Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Milky Bar Kid

oil painting of Highland cow and calf
For readers too youthful to understand the title of this piece, here is a version of the product advert. This link takes you to YouTube. The song that accompanies this advert was a part of my childhood. It is now an ear worm I will doubtless spend a large part of today trying to shake out. I was never allowed a Milky Bar as a child ("your teeth will all fall out") and the injustice is still vivid.

Painted thinly on MDF board, gessoed and prepared with an acrylic wash of Quinacridone Orange. The palette for the cattle was Transparent Oxide Orange, Transparent Oxide Brown, Permanent Rose and white. I used fingers and cotton buds/Q-tips to paint this and occasionally a brush.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hebridean ram

Oil painting of a Hebridean ram
The attraction of this subject was mainly the horns and the challenge of modelling their form without losing the texture. I also noticed that wool colour seemed to vary from very black to golden brown, depending - perhaps - on age and how badly they needed shearing: here are a couple of photos to compare
hebridean sheep

This variation give me the idea to play around with my new tube of Transparent Oxide Orange (Rembrandt) and to see what it could do. My conclusion was that it  produces the most delicious, luminous orange whilst also behaving beautifully even alongside challenging colours like blue or black.  I had no problems with accidentally mixing a bilious green in this painting.
Here is a progress shot

work-in-progress with palette

I covered the panel with a thin layer of Transparent Oxide Orange then - when it was dry - I blocked in the darkest darks. The darks were mixed with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. For the lightest lights I used the orange together with yellow ochre and white and a tiny bit of lemon yellow for the brightest highlights.

The horns were modelled using trial and error and a great number of cotton buds (Q-tips). I removed as much paint as I put on until I got the impression of their hard, knobbly texture. This was where I was grateful for having toned the board before I started.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A Very Direct Look

Wolf Oil Painting - A very direct look
This oil painting of a rather regal-looking wolf is currently propped up on the side in my studio. Whichever way I turn, his eyes are watching me. He is not particularly threatening but his scrutiny is direct and it is determined, at least so it seems.
There is plenty of research to explain why the eyes in certain paintings seem to follow you around the room (here is an example) and it is not magic,  but it is still quite weird when you pull it off.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Chestnut Study

oil painting of a chestnut horse
This oil study of a beautiful chestnut horse was an exercise in value as much as anything: a bit like working in black and white, I only really had value differences available to me for modelling the form. The additional complication was that in using Transparent Oxide Red and Burnt Sienna, I was a bit stumped what to do for highlights. If I used titanium white, pink was the likely result. So I used a lot of wiping back to create the highlights. 

This painting is available for purchase on my Artfinder shop (see side bar for link).

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

An Old Friend

An Old Friend, oil painting of a collie dog

It took me the best part of a week to paint this instead of my usual day or less. I have injured my right hand and arm. Some sort of tendonitis or RSI injury. I can only paint for very short periods.