Saturday, 25 February 2012

Completed Mural - Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk

 Completed Mural

The first photos for this mural were posted on this blog in November last year.  I don't know where the time goes, but as I have now completed the finishing touches, it's time for an update!

The mural was commissioned by my friend Maddie. It was for a lovely dining room with a limited view, the brief was quite simple: "A window with a big sky, big waves, a boat in the foreground, with the pretty pastel houses along the beach front"

The execution was not quite so simple and took approximately 60 hours to complete, as my aching bones can testify!

Now they have a room with a wonderful view, with an added bonus, it never rains!

1)  Boat with first layer of paint

2) Second layer of paint
3)  Completed boat

Close-up of pastel houses with boat

Close-up of pebbly beach and grasses
Detail of window handle and frame

Right side window before handle is added

Right side window after handle is added

Wall before the mural was painted

Wall after the mural was painted
Completed Mural


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

"Coco" - Watercolour Commission (a surprise birthday present)

The good news with all the bitterly cold snowy weather is being able to stay at home, warm and dry, with a nice cup of tea, painting!  Despite this, I am so pleased that the weather has warmed up a little!  I watched Don McClean (singer and songwriter of "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie") being interviewed last week on breakfast TV.  He said where he lives they regularly have 3-4 feet of snow, and that he has a snow plough to attach to his truck.  I guess we're not so badly off then. 

I received a commission to paint a beautiful Spaniel named Coco, as a surprise birthday present.  I arranged a photo session, Coco was a perfect model and I got some great photos.  Below are the first stages as the portrait progressed.  I won't bore you by going into too much detail of colours and process as the photos probably say enough.  


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oil pet portrait - in colour

This is the same painting as before, only this time the black and white underpainting has had several layers of oil colour painted over the top.  A slow process, in that it can take up to several days for each layer to dry before adding the next.   As the painting progressed, I decided to remove the leg on the right of the painting, so simply painted it out.  I could just have been converted to painting in oils!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Underpainting of an oil pet portrait

Just thought I would show a picture which was painted last year.  It shows the first stage of an oil portrait, known as the underpainting.  This technique, used by many of the old masters, builds the painting in tones to a finished stage which I think looks wonderful as it is, but then further coloured glazes are laid on top, which really brings it alive.  It is a little like painting with watercolour in so far as you are building colour with glazes, only the order is in complete reverse.  In watercolour you reserve the white of the paper and gradually add your darks, and in oil you start dark and gradually add your highlights.  Another advantage with oils is that you can change you mind and alter parts of the painting, unlike watercolour, which needs very careful planning, because once you start, it is practically impossible to make big changes to the composition.