x 12"
I seem to have a 'food' theme going on at the moment! This was lunch today or should I say the remains of it. I do love egg shells so when I saw them left on my plate I was inspired to paint them! This painting took about two hours. There's no fear of overworking it now as it's all been cleared up and washed up

Friday, 19 October 2012

Homemade plum jam!

'Plum Jam'
6" x 6"
oil on board

This gorgeous plum jam was a gift from a neighbour...yes, another gift! I know, I'm very lucky to have such kind neighbours who provide me with lovely things to eat AND subject matter to paint! I don't think I've mentioned this before but at the moment (the last four paintings) I'm using a much reduced palette of Cadmium red, cadmium yellow, ultramarine blue and titanium white and I'm surprised at how little I have to compromise on colour. Before I begin a painting I mix a lump of bistre (very dark grey). This is useful as a base for greys (particularly useful for flesh colours) as it can be adjusted easily towards warm or cool grey. It can also be added to a mix to mute or darken the colour. I would recommend exploring a very limited palette as you are forced to push the pigments to their limit, so you learn alot and quickly.
Just to change the subject... I would like to thank the ladies in my class today for working so hard with the project I set. We were working with tonal values matching colour to tone and they were sticking, cutting out, collaging...there were some very successful results so well done to all!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

'Sasha on the beach' small version

6" x 6"
oil on board

Remember in an earlier posting I mentioned that I was thinking of making a very small version of a 48" x 48" painting? it is! I painted it this morning. It was an interesting exercise as it was like working in reverse of the conventional way, by making the final outcome first and the prep study second. And of course, this little version was very, very much quicker to execute than the larger version! 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Delicious Biscotti!

'Delicious Biscotti'
8" x 8"
oil on board

So this is the painting I made yesterday afternoon when I ran out of light before I could take a photograph. I was almost working in the dark by the time I'd finished and I had a surprise this morning when I looked at the painting because where I thought I had painted green in the foreground it turned out to be bright yellow! All I had to do though was tone it down and cool it off a bit because I quite liked the yellow. So there you have it...the classic happy accident!
By the way, you can thank my neighbour Jo for this painting as she kindly gave me a present of biscotti on her return from her trip to Italy. They looked so gorgeous in the packet I had to paint them! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Sasha on the Beach'

'Sasha on the Beach'
oil on stretched canvas
48" x 48"

Before I could photograph today's painting which I was working on this afternoon, I completely ran out of daylight. Consequently, that painting sadly will have to wait to be posted until tomorrow. I dug this one out of the archives. It's been such a rainy afternoon I thought it might help to transport you to warmer climes...actually this was Mablethorpe believe it or not! It's a a painting I've been thinking about making a smaller version of. This is a 4' x 4' version and I thought it would be interesting to go to the other extreme of 6" x 6". I will post it when it's done.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Bronze Pot with Apple and Plum

12" x 16"
oil on stretched canvas
Click to buy brass pot is actually bronze! I discovered that when my husband saw the title of the painting and was horrified that I had described his beautiful bronze pot as brass!  So...there you learn something new everyday!  
I did in the end return to the painting although I said I wasn't planning to. I added more colour to the area at the back which looked slightly unresolved and dull and I also revisited the 'bronze' pot. I am now done with it and the painting is finished.  

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Brass Pot, Apple and Plum

'Brass Pot, Apple and Plum'
oil on stretched canvas
30cm x 40cm

   Stage 1

Stage 2

This painting was an interesting one to make as the surrounding area is much darker in tonal value than my other recent paintings. I like the rich red of the apple against the purple and blue and I also like the similarity in hue of the plum on the purple cloth. I began the painting yesterday and spent about two hours working on it (I had to stop when I ran out of light).Today I spent about another two hours on it and arrived at stage two. I'm not planning on a stage 3 but will look again in about 48 hours to see if anything jumps out and hits me in the eye! It was a much slower process today as I was employing a more 'careful approach'. I tried to be economical with brushstrokes but at the same time retain some of the spontaneity and freshness in the brushwork. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Thumbnail drawings

This is a page from my sketchbook. The drawings are examples of thumbnails (4cm x 6cm) that I produced for my class today. I try to encourage (bang on a bit if I'm honest!) the use of thumbnails as a means of preparation for a painting. So today for practise and using viewfinders (another useful tool), we dedicated much of the morning looking around trying to find interesting and unexpected compositions and I must say everyone managed to produce some great little thumbnail drawings...some even found the exercise therapeutic!