Sunday, 28 February 2010

'Winter Beach Polo'

Still plugging away. Struggling with the rider's clothes; I never have been able to get clothes looking realistic! Hopefully I'll crack it in the end! Next few days will be spent on the tack which I have re-blocked in today. Busy working on a commission too which will hopefully prevent me from trying to rush this... I always seem to get to a certain point and become over eager to call it finished!

The time lapse video is coming along nicely and it's fun watching the painting so far- my poor little laptop is struggling though as more and more photos get added. Hope it can cope with the final version, be a shame if it can't!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Friday, 26 February 2010

Winter Beach Polo

Bit of an update, about halfway through now I think...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

'Winter Beach Polo'

The second of my polo paintings. Been working on this one on and off for a week or so in total now but haven't bothered keeping a track of it here because I'm attempting to have my first bash at time lapse photography with it (you know, those videos where it looks like things are happening super fast) so taking additional photos to put on here seems overkill!

BUT, I had to show this picture of where I am up to today as it just looks SOOOOO AWFUL lol! Now, most of my paintings go through horrendously ugly stages at the beginning but I think this one really takes the biscuit!

So far everything is just blocked in roughly so I'm not worried about it, although part of me wonders whether it will end up being a total disaster just because I have gone to all the effort of taking the time lapse photos! Only have 2 weeks left of the software trial that's enabling me to do the time lapse photography (can't afford to pay the £120 or whatever it is normally!) so thanks to my unproductive week last week I really need to get my skates on. I think I am going to have to put in some late nights to get it done alongside my commissioned works at the moment!

It's quite a big one, 36" x 24", oil on canvas.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Fine Art Scanning

This morning 12 week old Henry and I trundled 2 hrs down the A1 to Sally Mitchell Fine Arts to get two of my paintings scanned. In order to produce really good quality prints of my work in the future I need truly accurate digital copies of my paintings; so after seeking advice of other more experienced artists I decided to abandon the plan to find a pro photographer and find a proper fine art scanner instead.

The results from the Cruse scanner today are just incredible, I'm over the moon with them! If any artists out there are looking for a scanning service I honestly can't recommend the service provided at Sally Mitchell's enough.

Interesting comparing my best photograph of 'Windswept' (below) against the scan (above)- such a huge difference, and it is SO nice to be able to represent it a bit more realistically online. No photo can do any oil painting real justice though, and it was such a treat today to be able to see some beautiful original paintings by Malcolm Coward, John Trickett, and Frederick Haycock. Oh to be THAT good! - humbling and inspirational in equal measures.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Unproductive week

Thanks to my eldest, Oliver, being unwell with a nasty cold all week I have got very little done at all since the weekend. On the rare occasions I have had the opportunity to paint I have either been waaayyyyy too tired after being up administering calpol and cuddles half the night, or felt the need to opt for a large glass of wine to unwind with after his bedtime instead! Roll on the weekend!

It hasn't been an entirely wasted week though. Whilst sitting watching Finding Nemo for the trillionth time I decided it was about time I stopped moaning about being unable to get to any life drawing classes and make use of the live models I have at home everyday. So, I have pledged to sketch my children and dogs daily in a little hardback sketchbook I have. For some reason I have always found drawing people incredibly difficult and generally avoid it as far as possible- especially faces- so it came as no surprise to me that my sketches were indeed totally rubbish. I'm hoping that once my little book is full I'll be able to look back and see lots of improvement!

Poor Henry has been my main subject so far, what with generally staying still(ish) for longer than anyone else... I hope one day he can forgive me for representing him with such dreadful inaccuracy LOL! He is beautiful in real life, honest!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Mini Painting of Beau

Bit more done. Not too much left to do now, be finished in the next sitting or two I hope.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Mini Painting of Beau

Bit more detail on today. If you click on the photo it should come up about life size... or at least it does on my screen anyway!

I'm busy prepping canvases for the other two polo paintings, and a commission for which I'm off to meet the subjects with camera tomorrow- fingers crossed the weather will be fine!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Mini Painting of Beau

Awful photo thanks to the artificial light yellowing everything but you get the idea! This is the little 5" x 7" I have been waiting to get going with after the background took so long to dry! So far just loosely sketched in the areas of light and dark- once dry will put quite a heavy glaze of browns over the top and then start to work on the details, paying closer attention to what needs to go where as I go.

Such a great pose!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

'Between Chukkas, Bridlington Beach' FINISHED

Oil on linen, 18" x 16" (46cm x 41cm)

Really pleased with this one, although disappointed that the photo doesn't pick up all the subtle colours and details (as usual). Tempted to take this one too when I go to get 'Windswept' scanned.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

'Between Chukkas, Bridlington Beach'

More work on the pony, and the girl has been blocked in now too. Not really sure how much work is left in this, not a vast amount but there is quite a lot of tidying up to do, esp in the background.

Monday, 8 February 2010

'Between Chukkas, Bridlington Beach'

Some more work on the background and a start made blocking colour in on the pony. Still lots of work to do on the background but I need the subjects done really before I can see how much I need to darken the background shadowy areas up. The light and shadows in this are really strong!

I'm also working on the first of a commissioned mini series but I think I have but too much Olive Green in the background as it is taking a ridiculously long time to dry?! This one is 5"x7" and I wish it would hurry up as I'm looking forward to painting the horse in such a great pose!!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

'Between Chukkas, Bridlington Beach'

Hmmmm not convinced I'm going to pull this one off! But then I suppose I worry about all my paintings when they are at this messy stage?! I think that should be the foundations of the background laid. I almost always work quickly and loosely in the early stages of my paintings because a) I'm in a rush to get to the fine detail I love painting and I need a basis down first, b) I think a bit of looseness at this stage gives the painting a bit more life in the end result, and c) I am lazy and know any mistakes at this stage can easily be corrected later! From here (once dry) I'll swap my brush for a small one and start getting to grips with puddles and reflections and waves. A lot of work in this one I think! Nice to be painting something so different.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

'Between Chukkas, Bridlington Beach'

The first of three paintings that I have planned based on my trip to see the polo last weekend. I'm really excited about all three!

This one is the smallest of the three, 18" x 16" oil on linen. Just blocked in the background colours to start with.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

'Donkeys' FINISHED

Calling it a day before I overwork it! Still need to think up a good title, 'Donkeys' isn't exactly original! It is oil on linen, 20" x 18" (51cm x 46cm).

Now it's out the way I can concentrate on my commissions again without that little fluffy face luring me away from them!

Monday, 1 February 2010


Some more detail on. Not too much left to do now, just tweaking the donkeys and sorting out the far background. This really isn't a great photo of it, the colours are so different in real life!

Polo on the Beach

I have been a bit short of inspiration when it comes to my original stuff recently, so have been on the look out for some interesting equestrian events to go and visit!

Yesterday I dragged the whole family on a 5 hour round trip to see The White Rose Polo Club in action on Bridlington Beach, Yorkshire, and it was fantastic!! Well worth the long journey. We could not have been more lucky with the weather and I now have a tonne of reference material that I am REALLY excited about painting from!

My boys and I...