Saturday, 31 December 2016

Farewell to 2016

oil painting of a man and dog at a railway station, farewell to 2016
I was never quite sure whether this man and his dog were waiting for the next train or waving off the last train. I suppose they could be doing both.
So, farewell to 2016. The last day of December always holds a certain nostalgia, especially if someone much loved has been lost and will not be travelling with us into the New Year.
But it is a day of hope, too. 
So another year to look forward to "trying to create a little magic with oil paint". I hope you will be with me for the journey.
Thank you so much for your company this year. Have a very Happy New Year.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Paintable Pooch No 2

Red Toy Poodle Puppy - an oil painting
This is either a red toy poodle puppy in need of a hair cut or a cockerpoo cross (also in need of a haircut). I am not sure which. But super cute and as my last Paintable Pooch sold immediately and is even now winging her way to Alabama I felt in urgent need of a new puppy for Christmas.

This one was surprisingly tricky to paint, due to colour-mixing problems. I have had loads of difficulties mixing a nice, clean, luminous red-orange. But here's the thing: I have found out why. I mixed together combos of every red and yellow I own (rather a lot, I'm afraid) and found the best combo was Rembrandt Transparent Oxide Red and W&N Griffin Alkyd Cad Yellow Light.

The reds -such as Alizarin - also made a nice orange, even if not quite right for this pup - provided I mixed them with the same yellow.

The issue seemed to be the chemical composition of my yellows. The successful one is made of pigments PY74 and PY65 - Arylide Yellows - which mix a reddish yellow. I have other, more expensive, yellow paints made of PY35 which is a Cad Zinc Sulphide sometimes also including Barium Sulfate. This makes a cool or greenish yellow. Hence when added to red you risk getting a brownish result. And not a good brown.

I have learnt the hard way that when my colour mixing goes awry despite trying very hard a solution which is better than banging my head repeatedly on the easel is to go to a site such as this and review the underlying chemical composition of the pigments I am mixing.

Not all yellows are the same.

Christmas Eve tomorrow - yippee! I will post some Christmas Eve paintings for you.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

A paintable pooch

oil painting of a white poodle on linen
After 2 or 3 very difficult paintings in a row, it was lovely to work on this charming little dog, who almost  painted himself.
The surface is a Pebeo Natural Linen board (so basically, brown). I painted in loose, fairly liquid strokes a background of Transparent Oxide Red and Prussian Green, allowing the two to mix in places. I used this background also as a proxy for the shadows in the poodles fur.
Then, I positioned the eyes and nose and painted them - he looked very odd at this point, perfectly present but without any fur.
His fur is Gamblin Flake White, greyed as necessary with a mixture of the two background colours. Flake White is the substitute for the traditional lead white paint that has been used for centuries. Unfortunately, the UK government won't allow artists to paint with it as it is toxic if ingested (I think they have taken the old adage of "starving artists" a bit too literally myself).
So, in the UK, we need to use a substitute. I have no means of knowing if it works in the same way as Lead White, but it is very different to Titanium White. It is not so cold or chalky. It is stiffer and less slick. It feels kind of stringy as it comes off the brush, like painting with jelly or frog spawn or something. But here's the thing: it behaves itself and does not automatically turn everything it touches into muddy sludge. Hooray.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Santa's (other) Little Helper

trompe l'oeil oil painting of a cat with Christmas decorations

I have posted before about trompe l'oeil (trick of the eye) paintings and their fascination; I have had a number of attempts at painting this way. It is extremely tricky. 
The effect on me of producing this effort did not include seasonal goodwill. The shadows were a pig, the lost edges on the cat were a pig and the frame itself was piggery squared.
Just at the moment, I am not planning to attempt trompe l'oeil ever again. 
Speaking of 'squared', this cat is on a 10"x12" thin-framed box canvas and it was most assuredly manufactured "square".  The slight impression of wonk is entirely down to the photographer. Did I mention that photographing this was also a pig? I could choose between the wonk, as shown here, or straight edges and dazzling surface glare. I opted for the former.
Tomorrow, I shall post a poodle. He was a dear to paint.

