Good morning everyone. This is my second new style portrait and I promised to show you how it turned out. So, here it is! And I decided to title it ‘What’s Next?’. Actually, I don’t have much inspiration when it comes to inventing titles! Anyway, I’m pleased to say that I feel that I am making progress with learning how to paint better portraits. So much so that I felt confident enough to show the unfinished painting to my artbuddies. And test out ideas about changing the background colour of the portrait. So I decided to go ahead with this purpley blue colour.
As these are really practice paintings, I’m content to leave it as it is now. And remember the lessons I’ve learnt to try out on the next one. Hint – it’s a fairly famous person ( in England anyway!)
Good morning everyone. This is a new style of portrait for me! Actually, I don’t think I have ever produced such a decent attempt and all because I’m following a course on online. You see, I never went to art school or had any formal training in the basics. So, I’m lapping it up! Anyway, this is my first try at putting the principles I’ve learned into action. And there’s another one on the easel half finished, so wish me luck!
By the way, I’m busy at the moment setting up a little shop. So, watch this space!
Good morning everyone. We went away for a short break last week, but not very far away from home. Actually, we have been very busy lately and we really needed a holiday. So, it seemed easier to stay in Yorkshire and go and look at a few places fairly close by. Perhaps you know the feeling, places you never got quite round to seeing, but always wanted to visit. Anyway, we packed three such places into our break and they didn’t disappoint! So we stayed in Bingley and spent a day at Shibden Hall. It was the home of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack of the TV series.
In fact, this is the hall/dining room where Anne Lister used to conduct all her business in this beautiful house. The TV programme was filmed for the most part in the house, with the story beginning in 1832. As you can see, Shibden Hall retains a lot of its original features.
After a good look around this small, stately home, we wandered around the grounds.
Of course, I couldn’t resist painting and I finished this in about 40 minutes.
To be honest, we had a lovely three days rest and also saw Cartwright Art Gallery, Bradford. And the famous 5 rise locks at Bingley. But, that’s another story! Meanwhile, when I got home, I created another sort of scene at our Art Society meeting using collage and gouache paint. There’s never a dull moment here!
Good morning everyone. Last Saturday I went out with my art buddies for a day of plein air sketching in Greasebrough. And we walked from the village down a narrow walled path. Actually I guess that it had been created many years ago as a direct path to the church. Then we walked through a beautiful flower meadow and arrived at the end of the dam.
As you can see, the water level is quite low, we haven’t had any rain for a few weeks. But the view was still beautiful.
At this point, I tried to zoom in a bit with my eyes. Otherwise, the vista was very wide – I often end up trying to draw the whole world on a small sketchbook page! When I got back home, I zoomed in with my camera and you can see here what I was aiming at.
So here is the quick watercolour sketch (40 mins) that I produced.
By the way, the sun was very strong in a cloudless sky and the glare made it difficult to judge colours. But we all pressed on and it was a delight to be in such a lovely place together painting. After painting this, I rewarded myself with a cup or two of strong coffee from my flask. Also, a little sweet pastry! What a gorgeous day to be out plein air sketching in Greasebrough.
Good morning everyone. I thought I would update you about our Curiosities exhibition – we’ve moved it to our space in Rotherham market. Maybe you remember I’m a member of a brilliant group of artists called Rotherham Roar. And we had our opening event on Saturday, a chance to talk to fellow artists and shoppers!
This is me and my art buddy, he really liked my painting of a human body cell. (You can just see that one on the left. In fact, that was the one that was chosen for the article in n the Arts supplement of the Rotherham Advertiser. I was so surprised and pleased! You can see it in the top image.
This is my ‘Ocean Girl’ and she was a late addition to the show. If you look closely, you can see all the sea creatures that like to to be with her. And her hair and clothing is made of sea weed.
Finally, here we have a dragon, a hawk moth and Medusa, with snakes for hair. To be honest, it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of this quirky exhibition with my buddies from Rotherham Roar.
Good morning everyone. I’m really pleased with this gouache painting of a barn – it was half finished for a couple of weeks. And, I was a bit nervous to add details to the first version, not wanting to spoil it! Actually, I don’t like to keep paintings hanging on because it’s easy to lose the thread. In particular, with this one, I liked the loose way I had sketched out the field. And I didn’t want to loose the fresh, rhythmic movement of the grasses and so on. So, added minimal detail to those areas. However, I deliberately put the barn into sharp focus as it’s the main idea in the picture. And I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to it. Hopefully I have succeeded in this to some extent. By the way, gouache paint seems to be the perfect medium for detail.
