Monday, 2 July 2018

The Chicken's Bridge

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Well, this was a fun and interesting piece to paint! I took the photo during a trip to Yorkshire a couple of years back - as we were driving past a little farm half-hidden by trees, I noticed a chicken crossing the bridge over the river. It struck me as a great image, and I promised myself I'd try to paint it one day. But it scared me for a long time because it's quite a complex composition, and I wasn't sure how to handle the building in the background. All those windows! Scary... Then I had a brainwave.

I said in a previous painting I'd found a new trick for windows; here it is in action! I've found it's easier to paint the window-area with a dark colour, and then scrape out the lighter lines with a colour shaper. It took a few tries to get right, as I learned to handle the new tools, but I had a lot of fun with them! They were also useful for adding texture to the brick walls, and the highlights on the chicken.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Cloud Shadows

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Will I ever get tired of painting these skies? I think not! In this one, I particularly tried to focus on the shadows - both those on the undersides of the clouds, and the shadows the clouds cast on the landscape below them.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Off Into The Waves

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

So, this unquestionably turned out a bit cheesy, which isn't really my thing. I prefer landscapes that you can project your own mood onto. But I guess flipping through all those old photos made me a little nostalgic! I questioned myself the whole way through about whether to paint out or leave the figure. I left it, deciding I was happy with how it was painted. Even without it, the painting has a similar mood - that 'memory of a happy summer holiday'  feeling. I think the colour palette is what does it! I might try another version sometime that's a bit more toned-down.

I'm happy with this painting - but I definitely surprised myself with how it turned out, because as I say, it's not the kind of image I'd usually seek to create. Still, I hope it strikes a chord with people!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Sunset Over The Waves

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

While flipping through old family photos, I came across a fantastic one of light hitting the waves as the sun set. I've always wanted to try capturing that 'sparkle' of light on water, and this was the perfect opportunity. I upped the contrast slightly from the original photo, to create a more dramatic and atmospheric composition, and enhanced the purple, which I hoped would complement the golden sunlight.

The wave in the foreground was probably the hardest part, getting all those little strokes to pull together convincingly. But I'm really happy with the result, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, 28 June 2018

St Michael's Mount From Long Rock

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here 

As the weather gets warmer, I always feel more like painting seascapes. However, living in a landlocked county, there's no conveniently-close beach for plein air work. So I dig in my archive of photos for ones I haven't used yet...

This was painted from a photo I took quite a few years ago during a family holiday to Cornwall. I really like how the seaweed on the beach came out!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Fruit & Veg Stall, Whitechapel Market

6x8" acrylic on canvas, $45. Available here

Another I forgot to upload; this is painted from a photo I took at Whitechapel Market on an unusually hot April day. The market was bustling, full of colourful stalls; most seemed to be selling fruit and veg, or scarves. I've said before I love painting markets, and this was no exception. I was happy to catch this pair mid-transaction, a bit of human interaction makes for an interesting challenge. Though I must have re-painted that white shirt a dozen times!

It was a very challenging scene to paint generally, because of the sheer amount of stuff that's everywhere; stacks of boxes, the striped canopy folding and catching the light, the hanging blue bags... And the fact you can see through the back of the stall to the other side of the street! I hope I managed to create a cohesive painting out of it all.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Outside the Church, Kimpton

8x10" acrylic on canvas board, $65. Available here

I thought I'd uploaded this already but apparently not, so here it is! For the past two years, I've exhibited work at the Kimpton Art Show. Kimpton itself is a very nice town, with lots of lovely architecture and greenery, and little back lanes which twist and turn behind the houses. This is the lane which leads up to the church - the bunting seen here is the typical store-bought stuff, but further up there is hand-knitted bunting, which I've not seen before! I thought it was quite a nice touch. I wish I'd taken more photos of the town; maybe next year!