Friday, 9 December 2016


Advent - oil painting of a cat looking out of a stained glass window
Well, what can I say about this one? Extremely tricky to paint. Several times it was nearly (yet) another wiper.
The method is most accurately described as "winging it", but broadly I began with an underpainting of dilute raw umber and blocked in all the really dark darks. I didn't do anything about the windows or the reflections at this stage.
When that was dry (overnight) I painted the darkest half of the painting which is roughly to the left of a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. I also did the cat's face but not his tail, fronts of his legs or his whiskers. Then, using a ruler, I painted in the black bars in the window glass. 
That went very badly. But I left it alone, all the wobbly bits and everything, and waited for it to dry.
Next day, I thought - those window bars are rubbish. So I drew over them using a Sharpie. Honestly, I do not know how to paint lines with a brush. Just as well I am not attempting to paint ship's rigging or similar.  
I did all the squares of colour in the windows (this also covered up any wobbles or blobs in the black lines) and then finished it all off with the highlights on the cat and his tail and window glass reflections. The latter were just hinted at:  the result was better without too much about precision.
Then, when it was properly dry, I glazed over the dark half with transparent oxide red to warm it all up a bit.

Since which time I have been recovering by eating too many mince pies.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Birman by the window

Oil painting of a Birman cat sitting by the window in orange light
The colours  used to paint this piece were mainly: Transparent Oxide Orange and Transparent Oxide Brown - both by Rembrandt, and Cerulean Blue by Sennelier, plus white. I used Gamblin warm white. There is a touch of Cad Yellow in the sky, which also made the leaf green. 

The inspiration came from some really spectacular sunsets we have been having lately, when it seemed my whole garden was bathed in orange light. The grass glowed. Even my rather elderly and grubby greenhouse - a most uninspiring garden feature - gleamed and sparkled with jewelled orange light.

I washed the primed board with acrylic orange first and began with the cat's face as this was my focal point.
Birman cat oil painting - work in progress

I forgot to take any more WIP photos, but the next step I took was to work the window behind the cat. This was so I could find out if this idea was going to work or not. Also, any more fluff and whiskers required needed to be worked on top of the background.
The blue flowers were an after thought. Originally there was just going to be a pot in that corner as you can see from the two marks I made on the WIP. But the painting needed perking up. There was a surfeit of oranges, basically.

Hope you enjoy my painting. I hope you also enjoy beautiful sunsets but if that is not possible - have a terrific weekend and thank you for looking at my work.

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.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Horse on Red No 2

Portrait of a Horse in red and gold
My last "Horse on Red" here was painted using cadmiums and blues and produced a very different - much cooler - result than this version. 
I painted this one with: Transparent Oxide Red, Transparent Oxide Orange, Lemon Yellow, Transparent Oxide Brown and white. Apart from white, these paints are all transparent, which gives a lovely luminous finish, but which can be frustrating to work with. 
The paint is so luminous, the horse fails to "appear" from out of the background as a solid form. More like a ghostly, Hallowe'en horse..?.  Most of him is painted in two or even three layers to overcome this problem.
The tack was painted using Vandyke Brown, Raw Umber and white. These browns are much cooler than Transparent Oxide Brown and enabled me to make the tack "stand up" from the body of the horse. I found the tack very hard to paint, because of the complexity. I can't imagine how you would actually put it on the animal.
Thank you for visiting my blog and looking at my paintings. Have a lovely weekend 🌞

Friday, 21 October 2016

Roadford Lake - Summer

Oil painting of Roadford Lake, Devon in High Summer

This oil painting of Roadford Lake, Devon in high summer was made from a series of photographs I took on one of many dog walks (if you are local or thinking of visiting - the view is from the Forest car park).
I have not had much practise at landscapes and, realising they made me nervous, I decided to try to improve my confidence and hopefully skills. I watched some marvellous YouTube videos by Michael James Smith: thoroughly recommended. His technique is mesmerising.
High summer is a very difficult time of year to paint a landscape. Stapleton Kearns in his advice to wannabe landscape painters, suggests avoiding this Very Green time of year altogether. Good advice, in my opinion.

