Monday, 29 December 2008

Misty Mountains

Father Christmas brought me some Atelier Interactive acrylic paints. This is painted following a lesson from Arnold Lowrey in his book "Painting with Acrylics".

It is clear that I have much to learn about this medium.

Approx 14" by 11" on Bockingford paper.

The Workman

This is the final version of this painting. It now measures 16" by 20" painted with W&N designer gouache on Arches NOT paper, prepared with black acrylic.

I'm really very pleased with the changes and the better paint has made this really stand out.

The third and final picture for submission to the RWS show.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Blue Stripes

This is the final version of an image painted twice before. This attempt takes account of the feedback previously received, including the bendy shadows.

It measures 20" by 16" on Arches NOT paper, and is another work short-listed for the RWS exhibition in February 2009.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Holly in Snow

This was a fun exercise at Art Club last week. It is approximately 22 cms by 24 cms and based on a reference photograph.

It verges on the abstract, but turned out quite well, IMHO.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Arts and Science Park, Valencia

This is 20" by 16" painted on Arches NOT paper. The reference was an excellent photograph posted in the RIL on Wet Canvas by Splishsplash.

It come out better than expected. At present it is a leading contender for submission to the RWS exhibition in Feb 2009.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Still Life lit through Venetian Blinds

This was painted as a homework assignment under the title "Light Effects".

It is approximately 14" by 10" on Bockingford paper, painted with St Petersburg water colours. It has been previously painted as a monochrome exercise last year, from a reference photograph found on Wet Canvas.

The feedback from both club and class is that the shadow lines on the beaker and jug should be curved. I've put a ruler on them and they are not straight lines!

Fireworks abstract

This was a bit of fun at the Art Club last night. It is approximately 14" by 10" on Bockingford paper, painted in acrylics.

Almost entirely from my imagination, and quite well received at the club.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Vivien with guitar

This was the best of three sketches drawn at Art Class last Wednesday.

It is approximately 8" by 10" in watercolour pencil on Bockingford paper.


This is a 14" by 10" study on Bockingford paper. The reference is a photograph from the NASA website.

This was on the shortlist for painting a larger version for submission to the RWS exhibition.

The feedback would suggest that I need to find another image!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Workman

This was the exercise at Art Club this week. A sheet of Bockingford water colour paper 15" by 11" was prepared with black acrylic and allowed to dry. This image was then painted on it using gouache.

It was well-received at the Club, on Wet Canvas and at class. It is reckoned to be a good likeness to the reference photograph.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Cellist

The last piece from the Orchestra reference photograph supplied by the tutor. This was started in class last week, and went badly wrong. It has been under the tap, and severely cropped, and this is the end result.

Not my favourite of the three by any means.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Yorkshire Cottage

This was the November challenge on Wet Canvas. Far too much greenery for me, but it turned out OK I think.

It measures approximately 14" by 10" on Bockingford paper.

The Orchestra - Abstract

Working from the three tone version of the big picture, this is a part of it enlarged to 14" by 10" .

The colours are deliberately bold - only primary and secondary colours were used.

I wonder how it will go down at class on Wednesday?

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Christmas Cards

These were painted for Art Club last evening. Unfortunately, few others bothered with the exercise, so I shall have to use them myself.

They are approximately 6" by 4" painted on deckled edge Bockingford paper.

The deer turned out well IMHO.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Orchestra in 3 tones

This was the exercise in class this week to be finished for homework. I'm not really sure if this is right or what the aim is, but no doubt it will become clear next week.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Still life on Jean

The half-term exercise was to paint an object/objects in an unexpected location/surroundings. The example given was a clock on the beach.

The inspiration for this came from a piece called "Scylla" by Ithell Colquhoun in the Tate Modern. That shows the artists legs in the bath, but looks like the sea with two rocky headlands. Jean agreed to be my muse for this. The finished piece is 16" by 12" on Arches 300gsm NOT paper.

Feedback from Wet Canvas has been good, particularly about the fruit. Let's hope it goes down well at class tomorrow.

Stumps on Lough Leane - finished work

Here is the finished piece. It is approximately 10" by 12" on Bockingford paper.