Anyway, when I think about it, I have done another painting of a barn recently. And I do think it’s a nice subject which allows me to concentrate on a small area of landscape. Normally, left to my own devices, I try to paint a wide panoramic view. So this makes a very pleasant change.
Good morning everyone. As I said in my last post,see here, I’m feeling very inspired by flowers at the moment. And then there’s my new thing, ink drawing! Anyway, this beautiful bunch of carnations bloomed for so long that I just had to paint it. Actually, I really enjoyed painting larger in acrylic for a change. Because I’ve been so busy lately, my creative work has been smaller and quicker. However, this is big and more finished off and very bright!
It wasn’t without problems though. And the main one was mixing a strong pink colour for the flowers. When I finally managed to do this, I couldn’t capture the colour in the photo. Incidentally, has anyone else had these problems with pink?
Now, don’t laugh – this is my first dip pen drawing of a little creature! So, quite a learning curve, and lots of experimenting with pressure, added water and trying to create texture. To be honest, I even tried applying the background with a brush. My art buddy gave me this little pen and I’m looking forward to more attempts at ink drawing. By the way, thanks to another art friend for the image.
Good morning everyone. My apologies for not being around very much, but I have been very busy with arty stuff. There’s a lot more going on now and I don’t want to miss an opportunity! Anyway, Penistone Arts Weeks is over now and I’m pleased to report that I made a few sales with my flower paintings. For example, these two here, the Sea Thistle and the Sunflower went to new homes almost straight away. Then I sold my poppies painting ( in the image below). Despite the fact that it was on display in quite a shady spot, as you can tell in this photo!
However, it was a great experience to be in a lovely, busy cafe in the middle of town. Happily. being involved in this art festival with other creatives has lead to other exciting events. For example, our group have been invited to show work in a gorgeous florists and gift shop in town! So, I chose another of my flower paintings to go on display.
Actually, I think that this will look good in the beautiful surroundings of Hacketts, which is right next to St. John the Baptist’s church, in the old town centre. Of course, I will report back on that soon. Meanwhile, I haven’t stopped painting! And, I couldn’t resist following along a free online tutorial on watercolour painting. And this dreamy portrait of a rose was the result! Since then I have painted a vase of carnations, but I’ll save that for another post! You could have a look at more flower paintings in this post here.
Good morning everyone. This week at our art society we did a session of figure drawing with our lovely model Suzi. And I was very rusty, but I gradually warmed up. The pen and wash sketch above was 25 minutes. First of all we worked on some quick sketches, 5 and 10 minute ones like these below.
At the moment, we have an interesting exhibition in our local gallery of the drawings of the sculptor Henry Moore. And I love the way his drawings emphasize the three dimensional quality of the figure.
To help me out with the technical side, I did a drawing exercise on figure drawing before I went to the class. Every little helps!
And here is just a reminder of work that I was doing with my friend Suzi before the pandemic. Because I went to Life Drawing every week, I was much more comfortable and creative. Anyway, this was something based on a Jack Vettriano painting. Happy Days!
Good morning everyone. Things are still a bit dodgy here, so I’ll hurry up and write this post while I can! Actually, I don’t think that I showed you this acrylic painting before. In fact, I almost forgot that I had painted it. And I found it while going through my stash. Because I was looking for work to put in our January sale at The Urban Commune.
This one was a study in watercolour for a series on flowers, seen close up. Perhaps you remember four small canvases in acrylic – sunflower, oriental poppy, cone flower and pansy in this post here ?
While I was looking for unframed stuff for the January sale, I pulled out my pink pig! And I do remember the fun I had painting this, with the help of Simon, our tutor. Happy Days!
Good morning everyone. A couple of days ago we went for a walk in Brodsworth Hall gardens. They have evolved over the years, being brought gradually back to their Victorian splendour. And I particularly love this section, the quarry garden. The day was quite cold and the gardeners had been busy planting winter bedding which looked very healthy. I have painted just here a few times en plein air. But quick watercolour sketches don’t seem to be enough, so, on this occasion I took a few photos. Then I invented a scene and painted it in gouache at home, a small work only 8 by 11 inches.