I worked the piece on an MDF board I cut to size and prepared myself with 2 coats of household matt emulsion and 2 coats of gesso. It is 16 inches x 8 inches. I drew the rough position of landscape features in charcoal then blocked everything in using thin acrylic paint before working oils on top. Here is the progress of the acrylic block-in:

oil painting of landscape, work0in-progress

If I was to start this one again - and, believe me, I am not going to - I would re-position the gap in the trees at bottom centre so it was less - well - central. I think that would make for a livelier composition. Otherwise, my main learning point is that whilst it is satisfying to practise a technique that allows for a degree of realism, this is probably not the effect I want for my paintings. I need to develop my own techniques that allow for greater expression and atmosphere.
Presently I am working on a forest scene which is more Autumnal in colour. A welcome escape from green.
Have a lovely weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Horse on Red

Oil painting of elegant horse on a red and stormy background
This horse was painted on a red background and the red was allowed to show through the other colours. This gave a unity to the piece (I think).
I went through a phase a couple of years ago of toning the background with a thin red and had some success. Red is a good mid-value colour and forces you to pay attention to the darkest darks. Then one or two pieces went horribly wrong and I abandoned the idea. 
Here is another go at the same technique. The palette was: cad red medium - for the whole board as a background then the bridle; Alizarin, Prussian Green and a touch of Cerulean Blue - to make those greys in the sky; black, white and a touch of yellow ochre for the shiny bits of tack. A combination of these made the various browns of the horse.
Here is a collage of work-in-progress photos.
horse on a red background, work in progress photos
Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Enjoying Autumn

Sheltie surrounded by autumn leaves
It has been a beautiful Autumn here with the trees all copper and gold and the falling leaves gleaming and crunchy. Instead of brown, mushy and soggy like a typical October. We are lucky.  Here is a painting to celebrate.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Resting my ears

A basset hound, sleeping on the sofa, painted in Autumn colours
A basset hound, sleeping on the sofa, painted in Autumn colours, actually using just Transparent Oxide Red, black and white. I was working on my values. As usual.
I am beginning to realise that almost the entire "secret" of realistic painting is down to getting the values right. It is super hard.
Do you remember learning to drive? I was taught to recite the mantra "Mirror, Signal Manoeuvre" - which I used to do quite obsessively for ages before it became second nature. Well, when I am painting, I am mentally reciting: Light, Mid-tone, Dark.
The darkest dark in the lights is ALWAYS lighter than the lightest light in the dark.
Keep your darks, DARK

I don't think this quote is about painting, but it is pinned up on my easel anyway.

quote about light and dark

Thursday, 22 September 2016

First Day of Autumn

oil painting of First Day of Autumn, two dogs in autumn sunlight, basset hounds in the sun
This one has complicated patterns of light and shadow. I tried to paint only the shapes I could see and not worry about the actual subject matter - this warm dark, that cool light and so on - one square inch at a time more or less. By painting the shapes,in the correct size, colour and value, eventually two dogs will emerge. It took a surprisingly long time. I tried not to use the same colours in the shadows as I used in the lights (in order to differentiate them more securely). I tried to keep some mystery, especially in the shadows, and not sweat the detail. 
Happy Autumn Equinox. I hope the sun is shining where you are.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Three Hatted Ladies

Three Hatted Ladies, an oil painting of 3 hens

Painted in two layers (darks first) using a big, flat bristle brush and a palette knife (apart from their eyes). The combs are painted with W&N Cadmium Red, which I don't use very often: it is quite difficult to manage. If you have ever had the experience of putting something dyed red into the washing machine with white fabrics, you will know what I mean. It doesn't seem possible for so many things to turn red with such a little red to start off with. Same with paint. I had to scrape back a couple of times to recover the situation. 
I enjoyed painting these girls. Made me miss my own hens, it is now more than 6 months since I had hens in the garden. I do not miss the associated work, though.
Have a lovely weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A French Bull dog

oil painting of French Bull Dog
Oils on linen, this painting of a French bulldog is a rare (for me) experiment with a high key painting.  I saw a French puppy of these colours for sale the other day and wished I could have him, hence this painting. The puppy was nearly £2000 ($2650). My painting costs far less...

