Sara, close-up

‘Sara’, with palladium leaf

Second underwater swimmer picture in real paint. I though I wouold try keeping the metallic element but removing the gold colour, so this is palladium leaf. Palladium is very similar to Platinum, but without the latter’s pretensions, and so only costs about the same as gold leaf. This is Sara, also swimming at Vobster Quay.

detail of gold leaf fragments

‘Cecily’, against Vobster Green

I have been painting… with real paint! This is the first swimmer painting that hasn’t been digital, but it’s been something I’ve been pondering for a while, whether to plunge into watercolour with the swimmers. So this isn’t a commission, just an experiment of my own. Actually it’s mostly gouache (watercolour with ‘body’, which makes it more opaque, in theory, though the actual pigments I am using here are mostly very translucent), and embellished with gold leaf. The idea of using gold leaf where the water sparkled was irresistible, but I think it did a little over-embellishing at the start…

Ditch Dragons 2

Painting the Ditch Dragons – step by step

It’s been years since I’ve completed a ‘painting’ in this way, so I took a series of photographs as I painted the Ditch Dragons that I showed you in the previous post. I say ‘painting’ in inverted commas because it is part painting part drawing, and this is probably the main reason I stopped using this technique – I find the classification ‘mixed media’ curiously irritating because it could mean anything at all, and seldom is any further information given. And it slightly offends my purist nature. But it works, and it is a technique I invented for myself, though…

The Foxglove Fairy's paraphernalia

Digitalis Purpurea, the Foxglove Fairy – Finished

Finally, photos of the Foxglove Fairy finished! Apologies for not posting these before – I wanted to post some really good images of the painting, having spent three or four weeks on it, and photographs are not nearly so sharp. Not only that, but THAT yellowy colour is just one of those colours that is really hard to get just right in a reproduction, as is the purple. I have done my best and the colours are as close to the original painting as I am going to manage. So here she is: Digitalis Purpurea, the Foxglove Fairy: And a…

Urtica Dioica, Stinging Nettle Fairies - close-up 2

Urtica Dioica, Stinging Nettle Fairies – Finished!

The painting of the Stinging Nettle Fairies is finished! Decided in the end not to add any other colours than green, sometimes the trick is knowing where to stop! So this painting is entirely in Prussian Blue (see my post about the blue underpainting for the general idea, and the previous post to this one for early photos of this actual painting), followed by a complete pasting-over with a wash of green (mostly Cobalt Green Light, with a little Indian Yellow mixed in). After that, highlights happened simply by a careful removal of some of the green layer with brushes…

Arthur Clark in Egypt, close-up 1

Arthur in Egypt

This is not the sort of painting you’ve come to expect of me, I know, but here’s a commission I did a couple of months ago. It was as a present for the father of a friend, the father having his 80th birthday party, and having been in Egypt in the armed services a very long time ago.There were shenanigans, and unproven accusations of syphoning off the British Army’s fuel and selling it to the Arabs. It was just before the Suez crisis… perhaps he even caused the Suez crisis, I am hazy on the details! My job was to…

Foxglove Fairy - work-in-progress 8

Trust me, I’m an Artist! (The Foxglove Fairy pat 2)

Back to the Foxglove Fairy from the previous post… Here is the blue underpainting finished. At this point the painting looks fine, and you will think I am ok at painting, but after this everything will go a bit strange for a while as I start to add the colour. Trust me: I’m an artist… On go the first layers of colour. In fact you may not notice the very first colour I added, which was white, where the inside of the foxgloves flowers are spotty. Next I filled in the colours of the fairy. …and the purple and greens…

The Naked Masquerade 5

The Naked Masquerade: part 4 (finished!)

The Naked Masquerade is finished. Apologies for making you wait! I have been on holiday, and then I had some catching up to do… Here – finally – are a heap of photos. Usually a scan shows off my paintings better, but the scanner, while it’s great for showing detail in the painting, flattens out the gold leaf and does not do it justice. So, I apologise for the lack of sharpness in the details, I shall get this on the scanner and then on my website, one day… in the mean time, isn’t the gold shiny? 🙂 Painting in…

Three different concentrations of Prussian Blue gouache, with water.

The blue underpainting

It’s all paperwork for a few days, so, having no artwork to show you, I thought I could still add to my ‘how to do stuff” series of the painting techniques I use. The techniques I developed for myself, so I don’t know if these all these techniques have a proper name – I am simply showing you how I do it! Feel free to leave a comment if you use a similar technique, if you have anything to add, or just if you feel like it! The Principle This technique of blue underpainting forms the beginning of most of…