Good feedback from the folks on Wet Canvas.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Stumps on Lough Leane

This was a fun exercise at Art Club last evening. It was drawn with Parker Quink using a stick and a pen made from a piece of bamboo. I could not resist adding a few colour washes to liven it up.

The reference is a photograph taken on our holiday to Ireland, and the lake is near Killarney. This is a study for a watercolour painting.

It was quite well received at the club.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Wisteria - finished work

Here is the finished piece. It is approximately 16" by 12" on Arches 300 gsm NOT paper.

It was very well received on Wet Canvas, and quite well received at art class. Most people felt that the shadows were good. The major criticism, from the tutor, was that I had been too constrained by the reference photograph.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Wisteria - preliminary sketch

This was executed in class yesterday in preparation for painting the final piece in the "Nature and Manmade" exercise.

It is clearly incomplete, but much was learnt. The composition is pretty much there, and I have found a way of dealing with the wisteria flowers, the stonework and the diagonal beam. The door needs to be resolved better and of course the trunk of the wisteria needs to be fully developed.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Big Carnation

The tutor sugested that I paint an enlarged bloom to really study the structure of these flowers. This is 16" by 12" on Arches NOT paper. That should be big enough.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Red Admiral

This image was the challenge for October posted on Wet Canvas.

It came out pretty well, and the backgorund works IMHO.


This was painted during class yesterday. It was tackled rather than trying to paint a vase of flowers, so that I could begin to understand the form of the flowers.

Feedback from the tutor was the flower heads need more variation in colour, as well as tone. It would be useful to do a much larger flower head, concentrating on the different colours. His suggestion to put it under the tap was declined.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Guard at Luxor Temple

This is the finished piece. It was well received on Wet Canvas, but less well received at Art Class. The main comment was that there should be more variation in tone between the near and far columns.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Homework for 01 Oct 2008

The task was to find our own reference on the subject of columns and do a study in preparation for a final piece.

This photograph was found on the Internet and the charcoal study was my homework. It was quite well-received. One suggestion was to suggest the "beam" of light that is shining down, in order to create the pool of light in front of the figure.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Kauri Tree

This was a fun exercise at Art Club last night. "Paint a tree with a sponge". I cheated a bit, as the background and trunk/branches are painted with a brush, but the foliage was all applied with a sponge.

The reference was a photograph taken in New Zealand during our holiday in January.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Roy (tutor) extracted this from an exercise I had done last year on some cheap lining paper.

It is only 6" by 6" but really works quite well.

Ruin at Ballyplymoth

We had a smashing time in Ireland. This was the view from our bedroom window. Later in the week the weather improved and more mountains appeared out of the mist!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Mangerton Shed

This was the September Challenge on Wet Canvas. The rusty old shed was lots of fun. The foreground was not included in the reference photograph, but was added to balance the composition.

This will be the last post for a week ot two, as we are off to Southern Ireland for a week.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Stanmer Park

Only three of us made it to the last painting trip out of the "summer". This is part of the church that I last painted in 2007.

Not great, but there is a nice sense of light hitting the face of the church. The sky was not really that blue,but I was bored of painting grey, overcast skies.

Classes start again next week, but I shall miss the first one as I am on holiday in Ireland.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

View from Kingston Churchyard

This has been hanging around for over a week, waiting for me to finish the foreground. On Wed 27 August only three of us made it to Kingston church. The weather was overcast and the church was covered in scaffolding and plastic sheet. We all found it very difficult to get going, but this view from the corner of the churchyard caught my eye.

Over 75% was painted before we left, but the foreground was actually a 6 foot high brick wall across the whole scene, just behind the red trees. After much thought I came up with this "improvement". The prespective of the barn is a bit strained but as a composition it seems to succeed.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Rackham sands

Only four of us made the trip out to Rackham yesterday. It is a small hamlet near Amberley and the weather was kind to us.

This bank/cliff of sand is opposite the Old School House. It is naturally occuring and the weather and the local children have worn the most wonderful shapes into it. The sun, when it came out, revealed these great colours. It has turned out to be almost an abstract. It was quite well-received by my companions, but I'm still not sure about it. BTW the "eye" really was there.


