For those that hadn’t already guessed, the painting I’ve been working on/impaling myself on my palette knife over, is for H.M. The Queen and is due to be presented at the Balmoral Garden Party in a couple of weeks. I will post an image of it after it’s presentation. Not that I think H.M. reads my blog, but if she does, I’d hate to spoil the suprise! I’m really pleased with the final result, even though it took three gos to get there, with complete compositional rethinks each time. It’s just come back from Christina Leder, a fabulous Aladdins cave of gold frames, and is now en route to Scotland.
Works in progress The Highland cattle painting is coming on slowly. It’s had a month on the floor, so was very dry, but a coat of retouch varnish and it’s now back on the easel; here’s an update after this weeks progress. I actually think I’ve lost a bit of the light in it, so that’s todays mission, then I’ll start on the background.
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I’ve been meaning to do a post on the development of a painting, showing my process of work, as I get asked about it all the time.
So, here is DAY ONE of a new painting.
I start by making the canvas – about 3 foot by 2 and then I do a pale colour wash called a ‘ground’. On top of this I sketch out, in a very thin red oil paint the basic composition of the painting. It is CRUCIAL to get this absolutely right, as it saves heart ache, and much frustration at a later stage.
Next, I start blocking in the main areas of colour.
And then filling in the cows…with some help from my studio assistant!
That is the first days work…a long day, as I’ve been part of the Henley Arts Trail, which has seen a steady stream of visitors to the studio.
A very productive weekend in Scotland, taking photos of some fantastic Highland Cattle, and for another commission, which will be revealed later in the year.
Very exciting, one of the real privileges of being an artist is that it grants you access to places and people that one would otherwise never meet. It really struck me this weekend how lucky I am to be aided by people who have such a passion for their work and animals, and who are happy to give up their time to help me. I learnt A LOT about Highland cattle and Highland ponies this weekend (maybe even more than necessary!) and was blessed with the most spectacular weather in the Highlands, heavy frost with glorious bright sunshine, creating a Narnia like landscape.
Thanks to all those that helped, with the animals, driving, childcare and so on. Best of all – no broken limbs this time around!