Tuesday 30 August 2011

RWA Pencils

The Royal West Of England Academy will be holding it's 159th Autumn Open Exhibition in November and December. I was lucky enough to visit last year's and the standard was very high, there was a wide range of styles and media which I surmised was typical of a good open exhibition.

For my entry this year I decided to start a theme of maybe not serious but slightly more 'grown-up' versions of English nursery rhymes. The first rhyme I selected was:

It's raining, it's pouring
The old man is snoring
He went to bed and he bumped his head
And he couldn't get up in the morning  

 I began working up some quick thumbnails (see below)

Then I picked the thumbnail which was working for me, in this case the bottom right-hand sketch. I took the basic idea and worked out a larger sketch without reference. Sometimes it's a good idea to work a composition without reference so you are not overly restricted by the position of a model or prop (see below).

The finished sketch helped me decide most of the details in the room so I was then able to start researching suitable furniture that would suit the atmosphere of the painting which then meant the details in the finished pencil (below) were correct. I also took photos of myself posing in bed (it's a hard life) so that all the creases and folds would look natural. 

All I have to do now is decide on a colour scheme, maybe something cool in hue. Painting starts today so I'd better make up my mind!

Monday 22 August 2011

Making A Mark

Many thanks to Katherine Tyrrell for featuring my Devizes Market Place watercolour in 'Who's Made A Mark This Week?'

If you haven't visited her blog do it now. However be warned, once you start reading and following links you'll be lost in cyberspace for hours!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

My Bath Art Prize Entry has been... err entered

Magpie In George Street
48 x 75 cm
I finally completed this vast painting yesterday afternoon. It was so big I had to work in sections which can be difficult when you want to maintain consistent values through out a picture. The magpies were relatively quick to paint but the windows were challenging (no surprises there) however the part I am most pleased about is the sky. I've always found it hard to create soft almost plump clouds in watercolour but I now feel I'm getting somewhere with my 'cloud technique' which will hopefully develop further.
In my next project I'm not going to be concentrating on white puffy clouds but rather what they produce. Now there's a cliff-hanger and no mistake!!

Friday 12 August 2011

Devizes Market Place Completed

31 x 45cm

This piece will be joining an exhibition of my past works at Bluestone Gallery in Devizes (a nearby town). The scene is looking past the fountain statues on to the market place (where the cars are parked) surrounded by the wonderful Georgian and Victorian architecture.
I worked from my own photographs, constantly trying to apply the knowledge I gained from James Gurney's instructional book 'Color And Light' knowing that photography never truly captures light as the eye sees it. I added golden halos around the leaves and the tree's cast shadow as well as suggesting reflected light on the underside of the fountain, stonework and over hanging cornices of the buildings in the background. Although it will never be the same as painting plein air I'm quite pleased with the luminosity in the painting, something which watercolour seems tailor made.

At the moment I don't have a date for when the paintings will be on show. I shall post the details as soon as I can. *

* 6 Originals including the above painting are now on show for six weeks from Monday 22nd August at The Bluestone Gallery Old Swan Yard, 8 High Street, Town Centre, Devizes SN10 1AT, 01380 729 589

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Progress On Devizes Market Place

I started off with a simple line drawing then blocked in the tone with ultramarine to re-enforce the blue shadows as it was such a stunning clear day when I took the photos.

I've now started to glaze the colour as well as flesh out the tree foliage.

Hopefully this will be finished by the weekend and I'll have cut a mount and prepared the frame.

In other news I received my invitation to the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition Private View this morning, can't wait!!

Thursday 4 August 2011

Bath Art Prize Progress

Here's a little progress photo of my entry for the Bath Art Prize. The detail in some areas is quite intense so it's fair to say I'm taking my time on this one. The deadline has been knocked back to September 27th so I'm taking advantage of this by working on some other things, such as...

ALIEN SPOTTING!!!!!! A mysterious crop circle arrived in a nearby field last week. There's a pub at the bottom of the road so maybe the 'Aliens' pulled in for a swift one (Que X-Files theme music).