Friday 22 November 2013

Last Night At The Portrait Drawing Session

LtoR: Caroline Rudge, Chris Draper x2, Sue Webber, Chris Dunn, Isla Russell

Yesterday I spent a great evening sketching with a small group of artists in Biddestone, Wiltshire. It was the first of hopefully many portrait drawing sessions organised by Chris Draper, he also got his friend, Dave, to model for us. It was his first time and I have to say he did an excellent job, he hardly even blinked.

Friday 15 November 2013

Captain Ratbeard

Captain Ratbeard
Watercolour & Gouache
24 x 31cm

Ahoy m'hearties! Shiver m'timbers and host the main sail (blimey I don't I'll keep this pirate talk going), if it isn't Captain Ratbeard and his pi-rat-ical crew (get it?). I nearly had as much fun painting the Captain as writing this blog post. Here is one of those few examples of when the finished piece is very similar to the fleeting image I had in my mind's eye.

The sea spray was achieved by flicking masking fluid with a toothbrush and a lot of the glossy highlights were with prussian blue and white gouache. I struggled with the wet deck but by studying lots of Wyeth and Howard Pyle pirate paintings I eventually found a simple way of suggesting a thin layer of water. 

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Cheetah Chase (Past The Finish Line)

I recently finished two paintings, here's the first.
Cheetah Chase
Watercolour & Gouache
24 x 31cm

I had a right old time trying to get just the right colour in the stonework, I think I painted the column about 4 times. I have always struggled with lighter values in watercolour because there is so little room for manoeuvre when you use the white of the paper to act as your pastel white. Darker values are much easier as you can keep applying lots of layers until you get it right but lighter values are often a one hit wonder.

Overall I am pleased with the result, the cheetah has some nice reflected light on his chest (not that you can see it at this jpeg quality) and the dust cloud spurting from his hind leg was very enjoyable to paint. I'm also satisfied with the amount of characters and their facial details I managed to fit in such a small painting.

Next post... the other painting, brace yourselves!