Friday, 18 November 2011

Not far off finishing the beach polo painting...

I think there is probably only one more layer of paint left to go on this painting, I just need to tidy up the tiny details on the subjects, and do some more work on the water. I'm using a very slow drying (but utterly beautiful and lovely to paint with Michael Harding oil) blue and if anything it seems even wetter than it was yesterday so think I'll have to wait a good for days before going back to it.

Have started another little box canvas too, a dressage close up. Waiting for a bespoke canvas to arrive to get started on an exciting commission for Christmas too. Busy busy!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Painting horses from life, as badly as ever!

If there is one thing that I have learnt in 2011, it is probably the value of working from life as part of my wider preparatory and practice work. It's not something I am very good at, find easy, or a style of painting very close to my usual style- but I enjoy it, and I think I have really reaped the benefits of dedicating a bit more time to it this year, in my regular work.

Having not done very much of it in recent months I have decided to pull my finger out and go do some! This morning I spent an hour or so at a local yard that I used to keep my horses on in the past, and painted. Not the best time of year to do it really as most of the horses are well rugged up but enough heads over stable doors to keep me busy at least!

So tricky trying to paint a horse who only fleetingly looks in the direction you are painting him, I produced the dreadful painting above! Not quite sure how I managed to make his face look quite so deformed... shall blame it on tricky combination of roany face markings haha! As ever not too worried about the end result really as it's more about the process- but it would be nice to one day be capable of producing good equestrian oils from life. Planning to try and make my yard painting visits weekly/fortnightly, hopefully that way by the time the next SEA workshops come around in the spring I might not be so useless ;-D I might even try and paint the same horse each time, that could be an interesting way to measure my progress?

Have added another layer to the 'Out of the Shadows' painting since last blogging, and started another beach polo one too (pictured below). Hoping at least one of them might be ready in time for the Association of Animal Artists exhibition at Derby House next month!

Monday, 7 November 2011

'In the Shadows' in progress, Day 2.

Back to this today, just a quick 30 mins spent putting another layer of paint over the lot! Some paynes grey over the top of the background and a mixture of various colours over the horse (I love paynes grey). From this layer onwards I use Michael Hardings medium No. 1 to slacken off the paint- it was recommended to me by one of my favourite artists, Michael Miller, and really is wonderful to work with. Michael Harding oil paints are fantastic too, not cheap, but worth the money; I am very slowly building my collection of them! Oil paints can be incredibly expensive...

So, now I have my underpainting just as I want it- a nice, brushmark-free set of guidelines to paint over. Looks a mess but that's fine as I just need to see what needs to go where :-)

Friday, 4 November 2011

'In the Shadows' in progress, Day 1.

Finally away with this one! Took ages to get the canvas as I wanted it- much gesso and sanding and oil priming and then a thin stain of raw umber as a base. I seem to spend SO long prepping my canvases but it is time well spent as having a surface that suits my way of working makes life so much easier when painting!

This first (rather scary looking) layer of paint is just blocking out what goes where really- light, and dark. Rough and sketchy thin layers of oil paint (slackened off slightly with a bit of artists white spirit) being careful not to leave raised brush marks. Bad photo, was painting right next to the window as the light was awful- good old rainy British weather!

Will be documenting the progress of this one in tedious detail on here!

My camera was linked to my laptop and clicking away every 10 seconds as I painted, hoping to produce another time lapse video of this one.