Sunday, 19 January 2014

London Gateway Commission - sketches

London Gateway Sketches
4 @ A5 Line and wash images created from photos  by Andrew Bowen.
The team at London Gateway wanted four "sketches" to accompany the painting I wrote about last week.  They asked me to base my sketches on photos they supplied by Andrew Bowen.     In the end I thought the best way to work the sketches would be to use line and water colour wash.   When sketching I usually use fine liner  and Tom Bow wash pens but as the latter aren't light fast I thought it would be better to use watercolours instead.  
 The images to follow show the process of how I went about creating them.

I normally go straight in with fine liner pens but as these images were all very complicated and all needed to fit into an  A5 format I decided I'd better approach them more as small paintings.   I started by drawing an  A5 border within my sketch book and gridded up the photos and then marked the grid points on the edges of the A5 sketch borders.   I then sketched out all the main features in pencil. You can see some of this showing in places in the above drawing where I've started to add pen line work.

Line work completed and now ready to add the watercolour wash.

This image shows the pencil under drawing and below with the fine liner pen work  added and the pencil work erased.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

A recent commission for the team at London Gateway

Tim Halhead at London Gateway
Oil on canvas

24" x 18"

I though I would write a bit about this one which is a commissioned piece I completed just before Christmas.   It was commissioned by the Team at London Gateway as a retirement present for Tim Halhead and was due to be presented to him this week.  I was also commissioned to make a few sketches to go with it which I'll show in another post.   The painting and sketches were all completed from a number of photos taken by Andrew Bowen.   To following images show how I developed the painting from day to day.


The day before I was due to meet to discuss the commission I broke my leg.  This gave me a whole new challenge of having to work out how to paint from my sofa which became an improvised studio and I mostly painted with the canvas on my lap or used my good leg as an easel!

The painting turned out to be one of the most detailed and complicated images I've taken on for a long time and the whole commission took me just under 14 days to complete. I started off by staining the canvas to get rid of the white using an Acrylic wash.  I then gridded up the canvas and main photo and sketched out the composition using a grey pastel pencil.   I'd been asked to make the painting A2 sized.  In the end however I could only find a 24" x 18" canvas locally which turned out to be a good thing as it meant I had extra room at the bottom which allowed me to make the figure a bit larger.
Next came the under painting and sketching in the figure with a bit more definition.


 Here I've completed the under painting and started to work on the sky and details of the boat.  I started with the containers on the left then worked towards the right. This shot also shows the Terberg truck sketched out on the right which I'd been asked to include from another photo.

Completing the lettering at the back of the boat.

The background and the cranes are now all finished in this shot.  These I found difficult to paint as they were painted from a couple of different reference photos as was the figure.

A bit of re - drawing here to provide more definition in the figure.


 This shot shows the scale of the portrait with my index finger included as a comparison,   I've never attempted a likeness on this scale before! 

Here with the figure of Tim pretty much finished.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Freya and Indianna Old Leigh

Freya and Indianna at Old Leigh
Oil on board 10" x 12"
This one started as a demo piece for one of my classes last year when we went down to Old Leigh on a painting trip.   As you can see below I didn't get very far with it!   I'd taken a few photo's for my students to finish there paintings from so I decided to finish this one myself as well.  What I really love about Freya is the lovely yellow colour.  She's not usually moored up here so I didn't get the opportunity to go back and finish the painting on site.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Rayleigh Millenium clock and the high street


Rayleigh Millennium Clock and High Street
12" x 10" Oil on Board
I put a few finishing touches to this one a few days ago from memory.   Mostly working on the  figures and the foreground area.

I developed this one over the summer by painting in  20 min bursts at the end of my lunch breaks on Tuesdays.  I can't really remember exactly how many sessions it took but it was quite a few.   I think one problem with working in this way was that I found it difficult to get into the flow when I had to keep stopping and starting so I will probably just stick to quicker sketches with my pens as I find them more satisfying and then work on the paintings during longer painting sessions.  

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A few sketches from the last day or two.

Bryn and Lyndon watching telly a couple of nights ago

I had a follow up appointment at the hospital today,  the good news is that I can start to bear some weight on my leg and if all goes well I can drive again in a week.  The bad news is that I've got to carry on using crutches for the next 6 weeks.  I got my new Tom Bow pens through the post a couple of days ago so I got to try them out on a few faces in the waiting room today.




Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Morning light


Watercolour postcard sized

Here's another of my watercolour postcard attempts from a couple of days ago.  I was attracted by the light on the chimneys and the view is the view over the back gardens through our bedroom window in the mornings.    I'm enjoying having a go at water colours but I think I need to get just a little bigger!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Fishing boats Old Leigh

Fishing Boats Old Leigh
20 X 20 cm Oil on board

Click here to buy:

Here's an oil sketch I painted on location last year in Old Leigh on a lovely hot summers day. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Some of my paintings from 2013.

My blog rather lapsed into disuse last year so I thought I'd do a bit of catching up over the next few days.   I decided I'd enter the SAA competition the other night and I was updating my web pages on that site and then entering the new paintings into the competition and it occurred to me that it would be just a small step to also past the content plus a bit more here too!  So here we go in no particular order.....

I started this one on location in Bath in the summer of 2012. I had a few hours left before I was due to get my train home.  This is how it looked at the end of the first session painted on location.  

When I got home I chopped the bottom of the board and finished the rest of it from a couple of photo's I'd taken,  I finally finished it in the early part of 2013.

I'll try and catch up with a few more pic's over the next few day's.