Saturday, March 19, 2011


Oil painting is all about patience.

This is a small piece that I started last night.  I wanted to play with smooth transitions of colour and value and test my application and brushes.  This is as far as I can go with it until it dries a bit.  Depending on the technique I use, I usually end up waiting for a piece to dry for a few days before additional layers can be added, so they don't move the previous layers.  The wave is a deliciously beer-coloured roll of water, usually found after a storm has churned up the bottom of the sea, colouring the water with sand and debris.

The painting is 4 x 12" and while it dries, I can go back to work on the gannet which has had its drying time and now ready for the next layers of paint.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Neon continued

Last week I put down the drawing of a neon FISH sign on watercolour paper and have since added some layers of colour to it.  I'm a little loathe to show it at this point because its at its ugly stage, but I figured what the heck.  We've all been there before and know (or at least hope) that it moves on into its swan stage sooner or later.

I masked the tubes of the sign and have started working into the ones on the left.  To achieve an effect of glowing light, the washes must be at just the right level of dampness to blend the colours seamlessly.  Its good in places and bad in places.  There's a ways to go yet in terms of building layers of colour.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

River rocks

If you follow this blog, you'll know that I often complete studies before I jump into a large piece.  This is a study for a painting of river rocks underwater.  It came about more as a doodle then I got involved in the detail and had to keep going.

I started with a watersoluble pencil on what was at hand at the time - a sheet of acrylic canvas.  This of course, is meant for painting using acrylics, and the texture affects drawing and watercolour which was used here.

I wanted to experiment with using the surface and texture to my advantage.  I found that while there is a granular effect with the watercolour settling into the weave of the surface, I can easily get back to a white surface with a wipe of a damp brush.  Its rather like Yupo or TerraSkin in that respect, thought I don't think I'll be using the acrylic canvas for a finished piece in watercolour.

But for now, the study works on any surface as I can work out colours and textures, but its made me consider whether yupo or terraskin might work more in my favour than watercolour paper.  It could save me a lot of time in masking light reflection lines.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Going cold turkey

 oils  8 x 10

This is the face of addiction.

Yes, cat treats are the scourge of the rural feline way of life.  Its true, the rattle of a package anywhere in the house will cause running, loud pleads to do anything for more and more of these little squares of cat cocaine.

Then when the package is empty, withdrawal sets in.  And crankiness.  Extreme crankiness.  Pacing, tripping up humans, complaining loudly and running to the kitchen when even a package of peas is opened in the hopes it may be the cat crack.

Tripod has been banned from these cat treats.  He's not happy about it.  This is the face of addiction.  He's going cold turkey.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gannet - update

I'm working on several pieces, flitting back and forth while waiting for layers to dry on one or the other or adjusting and framing a print.  I don't think I've worked any other way, but to multi-task.  I believe it is likely the way of many artists.

I've added more layers to the gannet painting, but its still very early stages.  The water colour is not right and must be much darker.  For some reason obtaining the right hue keeps escaping me, but I'm working on it.

I like the sense of height early on in this piece and its giving me the name of the painting - Vertigo.  Its funny how names of pieces either become apparent early on or can just never come.  Names of paintings help sell them also by striking that chord of emotion or connection with the viewer that is so essential to a sale.  If you don't love it, if it doesn't remind you of something in your life, past or present, you won't buy it.