Good morning everyone. As you might have noticed, I’m still fairly locked out of Jetpack and the reader, so I can’t see much of your posts. Anyway, this is just a quick catchup post of the Christmassy paintings I’ve been busy with.
Firstly, this is my interpretation of a stained glass panel. In fact, this was the theme of our last meeting before Christmas at our art Society. And, everyone created something quite unique. For example, I took inspiration from some stained glass panels done by Henri Matisse, one of my favourite artists. Actually, it was great fun to do, largely intuitive in my case, starting off with collage. And then improvising with gouache paint.
Secondly, I created this interpretation of an angel for the online gouache group I belong to. To be honest, I introduced the topic myself, being keen to see how other artists would portray the subject. As well as being eager to research the theme and try something new for Christmassy paintings. Well, there was some fabulous inspiration on line. And I chose this modern style and put my own twist on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the names of the original artists, so I can’t give them a mention. Sorry about that!
Well, that’s a round up of my seasonal painting this year. Hopefully, I can be in better contact with you all in the new year.
Good morning everyone. On Saturday I went with Urban Sketchers Yorkshire to the Tutankhamun exhibition in Experience Barnsley Museum. And I sketched this bust of Nefertiti, who was his father’s chief wife. Actually, this is not the original – it’s a very good replica. But there were lots of original artefacts, arranged in sections telling the life of the pharaoh. For example, the food he ate, members of his family, education and so on. Although the Tutankamun exhibition was small, it was quite fascinating.
After some time sketching, we then went down to the bustling town centre. In fact there was so much to observe and sketch – market stalls, a brass band playing. And then we ended up at the food court in the covered market for refreshments. Happily, from our table there was a delightful bird’s eye view of the main street below.
This was a very quick sketch in pen and watercolour. And I did it on the table, between pie and peas and cups of hot coffee! And the Tutankamun exhibition was a lovely bonus. Another lovely day with my sketching buddies. By the way, I have missed out all the difficult bits, like all the people! If you want to see what else we sketch, see this post here .
Good morning everyone. As promised, here are my charcoal portraits from the drawing class last weekend. Actually, I was longing to finish them and finally found some time yesterday. But I spent a couple of days looking at them before that. And it seems to be an important part of the creating, I think. Perhaps you may enjoy hearing about the process of this one, a technique I’ve not tried before. Firstly we had to cover the paper with a thick layer of charcoal. Then we proceeded to carve out the outlines of a face, using an eraser, all the while staring into a little mirror. Maybe that’s why the facial expression is so serious! Well, it was the end of the class then, so I did the rest at home, including more subtle ‘removals’ and the addition of details in fine charcoal. Plus just a touch of white pastel.
Here is the finished version of the drawing I showed you in this post here. And this was a new technique for me too. Because the first preparatory sketch was quickly done and then partially erased! After that, we were encouraged to use a scribbly style of strokes with the sticks of charcoal. In addition, we were working in half light to accentuate the shadows on the face. Then I tidied it up and smoothed it down a bit at home. And, I am quite pleased with these charcoal portraits.
Finally, for those of you who want to see the finished collaborative abstract I took part in, here it is! As you may notice, it underwent a few changes before being hung on the wall in the projects room at The Urban Commune. So we can all admire it.
Good morning everyone. Well, the title says it all – I’ve not much time for painting at the moment. So I’ll just show you my works in progress. For example, I’ve spent about an hour and a quarter so far on this Australian landscape. Perhaps another 30 minutes will complete it and it’s 7by 9 inches, gouache on paper. Note to self: I must dull down the colours a bit more!
Please don’t laugh (yet!) This was done very quickly at a charcoal drawing workshop. And I’ll tell you all about it later, in my next post. Oh, by the way, this was drawn in very low light, in order to cast strong shadows on the face. So, that’s another excuse! Anyway, I’ll show you both of these when they are finished.
Good morning everyone. I went to a collaborative painting workshop at The Urban Commune Gallery here on Thursday. And we created this colourful abstract together. Actually, it was on the walk route of Artwalk Wakefield so we had plenty of visitors. Perhaps you can’t tell from the photo, but this is not the finished version. Because I had to leave before the end, I haven’t seen it yet.However, I think you’ll get the idea. Firstly, our tutor Gavin had painted a neutral background on this large piece of paper, to kill the white. Then we scribbled out marks and shapes to warm up. After that we started adding stuff, each using one colour at a time, to give some cohesion. Also, we continually switched places around the paper to prevent anyone from getting too cosy!
