Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This was painted back in Sept 2006 while away with a painting group. The piano was in the large gloomy dinning room. I sat at a nearby table, did a pencil outline and painted it quickly.
I was pleased with it then and am still pleased with it now.
Monday, October 22, 2007
14 x 10 in - 36 x 25 cm.
This one has turned out way too maticulist for my taste. Maticulist is a word I coined. It comes from the obvious root of 'meticulous'. It is applied to a painter or to a painting that is done in a meticulous manner, sometimes to the detriment of the work.
Of course meticulism works for many painters it just does not work for me. I find in too exhausting to take 6+ hours on a work like this. That's way too long. I will have to find a way of balancing the areas in the painting that need detail with some areas that don't.
Still the result has turned out well and I can't complain about that.
The composition is, just as you see it, taken straight from the camera. It was snapped in Henley yesterday. There is a lovely walk by the side of the River Thames. At this time of year the sun is low and gives a wonderful side light with interesting shadows. I keep the camera to hand to catch shots like this.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
12 x 16 in - 30 x 41 cm. What a mess, if you wanted to know what an overworked watercolour looks like then this is a good example. The faults are extensive -
- Overworked reflections.
- Drawing with the brush (the chairs). Brushes are normally for painting, if you do otherwise then you had better understand why.
- Not thinking as you paint. The reflections of the buildings and the buildings themselves do not line up.
- Done at a number of sittings, so done in a number of different approaches (energy levels) and it shows. The dark red canvas giant table covers are good but the don't quite fit with the painted style of the buildings above or the coloured awnings below.
Note to self - large does not mean slower or more detailed. Keep the single thought in the head and get it done.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
14 x 10 in - 36 x 25 cm. Painted as a two hour challenge but I over ran and came in at about 2 hours 20. There is more that should have been done the reflection of the stern of the boat is not right. But it will remind me to focus the time on the important things.
So overall, could be better, would be my judgement, but not bad considering the rush. I am no fan of taking a long time over a painting. The masters I have seen and most admire are those who get even large paintings done in around the two to three hour mark. They tend to go for a 'one touch' finish. I am thinking here of John Yardley and Charles Reid.
So enforced speed is good even if my results are currently only fare.
Here is the ref I worked from.
Shown by kind permission of the photographer.
7 x 7 in - 18 x 18 cm. Thought I would try something different. So had a go at a pen and ink drawing of our new Prime Minister.
I think I was trying to be more like a cartoon or an illustration. I certainly was not trying for any kind of 'fine art' pen and ink work. I am pleased with this. The theory is that you practice at these, where you can't rub out. As you do so your pencil line drawings, for watercolours, get better and better.
I used this as the reference. Many thanks to AP (Associated Press) for the unsanctioned use of this photo.
Friday, October 19, 2007
This was headed straight for the bin then I remembered that when I was starting out it was always comforting to know that those with more experience still had disasters.
Even if you do think it reads as snow it also screams "beginner".
Thursday, October 18, 2007
14 x 10 in - 36 x 25 cm. This was inspired by a photo I took in Barcelona a couple of years ago on the roof of Gaudi's famous Casa Batlo which was built for a well to do merchant who had made his money from fish, hence Gaudi's use of the fish scales motif. Does the painting work? In parts it does, but in parts not.
If we are 'fessing up' to language of the US cop show then I have to admit that I have tweaked the colour up a notch or two on the reference. The December day we were there was very dull. The reference photo is now much more is what you would have seen on a bright winters day.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
What really happened is that a few years ago the English county of Berkshire was broken up into separate "areas", one of these was given the name Wokingham of which my home town is at the center. By chance this new local government area has very few poor towns or zones in it. The result is that it does well in all the new reports that only take these areas as their basis. The truth is that there are lots of nice places to live in the UK and Wokingham nice though it is, is not that special.
To mark this survey I thought I would paint another local scene. If you want to see the others click the image above and then go 'up a level' to display their thumbnails.
This one looks reasonable in thumbnail but looses purpose as you see bigger sizes.
I always think that a painting should look more interesting that the reference photo it was painted from. If the photo looks better than the painting why bother with the painting?
As I you can see from the photo the eye tends to want to know about all the detail and of course this is lacking in the painting.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My copy just about works, but as is always, it does not have the grace or style of the master.
John Yardley's original
Monday, October 15, 2007
I did I succeed?
I think the honest answer is, No. But as they say, I learnt by trying.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I think the present composition is a bit thin but then again maybe not, what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
I also thought of showing it with a copy of the ref hanging below the painting. Something like this. I know that, I like comparing the two, maybe a buyer will as well.
It occurs to me that at some time in the future a buyer of one of these mini paintings may be reading this. If so, I do hope you enjoy your painting whether you hang it in the loo or elsewhere.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
On one hand the work (like this one) is turning into a painting. Whereas I think I should making them more sketch like. This took an hour which is fine for a painting but I feel these would teach me more if they were more sketchy and took less time.
This was something like my view.
Friday, October 12, 2007
13 x 10 in - 33 x 25 cm. This was from a portrait challenge that I chose to attempt in the style of Alex Powers. He has such grace in this work in this style whereas, I do not.
Many thanks to photographer Li Newton for letting me show you the reference photo and to Ronald for being such a great model. Ronald - I really did not intend to make you appear so piratical. It shows the lack of control I have over this style.
14 x 10 in - 36 x 25 cm.
I painted this last year it was my first and only other attempt at the Alex Powers style. I really do need to be more subtle.
The boy was caught in the corner of a photo I took in Havana in 2005.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
What I was trying to depict.
Black paint, as a watercolour, is frowned upon by some 'purist'. To them back paint, as used here, is "bad", where as mixing your own black as in 'Knife and Sharpener' is "good".
What those 'purists', they aren't purists but that's another story, have done is to turn the very sound advice to beginners of - "Don't use back to darken other watercolours" into the nonsense of - "no watercolourist should ever use black".
What the painter saw.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My usual after paiting attempt to photograph what I was seeing.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I used an old 'Rotring' pen for this one it, was harder than expected to control the direction. I will have to stick to fibre tips in future.
This is roughly what I was seeing.
I lost it a bit on the shape of the sharpener but over all the shapes work and it does read as a knife with reflections. But I also made the blade a bit over dark. It looks as if it was in shadow, which it can't be if it is also reflecting the light on to the paper.
Here is what I was seeing.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
This is roughly what I was seeing while I painted.
Here is my photo of what I was seeing.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
14 x 10 in - 36 x 25 cm.
Painted in just over 2 hours, the challenge was to do it in no more than 2 hours. I am pleased with how it looks but I should have been braver and gone in with stronger dark colours from the start. It's just hard to go in hard with what appears at the time to be something that is way too dark.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
10 x 7 in - 25 x 18 cm.
Another attempt at a quick small painting or sketch. Drawn and painted from life it took me 1 hour 15, pencil up to brush down.
Below is my attempt to photograph what I was seeing.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Here is a photo of 'something like' the view I had while painting.