A Whippet on the downs

Driving through the South Downs, I saw this beautiful cloud taking over the head of Firle Beacon.

20120903-121634 PM.jpgso I snapped it and gave it a little iPhone makeover.

20120903-122041 PM.jpg Added a rough cutout of our dear little Whippet ‘Mouse’ to see how a painting might work. Hahaha – Likey very much. So in production as we speak. Must get that fortuitous pair of Magpies in.

20120903-025748 PM.jpgMocking this one up to get a good composition with maximum ear spread and have decided to start with chalk for the underpainting, so can use cutout Mouse as template at this stage.

20120903-030215 PM.jpg It’s coming on OK. Overspraying with Senellier resinous fixer will make the work so far receed and work well as an underpainting for oils.

20120903-074059 PM.jpgBackground is on its way. Need to leave to dry for a day or two.

20120910-022930 PM.jpgDisembodied eyes anyone?

20120910-023221 PM.jpgHead is coming together well. The clay coloured background is really working well for me. I’m using loads of matte medium with the oils to get a rough washy feel. Think it might speed up drying time too.

20120910-023725 PM.jpgUsing end of brush to scratch back through to ground. Really enjoying this.

 

20120911-020152 PM.jpg Just needed a few tweaks here and there and popping in lovely old oak frame, and SOMEONE is quite pleased with himself.

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A Shot in the Dark

Thought I’d include a rarely seen behind the scenes look at the photoshoot behind Blue Rabbit in Shadow (working title).  Rabbit arrived, ‘fashionably’ late – ugh, but was in fairly good spirits, and ready get into the shoot. I showed him the Rembrandt that Stuart at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam had lent me for a couple of weeks to get aquainted with.

(note to self – pop pic back in post ASAP)

He seemed down with it, but I detected a note of reticence, and realised too late that I had made a grave and embarrassing error. BR has the face of an angel, but a tragically stumpy arm/shrunken shoulder birth defect which had already seen his promising basketball career cut horribly short (no pun intended). He courteously allowed me to back-peddle with good grace, and the long and short of it was, he let us tape his arms down to his sides. The resulting imagery was a little Lynchian, but I have promised him faithfully that no-one will ever see the shots, and really – who’d care?

Believe it or not, the shoot took a whole day, and by a very strange quirk of coincidence, three-quarters of the crew were off with shingles that day, so we had a skeleton crew. I very rarely work without at least 30 men under me, but today we just had to soldier on regardless.

But we got the shot, and the painting was made….

It’s funny, I haven’t heard from him, but I did miss a call from his lawyer a couple of days back. Huh.

Magpie Wrestling

Having a bit of a time with this one. Funny, because the picture itself is going in exactly the direction I had intended for it, but as a painting, it is not working at all. So, the Magpie will remain atop his unfinished branch and the sky has since been scraped away, and because I still like him, he is going on one side to be re-imagined and reworked into a different painting later on.

Art Thief

I stole unashamedly an extraordinary Turner to start this piece off. Good start. How could I go wrong? For God’s sake, look at this painting. Can’t believe I am about to have the audacity, but I have.

redded him up a bit…..

Built up layers of heavy texture then went to town for  Red Crow…

He’s refined and and ominous in his delicious deathly black box frame. I used huge amounts of gigantic red oil pastels for this baby, then melted the surface with sansodor to soften and mysteriolise the very deep crevasses in the painting’s surface. Oh I could do this night and day. Shame that most of the image disapears in a photograph, although this one is a rough shot for now, this will be a bugger to shoot, as the feathers for instance are built up in thick matt black on black. Will need to experiment…..

Mr P in his Fair Isle Pulley

Detail of a larger painting I am working on now – set in Pett in Sussex. When completed, Mr Pig will be proudly wearing the jumper he has knitted.

Finished him, and I am still recovering from a long but enjoyable day of painting Fairisle. It offered a great opportunity for heavy textures and human marks woven into the pattern.

I Love this frame, and I painted Mr P to work with it and have to decide on the colour. I am currently leaning toward red oxide.  Although it looks great in Coca-Cola red and electric blue surprisingly.

Hhhhmmm……

Evil Genius

Here is my Evil Genius painting. Cranked the heating right up for this one to get the heaviest impasto I could achieve. Popped him in the freezer at one point to cool and harden before hitting him again with softened oil pastel.

I was really surprised at my choice of colour for this piece, and really chuffed with the result. It’s not easy to see the rough surface here, but I let the texture of the hot pastels model most of the forms. I am loving the painterliness which comes with working spontaneously and quickly but in long shifts. This makes soft areas like this chap’s left arm in particular which moves me by it’s lack of pissiness (pissinesslessness?). Getting really excited by this flow of characters.