"View in a Teapot" was sold during the Worthing Open. None of my friends or family will own up to having bought it, so I guess that is another milestone achieved.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Four Skies

Well only two actually. This was the theme of the Club meeting last Wednesday. I could not resist adding the land masses to anchor the skies.

Not great, but they are atmospheric. The second will become a full painting one day, I think.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Barn at Daylands Farm

On Wednesday 20th, 6 of us made it out to this farm. It belongs to a friend of Peter Snr. The architectural qualities of this barn caught my eye.

It was approximately 60% finished on site and then completed at home.

There is quite a lot going on, but it still is not quite there.

Friday, 22 August 2008


Attended my first meeting of the Lancing Art Club on Tuesday evening. They are a very friendly group, and include some very talented artists. The subject for the evening was Wet in Wet, so I started this painting. It had to be finished off at home.

On the whole I am quite pleased with it, particularly the spattering on the stamen. The background should have been several tones darker.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Findon Parish Church

The weather has been atrocious, but there was a slight break in the rain on Wednesday and 5 of us made it to this lovely spot. We dodged the showers and battled the wind for a couple of hours, and this was the result.

The ewe tree caused me much trouble, but in the end I decided to include it, in order to contrast with the lychgate. The aerial perspective in this one is quite good, but the grey day meant that there were few shadows. I have "invented" one or two. It could do with some more.

PS Jean must have liked the blackberry. It has been framed and now hangs proudly in the lounge.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


This was growing over the fence, and it reminded me of a thread started by Dale Ziegler on Wet Canvas in June ( I believe Dale quoted Georgia O'Keefe as his inspiration). It is painted on a piece of Bockingford paper measuring 15" by 11", so the berry is many times its actual size.

It proved to be a very good exercise for me - focusing on looking for the colours and being more careful with my brush strokes than usual.

Maybe this is an idea for my "series" for next year's art class.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Another David Bellamy exercise

The key point here was to avoid mud! Three colours were used - Paynes Grey for the sky and Cobalt Blue and Cadmium Red for everything else.

Still a trace of mud I fear!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Plein Air at Amberley

A pleasant trip out to Amberley today. Six of us made it, and while the rest painted in the churchyard, I was rather taken by this view acroos the valley to Bury. It looked rather quaint nestling under the downs.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

More David Bellamy Exercises

Still working through these exercises. It would be great to say that I'm learning a lot - the first one follows pretty closely a demonstration in the book - but then you are given a reference photograph and allowed loose. The result is the second! The great man left the river in front out completely as being too distracting. BTW both pictures were painted with only three colours. The first was raw sienna, FUB and cadmium red. The second was cadmium yellow, cadmium red and FUB.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Monochrome landscape

No plein air again this week. Still working in London on Wednesday morning.

This little painting ( 12" by 6") is based on a reference photograph and exercise in the David Bellamy book. It seems to work OK, although I should probably crop an inch or two off the left of the picture.

Let's hope the weather is good for a trip out to Amberley next Wednesday.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Water Colour Landscapes

No painting trips out this week or next, as I have to attend meetings in London. The bonus is that I had a chance to meet up with Vanessa instead.

These exercises are from David Bellamy's book "Watercolour Landscape Course". The last in particular shows how far I have to go. It is so simple, and yet captures the scene perfectly. Somehow, I have to acquire the "painterly eye".

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Canadian Waterscape

The trip out to West Grinstead was rained off last week. This was painted in response to the July challenge on Wet Canvas.

It is approximately 14" by 10" on Bockingford paper.

The sky and mountains have come out quite well IMHO.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Easy Landscapes - part 2

This is another exercise from the book "Easy Landscapes". It is painted on 12" by 8" Bockingford paper.

The prespective of the front part of the church is wrong, but the picture works quite well. I am particularly pleased with the sky and the shadows under the tree in the left foreground.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Boxgrove Priory

Yesterday we went to Boxgrove Priory. Dating from the 12th Century, this part of the priory was demolished by Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monsatries (I think). The weather was pretty bad, and only 3 of us turned up. This was completed in the time, and I am quite pleased with it. It lacks a little bit of contrast, partly due to the very dull lighting, but mostly because I still didn't have time to do the final washes. ( The rain came at 11.45).