Monday, 25 April 2011

Painting No 15 - Whiskey

Oil on canvas board 10" x 12"

This is the recently departed dog of my Aussie cousin (once removed) Lorraine.  I did it as a present as Lorraine was about to visit.  I'd been looking for a photo of one of her dogs for a while but none had the right lighting conditions until this one appeared as Lorraine's Facebook profile picture.  The back lighting struck me as been very effective. 

Unfortunately, my lack of skill in painting wet-on-wet let me down as I just couldn't get the bright sunlit edges around Whiskey to be bright enough.  The white paint kept mixing with the underlying coloured paint.  Having said that, I think the overall result is fine.  Due to the tight time constraints (I started it the day before Lorraine was due to arrive) I was forced to stay loose and not dwell on the detail.  It apparently looks like the subject as Lorraine shed a tear when she saw it.  What more confirmation does an artist need?

Just got to wait a few months before I can varnish it and send it off to Oz.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Painting No 14 - Troutbeck

Oil on canvas board 16" x 20"

I do like to make things difficult for myself. I was looking through an old 1930's guide to the Lake District when I saw this scene in a small monchrome photograph.  The overall composition really appealed to me. 

There was obviously no colour so I took a look on Google Streetview and immediately found the house.  Unfortunately I couldn't get the view into exactly the same position and it was a winter shot.  It also looks like there's a lot of foreshortening in the original photograph. 

 So, I had a go anyway.  I left out the dog as I couldn't make it out in the original and didn't want to risk spoiling it.  I'm relatively pleased with the overall result but am a little disappointed that I still can't relax the detail.  The result is a mixed bag of styles (compare the tree trunk and the house) but then again it's all subjective hopefully some will like it.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Painting No 13 - Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

Oil on Canvas Board 16" x 12"

Well this one was a surprise.  As I was doing it I thought is was going to be a complete disaster but it suddenly all came together and I quite like it now.  I thought I was going to have to come back to it (never a good idea) but I'm going to leave it as it is.  The more I look at it the more I think it looks like me.  Not a pretty sight I know but we can't all be pin-ups and ,yes, my ears really are that big.  Not bad for a first portrait.  Think I'll do some more.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Painting No 12 - Swaledale Rams Head

Oil on  hardboard.  11" x 9"

I've always fancied painting one of these marvellous animals with their wonderful horns.  I finally found some excellent photographs on Mike Watson's blog (here and here).  It's primarily a bird-watching sight but Mike throws in a few other subjects as well.  He gave me his permission to copy the above.  Thanks Mike.

I'm generally pleased with the result but once again I was a tad over ambitious.  Those horns are massively intricate in real life (see photo in first link above), which is one of the attractions but poses a serious challenge for someone trying to loosen up.  All in all not a bad result.  I quite like the fact that it's not an exact copy.  The tones on the paints seem to add to the overall effect.  I may have a go at one of Mike other sheep (and maybe a bird or two) later on.