Then we had to step back and consider the painting as a whole. Unfortunately, that’s just when I had to leave so I didn’t see the colourful abstract completed! But it was a great workshop, thanks to Gavin. And, if you’re ever in the area, it’s a brilliant gallery and artists cooperative to visit.
Maybe you have seen this photo before, if you read my blog. And it is one of my displays in the gallery, see this post here. Anyway, this is an example of my semi-abstract and abstract style. But, it’s only one of the styles I paint in. Because, as you may know, I like to change things up a bit, as I did in this abstract here.
Good morning everyone. I had a great day sketching on Saturday at Left Bank Leeds. And we worked with a super artist, Paul Digby, who first showed us some inspiring drawings by Piranese and Seurat. Also, Hopper, Jenny Saville and Barbara Walker. Actually, he used these examples to illustrate some of the things to keep in mind when drawing. For instance, perspective, tone, atmosphere and simplicity of line. Next Paul demonstrated different ways of deepening tone with graphite. Then he taught us some simple rules of perspective. All in all, a very interesting and useful session. Then we were encouraged to find a corner of this impressive Edwardian former church and draw. In fact, it is now a very welcoming arts and community hub, the Left Bank Leeds. (Sorry about the quality of this photo, no natural light, just a desk lamp!)
This is the finished version (just completed) and I deepened the darker tones, as Paul advised. And I think it looks more three dimensional now. As you may know, I don’t usually spend this much time on a drawing. Because my work with urban Sketchers is of necessity short, usually 20 minute sketches,completed on the spot. So, this was something new for me and very good practice. If you want to see an example of creating tones in black and white paint, see this post here.
Good morning everyone. This is my latest little gouache landscape, and, I feel cold just looking at it! Actually, I’m quite pleased with this one because the original free reference photo showed an overcast day. But I wanted to paint a beautiful sunset, and this is the result. In fact, that’s the first time I have changed the weather and time of day so completely. Anyway, I improvised ok for the sky, but I overdid the bright reflections on the water at first. However, gouache paint will help you to correct mistakes, but you only get one attempt! After that, it’s all downhill! At any rate, that’s how it seems to me!
Well, as I painted I thought about this beautiful sunset as a possible for next year’s Christmas card, what do you think? I find it less stressful to design a card and enjoy painting something seasonal. And then, use one I did the previous year for cards – it’s nice stress free method.
On a very different note, last night I went sketching with my Rotherham Roar artists group. And we went to an old pub, a listed building with tiles and stained glass panels. Also ornate glass lampshades and an open fire. So, we sat together quite contentedly and sketched each other sketching. Plus, any unsuspecting customers who kept still enough! To be honest, I am a bit out of practice in figure drawing, but it was all good fun.
Incidentally, did you spot the name on the window? If you want to see more quick, figure sketches, see here.
Good morning everyone. I painted this scene in a pen and wash workshop last week. And we invited Gary, one of our favourite tutors, to art society to work with us. Also to show us some pen and watercolour techniques. Actually, it was a very enjoyable evening and everyone was pleased with their own version of this snow scene. After a quick pencil sketch of the main shapes, we tried to ink the lines in, using sketchy, gestural marks. Then, for me, the difficult part, using two colours only and being very restrained with the paint brush! Honestly, I was dying to pile on more and more texture and detail. But, I’m really glad I followed Gary’s instructions.
And, I took away from this workshop the idea that sometimes less is definitely more! However, as our tutor explained, this is really a basic scene – you can add more style to your liking. Preferably after learning the method. By the way, we also added more pen marks at this point if we felt we needed them. Plus a few dabs of white gouache for snow on the trees.
Perhaps you might be interested to see this pen and wash painting I did a few years ago. In fact, I did this after another of Gary’s workshops on pen and wash, I felt so inspired that I painted a few more. Incidentally, in this picture, the pencil sketch and watercolour come first. Then detail is added later in pen, again trying not to overdo things. And, here is a post showing how I use this technique when I’m painting in plein air.