Saturday, August 28, 2010


I didn't get chance to post this image until now even though the painting had been finished a few days ago. Basically I had very little to do to finish up, mainly tightening up the visible stone, a few shadows and finishing off the tap. I'm happy with the finished painting but it did come out quite a bit differently from the initial image I had in my head. I might re-visit this work sometime in the future and go back to my original idea, this time doing the painting in watercolor. For now though, it's on to other paintings and other experiences. Garden Tap is 22" X 15" - Acrylic on Paper.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This one is coming along nicely at this point and I realise that there is not that much left to do. Previously I has spent some time working on the background getting the tones of the shadows correct then slightly darkening the stone that was showing through the white paint. I have also added a few layers of acrylic to the tap to help define its shape as well as getting close to the color values that I want. Actually the main imputus for this painting came from the shape of the shadow cast by the tap so this was darkened along with the inside of the spout but the tap itself still needs quite a bit of work. A few more hours and I should have this one finished very soon, hopefully by tomorrow!

Monday, August 23, 2010


The start of something new! I had the idea in my head to do this painting for some time but only recently got around to it. Originally I had decided to use a different background but at the last moment, changed it for something else as you will see as we go along with this demonstration. I used acrylics for the painting laying them on over a few coats of gesso which were allowed to dry overnight. I started by lightly drawing in the details (not many!) then lightly indicated those shapes after a light grey underpainting. The shadows were put in with thin slightly purplish-grey then a few coats of cerulean blue for the tap handle. Next I'll get to work on the tap itself slowly building detail and structure.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Although not the best of photos, here the painting is shown just about completed. I'll keep it handy over the next few weeks and see if there is anything else that I need to do to it but so far I'm happy with the finished work. The final details were done to the wooden strip along the bottom of the painting darkening the wood frames slightly and finishing the details of the lattice in the center panels. I also darkened the strip below the lattice section and added some textures there. The siding above also got some added textures but I kept this more refined in an attempt to preserve the brighter sun-lit areas. I'm not sure when I'll be doing the larger (and slightly different) version as I have a lot of other work to get to, most of which will be shown at the 'Best of the Chesapeake' exhibition next month. More details to follow. Pierside is 15" X 22".

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Slowly getting there! The wooden frames are better defined now and I have started with the lattice on each panel. This was difficult to do as I had to first carefully measure each slat then lightly pencil in the lines before over-painting with sepia to indicate the holes. The slats were then slightly darkened and given some highlights to indicate their sun-lit edges (as were the top edges of the bottom frames). I believe that these wooden panels were made to allow access under the building but for me were integral to the design of the painting along with the bright slashes of white between them. Quite a few washes still to go but hopefully the painting will be finished in the next part.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Quite a few washes were added to darken and define the wooden frames along with some of the wood grain patterning. Since I was getting closer to how I wanted those areas to look, I could now stand back and get a better idea of the overall tone of the work. Right away I noticed that the shadow areas still seemed a little too light so another darker wash was added which made me think that I had then gone too far! Not to worry though as at the same time I felt that the siding was still a little too bright so I would put a thin wash over all that which would (hopefully) bring the values back in line to how I wanted them. The two windows at the top were darkened but I still felt that they would need to go just a little darker - I'd do that next.


Here most of the values have been strengthened and I've indicated the shadows lines of the clapboard. Outlining the window frames and sill defined that area a little better making it easier to decide what to do next. A slightly darker wash was added to the stained wood area along the bottom then I began drawing in some of the details there. Once I had got that sorted out, I laid in another wash of Neutral Tint to the shadows and let that dry. So far I was getting close to the values I wanted in the upper part of the painting but still had a lot to do to the lower section. There were still a lot of finer details to add there and some carefull laying out of a diamond pattern on the panels themselves. I would get to all that once the frames had been finished but so far things were going as planned.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Here is the start of a new watercolor from something that I saw while in SF. I was taken by the unusual pattern of light and dark along with interesting shadows seen against the sunlit-side of a pier building. I immediately decided that this was something that I wanted to paint. Although as you'll see, I'll take this one to a finished state, it's actually being done as a pre-study for a larger painting. I'll be changing the composition slightly for that one and also adding an extra element but no other clues right now!
Starting with a half sheet of Arches w/c paper, I drew in the initial design after consulting my studies done in my sketchbook. I think I mentioned that during my last trip, I found it much easier to work while I was there and enjoyed drawing and sketching even while in sidewalk cafes. Anyway, back to the painting. With most of the details lightly indicated the way that I wanted them, a very pale wash of Neutral Tint was applied over the whole sheet. When dry, I added the windows at the top using Sepia and Neutral tint then washed over the lower wooden panels with a darkened wash of Burnt Sienna. Finally another wash of Neutral Tint indicated the shadows. With the sheet now stretched on a board, I felt that I was off to a good start and let the painting dry overnight.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Time surely flies! I can't believe that it's been so long since I last blogged. Not that I haven't been busy because I have but unfortunately don't have much to show for it. The main reason is that most of the larger works that I have been working on are in that stage where things are coming along okay but rather slowly - I should have more to show soon. In the meantime, I give you this small study done a week of so ago as preparation for a larger painting. To get the reference for this painting, I sat by the beach for some time looking at the in-coming tide and watching how the waves foamed around the rocks and pebbles. Studies were first done in watercolor in my sketchbooks then I carefully chose this exact moment shown in this study. I wanted movement of the tide but showing the rocks as an anchor point in the composition. All the action takes place in the upper part of the painting but you can feel that the sea will soon cover the foreground sand. I love the way that the foam is beginning to cover the rocks and also the lines of smaller foam bubbles in the foreground. The rocks and foam are subtly reflected in the wet sand. My larger version of the painting is coming along fine but I have had to put it aside for the time being while I finish off work for the Best of the Chesapeake exhibition coming up next month at McBride Gallery in Annapolis, MD - more details of this show later. The study (on linen) is 5" X 7".