Learning curve

Up until now I’ve posted every painting I’ve done onto this site – the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a change of tack I’ve decided to prune out the real shockers; they’re still online if, for some bizarre reason, you’d like to see them, on this page. Art is a matter of taste after all, and what you like may not – in fact probably won’t be – quite the same as what I do. Would be a dull world if that was the case. But it’s my site so I’ll just be posting the survivors from now on!

Obourg Cement

photo 1-med


Out again this morning for some more much needed practice. This time on the banks of the Mons canal, having a stab at something a little less picturesque, but definitely a favourite subject for me. The painting is nothing special, only had 6 x 8 boards with me and got too fiddly. I think I may well do quite a few more paintings along here though…

Not sure of the title yet…

… but might call this one ‘Cafe Diane’. Seeing as that’s what the little eatery in the Tuileries Gardens is called, I think. It’s probably finished but this one needs a day or two to ‘rest’ before I can be sure. Anyway, here’s how it looks at the moment (with no guarantees that I’m not going to change any of it).

Untitled. Oil on canvas panel. 20 x 16.

Untitled. Oil on canvas panel. 20 x 16.

Shake some action

Untitled. Oil on canvas panel. 12 x 16.

Untitled. Oil on canvas panel. 12 x 16.

A little more done today, managed to get through a ‘crisis of confidence’ stage and now beginning to think I may be able to make something of this one. I can see several things that need fixing – the photos are great for showing up the errors – and don’t much like the support, canvas panels are not my favourite. At least it’s not stretched canvas.

Not a great photo as the paint’s obviously still wet and so there is some glare, but hopefully you can see where this one’s going. Probably won’t get much more, if any, done to this one before next weekend now. C’est la vie.  Or, as they say here in Belgium, ‘that’s life’…

Into a New Year…

Untitled. Oil on board. 24 x 8.

Untitled. Oil on board. 24 x 8.

… and I aim to improve my paintings, if I can. Part of the plan is to be disciplined enough to avoid the temptation to always paint an actual picture, and to take the time to work through some more colour charts. I also intend to do a lot more sketching – if I can get colour and the drawing right then I only need to worry about the edges and values. Piece of cake!

Notwithstanding that, another element of the cunning plan is to paint a lot of pictures too, based on the simple idea that practice makes perfect. I don’t expect to achieve perfection in the next 365 days – or indeed ever – but if I throw enough paint around I’m hopeful some of it may end up making interesting shapes.

Finally, I made a little progress on this on yesterday.

Latest plein air work

Penzance Lido and St. Michael’s Mount. Oils. 11 x 14.

We were down in Cornwall at a wedding last weekend and I managed to get down to the seafront for a spot of painting. Hadn’t done any plein air painting for a while, and again seem to have struggled with the values; they often come out far darker than they appear whilst I’m actually painting. I’ve considered  deliberately trying to do the whole piece in a higher key, but then wonder how much range I will have left for the highlights. A tad frustrating.

Taking a photo of this painting is also proving to be somewhat difficult. Maybe it’s trying to tell me something…

The weekly brush

Tin mines at Botallack. Oils. 12 x 8.5.

Squeezed in a little time for some painting this afternoon. Some click, as I mentioned in a previous post, and this one seemed to go reasonably well. I’ll give it a fresh look in the morning and may make the odd tweak here and there, but it’s fairly close to being finished I think.