Sunday, 11 January 2015

How it all begins

























The scene for this painting is my viewpoint, looking down from an apartment balcony in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca, at a neighbouring building, with their small yard, hanging washing and terracotta pots on the low walls. As always, I am drawn to lines, angles and shapes that I see. I also love the colours in the roof tiles and contrasts with whitewashed walls.

I thought I'd share some of the earlier stages of my painting, that I mentioned in an earlier post. I've used the same ground of a coeruleum blue, phthalo green and titanium white mixture, then a brief outline sketch with watercolour pencil to help with the angles of the buildings.

Continuing with mid-tones, and some highlights, I started blocking in the main areas, working over the whole canvas to help with uniformity of colour. 

This is still in the early stages and I can already see something I need to change with the line of one of the roofs. I find it helps to photograph my work and look at those, as well as the painting itself as sometimes you notice things in a photograph that you don't see otherwise.

Next week, I'll share some more progress...

Santillana painting finished

Yesterday, I carried on working on my Santillana street and finished it!

I worked on the shadow areas, including the cobbled street and defined some of the architectural details, such as the arches and window and added the lampost.

I just tweaked some of the shading on the walls, strengthening the strongest highlights on the left of the building and the corner of the paved area. 


Friday, 9 January 2015

Progress pictures of my Spanish Series

 My latest work is based on places I've visited in Spain. I love the architecture and culture of Spain and have wanted to capture it in my work for ages, but other demands have taken priority. 

When I was thinking about what to do for an upcoming exhibition, titled 'Perspectives', I immediately thought about focusing on my images from this fascinating country. Some of the paintings will have obvious links with perspective, with the angles and lines of the architecture, but they will also reflect my own viewpoint of the country - the scenes which draw my eye.

So, with all this in mind and images selected, I have made a start, and thought I'd share my progress so far, to show how things build up. I'm using mainly Golden and Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paints.



Here I am looking down a street in Santillana del Mar, where we stayed during our Silver Wedding celebrations. The brilliance of the light hitting the buildings at the end of the street was a stunning contrast to the shadows where I was standing. I started with a ground of a mixture of coeruleum blue, phthalo green and titanium white, which covered the blank white canvas. I sketched the image with watercolour pencils - sometimes I start without sketching, but I wanted to get some accuracy with the perspectives, so I decided to do an outline sketch first. Then I begin by blocking in areas, loading my brush with several colours directly from my palette.

The image above, on the left, was where I finished up yesterday. Today, I worked on building more layers of colour, using flat brushes, and defining some of the details. The depth that I want to achieve is starting to come now and some areas don't need much more work. I haven't worked further on the darker areas yet, so that will be my next focus, along with some more definition, but I want to be careful not to overwork things!

This gave me more of a challenge today! I was happy with my outline sketch, but seemed to struggle when I started to paint - resulting in some quite negative thought processes (the bane of my creative life).

After working on it for several hours, I decided to move on to developing the other painting as I've described above and found a complete change in attitude - I was much happier after working on that and, coming back to this after a break, I know what I want to change and what I'm happy to keep. That's the advantage of working on more than one painting at a time.

I've sketched out the rest of my images that I hope to complete, so look out for further progress reports soon.