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Cat on Green

oil painting of a cat, crouching on a plain background
A companion piece to yesterday's "Cat on Grey". This is the same cat, demonstrating a different crouching position. I used Cad Yellow Light, Black and White for this painting. Yellow and black make a nice olive green as most of us tend to discover by accident... and a touch of permanent rose for the nose. Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cat On Grey

oil painting of a black and white cat, crouching

Painted with just two colours plus black and white. Bet you can't guess which two colours??

These two: Permanent Rose and Viridian. They make a surprisingly wonderful range of greys:

permanent rose and viridian to make grey

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fox (this is my 500th daily painting!)

portrait of a fox
This fox marks my 500th blog post and 500th (published) daily painting. A similar number have probably been "published" directly into the bonfire.
Worked in 3 layers: (1) a full colour block-in painted thinly, especially on the background, and the eyes and nose painted to finish (2) fur detailing, especially in the ears and (3) fiddling about with edges and darkening shadow areas. 
Even after hundreds of paintings I still find it difficult to get my darks dark enough. I think that is my most consistent and predictable weakness. 
I try now not to blog or ship direct any painting without checking, double checking and triple checking that the darks are dark enough.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sunshine Hound

oil painting of a bassett hound in the sunshine
Here is a glorious Basset Hound sitting in the sun, one of my favourite dogs to paint. An ancient breed, engravings have been found of a basset-like dog from the period of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt (2000BC-1700BC) as well as mummified remains of a similar-looking dog in the Dog Catacombs. Which is rather impressive, I thought, for a dog essentially regarded nowadays as rather comical.
Painted on fine linen, I completed a full-colour block in first, painting very thinly, and let it dry overnight. Then, for the ears in particular, I applied the paint quite dry and tried not to mess or blend it. The thin colour block-in underneath showed through and this is what gives the short-fur effect on his ears.
Colours used: black, Transparent Oxide Orange and Lemon Yellow, with white. 
I am pleased with the whiskers: whiskers are always a challenge in oil paint. It is so easy to create blots. I thinned the paint with turps and oil and swept the whiskers on with my new "whisker brush": it is an extra-long liner sized 30/0, made by the Princeton Brush Company. To get a finer brush than that I would have to make my own by plucking a whisker off the cat. It is terrific.

Friday, 12 August 2016

A small painting of a small cat

A small oil painting of a small cat using blue and orange
This little chap is a bonus painting. I was experimenting with colour mixes and he almost painted himself. 
I washed Transparent Oxide Orange over an oil-primed linen board and left it to dry overnight, then painted him using Cerulean Blue, Transparent Oxide Brown and white.
These particular colours make some lovely muted teals and greys when mixed together.
Have a great weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Grey Kitten

oil painting of a grey kitten
Still practising cats here. This one was tricky both for lack of chroma and lack of form: a grey fluff-ball basically. I used black only for his eyes and nose, otherwise I mixed chromatic greys using complementary colours. 
To achieve fluffiness I used fingers more than brushes to paint his coat. This is worked on rough linen, not the smooth board I usually use. I discovered that rough linen works better if what you want to achieve is fluff.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Golden Eagle

oil painting of golden eagle in flight
Another wildlife piece, a beautiful Golden Eagle. These birds are found in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and nowhere else in the UK to the best of my knowledge. I have only seen one once but that was in the Alps, and it was very high up in the sky so did not provide me with a view quite like this.
Painted in a about 2 hours - he just came together for some reason. This was a tremendous relief having spent last weekend wiping everything I painted.
Those two hours were spread across 3 days, however, as the elapsed time allowed work to dry or at any rate tack up. 
First day: I washed Transparent Orange over the board and left it to dry (the board is just a piece of MDF that the hardware shop cut for me, which I gessoed with 3 coats of acrylic gesso). 
Day two I basically painted everything else but without the tiny feathers between his eye and beak and without using any white paint except for the beak. 
Day three: when he had tacked up but was not actually dry, I went back in with white to lift the piece, add highlights to eye, head feathers and back. I also scratched in some lines to represent the veins in feathers. 
My goal was to make a painting that said "Eagle!" but without giving in to the temptation to over-work it or recreate the reference photo. The photo, incidentally, was taken by Gary Jones and shared on Paint My Photo.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Little Tortie

