Friday, 25 November 2016

Cat with Green Eyes

oil painting of a cat with green eyes against a damask wallpaper

I wanted this very pretty and elegant grey cat to be profiled against a suitably elegant background. I started off trying out a stencil or two but discovered that stencils require a whole skill set combined with lashings of patience that I don't appear to have. 
So those attempts got wiped. 
Using oil paint was also very messy, so I cleaned up the board thoroughly, re-coated it with acrylic gesso and then painted, in dilute grey acrylic paint, each of the damask patterns by hand. Once they were thoroughly dry, I washed over the warm background tones in oil, diluted with lots of liquin.
I added a further "wash" of back ground colour right at the very end to push the pattern back and allow the cat to stand out.
Here's hoping American friends reading this have had a very happy Thanksgiving and I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Study in Grey

Study in Grey - a dappled horse
This piece was worked essentially as a value study. I used two colours in addition to white: Pthalo Blue and Burnt Sienna. The only black on this piece is in the darkest part of his eye and nostril. Otherwise, I mixed all the greys from darkest to lightest using the blue and burnt sienna. 
I still feel that I should have gone darker in the darks. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Super Moon

Oil painting of Super Moon and a dog with a ball
Just a quick oil sketch today as I am still busy working on commissions for Christmas. 
Show me a dog with a ball and I will show you a dog who is not impressed by a Super Moon.
The moon is closer to Earth tonight than it has been since 1948, apparently. But I am in Devon and doubtless there will be a big, fat cloud that is even closer to earth to obscure the view.

Friday, 11 November 2016

11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day

oil painting of dog who served in world war 1
This is a re-work of an older painting, but I thought it could bear the weight of being displayed once more, if only for the subject matter.

This Bull Terrier type dog is Sergeant Stubby of the US Army. He is said to be the most decorated  dog of World War 1 and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted through combat. He took part in 17 battles over 18 months on the Western Front.

His sense of smell enabled him to save his regiment from mustard gas attacks; he could hear the whine of incoming shells before people could and warned them; he found the wounded, stranded in No Man’s Land, and they could help themselves to medicines he carried in his coat. He once caught a German soldier and held on to him by the seat of his trousers until help came.


He was smuggled on to a troop ship by Corporal Robert Conroy from Connecticut. On being discovered by the commanding officer, he was allowed to remain when the dog saluted the officer, as Corporal Conroy had taught him to do. He earned many medals and insignia. His chamois coat was made by the residents of a French town liberated by his regiment.

In Memorium - for all the fallen, including those with 4 paws or 4 hooves.