Monday, March 23, 2015

GREEN BOTTLE, PART 2


Here I have completed the second pass, again using thin layers of oil and slowly building up the intensity of the colors. I looked carefully at the patterns that I could see in the glass and tried to reproduce them as I saw them. There was quite a lot of irregularities in the glass even though this bottle came out of a mold ( there are slight vertical lines on the sides where the edges of the mold join) so they were an important component and had to be included. I'm getting close to finishing the bottle now, I still have the shadow to do and also am thinking about slightly darkening the background, with a further subtle darkening of the foreground - we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

GREEN BOTTLE, PART 1



I have only recently returned to the studio after having been away for 2 months and had not been able to log into my blogger account so unfortunately no posts until now. I do hope to catch up with these soon as I have a lot of new paintings to update - this bottle being the first of them.
I have a love for bottles of all shapes and sizes so when I saw this interesting pale green one that went from a square base to a round top, I knew that I had to add it to my collection. Meaning to paint it some time ago, I only recently got around to it! Starting with a gessoed panel (which I have to say is just about my least favorite surface on which to paint) and first laid in a thin even grey over the whole surface. When that had dried, I lightly drew in the outline using thinned oil taking care to get the correct shape and perspective. Painting very thinly as if I was using watercolors, I then put down washes of oil color using soft tipped brushes trying all the while to represent the various qualities of the bottle. The panel was then put aside to dry for a few days. Next I'll darken some of these initial tones and add more details.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ROOTS



Over the last year, I have been slowly completing paintings that I started some time ago. Most of the time these pieces don't need a lot of work to finish them and that was the case with this one. Initially I wasn't that happy with the way the rocks came out so decided to re-paint that area. This took longer than usual (naturally) and was only finished late last week. Although this is a medium-sized painting, I feel that this is more of a study and I hope to get to finish a larger version of it sometime in the future.
I first came across this scene many years ago when I lived in Hong Kong. The huge roots of a Banyan tree cascaded down the hillside, hugging the contours of the surface rocks and provided support for the massive tree above. In a space between the roots, a government worker had painted a fire hydrant marker showing the direction of the closest hydrant and also the type of water etc. The scene had a huge impact upon me when I first saw it and I knew back then that I would do a painting of it. I loved the various elements of the scene which I felt brought man and nature together. A few studies followed then I set to work on a larger stretched canvas using oil paints. Over the years I did bits and pieces here and there before finally getting my act together and finishing the work. Size is 24" x 36" (61cm x 92cm), oil on canvas. Private collection.

Monday, December 29, 2014

BIRD ILLUSTRATION



Here are a few illustrations I did a long time ago for a proposed book of birds. The plate above was to include Little and Chinese Egrets (you can faintly see the pencil outlines) but only the Great Egret was completed.



This plate included some of the tern species seen in South-east Asia, again not completed mainly because I couldn't find a publisher willing to sponsor the time and money to do the project. Both illustrations gouache on paper, size about 11" x 7".

Friday, December 26, 2014

EVENING SKY



I finally finished this large painting that was started some time ago. Since sky patterns and colors at dusk (and dawn) change so rapidly, I was only able to do a small study in my sketchbook before the colors faded to grey as the sun set lower below the horizon. A few photos helped my memory along when it came time to do the actual painting, and since I had planned on doing a large version, I first painted a smaller study (about 9" x 12") to help solidify the design etc. A graduated deep and slightly greyish-blue was laid in first from top to bottom then the darker clouds were painted in. The lower areas of the clouds that were picking up the last rays of the sun were carefully added and I continued working my way down to the horizon. I kept the land below simplified in tones of grey so all the focus was on the sky and when that area was completed, went back to the sky for some of the final details in the clouds. Size is 30" x 40" (76cm x 102cm), oil on canvas.

Monday, November 24, 2014

YOUNG EAGLE STUDY



I did this young Bald Eagle study some time ago, working this time in oils instead of watercolor as I usually do. I actually prefer the look of immature Bald Eagles as apposed to the adults of the species - probably because I haven't been able to properly resolve painting a basically white head against the contrasting dark body. Perhaps some day I'll be able to work it out but until then I am enjoying working on these young eagle studies. Size is 12" x 9" (30cm x 23cm), oil on board.

Friday, October 31, 2014

SUMMER EVENING, PART 5


After much time spent working over the rocks, I decided to finish the figure trying to bring completion to the work. I started by slowly laying in washes of color building up tone and form. This process took a surprisingly long time but eventually I got to the point where I was happy. I'll put the painting away for awhile and will probably do some work to it at a later date but for now this is as far as I can take it. Size is 22" x 30" (560mm x 762mm), watercolor on Arches paper.