Little Fluff Pot, oil painting of a tortoiseshell cat
The first of what will probably be 2 or 3 cats - I have a commission to paint one and feel the need to gear-up, as it is a little while since I have painted one. Cats are surprisingly difficult, especially long-haired cats. 
This little sweetie was painted on a gessoed board with a lay-in of quite strong burnt orange and the coat was rendered in 3 separate sessions. I put in the darks first and allowed them to dry completely. After the other 2 sessions I just let the paint tack-up a bit: a little mixing and mingling helped create depth of fur, but it was important the paint wasn't actually slippery to avoid a mucky mess.
Colour palette was: black, Transparent Orange Oxide, Yellow Ochre and white.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A little bit of sunshine

A little bit of sunshine, still life of a yellow jug with birds

When I began this slightly odd still-life, the weather was wet, windy and dreary. When I completed it, the UK was experiencing a rare climactic phenomenon known as " a heatwave", which always gets the press (and everyone else) very excited. Basically, the sun came out. 
And everything glowed for a a few hours, much like my treasured little, yellow jug.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Keeping watch

keeping watch, oil painting of an Australian Shepherd dog

Painted from a photo by Irini Adler, this is a beautiful Australian Shepherd dog, doing what dogs do so well: appearing to be completely relaxed whilst maintaining absolute awareness of everything that is going on.

This was painted very thinly, wet into wet, working from the dog's right eye outwards. That is the way this painting grew - I didn't especially plan to work it that way. The painting was worked on a linen board, which had hosted a failed painting just the day before. I wiped that one off and was left with a board accidentally toned in varying shades of grey.

I remembered someone describing that sort of grey as "sauce": some artists retain their mixtures of all sorts of colours as a sort of bespoke and personal grey. So, I painted this doggy on a background of my own recipe "sauce". Here are the WIP photos:

Friday, 1 July 2016

Mare and foal

oil painting of a mare and foal
An exercise in managing my values. Painted a bit larger at 10" x 12" than I usually do for a 'daily' painting, but tricky even so. I don't think I could have pulled it off any smaller. A limited palette of orange, blue and white. The dark is blue and orange (complementary colours) mixed together with a touch of ivory black for eyes. 

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. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

On holiday

On holiday - dog eating a pink ice-cream

This blog is taking a little holiday.

To hear when we are back, sign up in the side bar for an automatic e-mail. Have a great summer.

The Homecoming by Norman Rockwell

Friday, 13 May 2016

Spring: apple blossom

oil painting of apple blossom

Here is an oil painting of apple blossom on board. It took a while to arrive, but spring has finally sprung in Devon. This is the first time that I can recall that I have apple blossom, horse chestnut blossom, bluebells and daffodils all in flower together.
The bees are having a feast.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

5 tweets in 5 days (no 5)

5 tweets in 5 days, an owl asleep in a tree
And here is an owl asleep in a tree - so not really a tweet, but never mind.  Painted with transparent oxide red, transparent oxide brown, yellow ochre, black and white. 
My new yellow ochre is Winsor & Newton Yellow Ochre Light, from the professional range. It is fab and behaves very nicely in a difficult palette like this one: not once did I get cow pat green even though the whole piece was painted wet into wet.
It is odd how paint from different manufacturers but with the same name behaves so very differently.
Have a lovely weekend everyone and thank you for looking at my paintings.

Friday, 6 May 2016

5 Tweets in 5 Days (no 4)

a series of little oil paintings of birds, 5 tweets in 5 days, this one is of bramblings

Here is a little oil painting of two bramblings, probably fighting for a prime nesting site. I deliberately painted sharper lines on this one to try and convey the impression of a sharp altercation. 
These little "tweets" were painted on consecutive days although I have not been posting them on consecutive days due to absent-mindedness rather than anything else. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

5 Tweets in 5 Days (no 3)

oil painting of a little wren on a tonal background
A sunny little painting for you on a bright and sunny morning here in Devon. My garden is bristling with these little birds at the moment. I always call them Jenny Wrens even though they can't really all be girls. But this one is.