Tuesday, July 7, 2015

BLACK KITE AT DAWN II



One of the very first birds I saw in Hong Kong many years ago when I first arrived there were Black Kites soaring over the harbor. Later when I moved from Kowloon to Lamma Island I used to see them every day so began studying and painting them. This bird has always had a strong association with Hong Kong for me and over the years I never tire of watching them, this is probably the main reason that I have done so many paintings of them.
With this painting, I had watched a female kite through my telescope as it sat resting before flying off early one morning so went to the same rocks it had been on and started a painting. Later in the studio I added the background and then the bird trying all the while for an early morning feel to the work. This oil took a few weeks to finish but I was happy with the completed painting. Size is 36" x 24" (90cm x 60cm). Oil on canvas. Sold.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AFRICAN GIRL, PART 4



After working on the arm and back a little, I darkened the overall tone of the whole work using more layers of graphite. When I felt that I had reached a balance, I signed then photographed the drawing. Unfortunately I couldn't get a decent pic of this one, I'll try again with different lighting and another camera. The thing that bothered me the most with the photo was that I lost a lot of the deeper tones while lightening it - also a lot of texture came through although it isn't that way in reality. Still, I'm happy with the original. I used the same 2B pencil throughout the whole work, perhaps not the best way to go but with the paper I was using, I felt that it was necessary as using a harder lead kept it from being too textured overall. I'm not sure where to go next with this one, perhaps this drawing will lead to a study in watercolor or oil, I'll have to give it a few weeks and see. Finally I would like to thank Paco for helping with the reference for this one. Size is 12" x 11", graphite on Canson paper.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AFRICAN GIRL, PART 3



Working more or less all over just to get some tone down helped me see where this drawing was going. I could see that there were a lot of areas that were still too light and would need further layers of graphite but this was fine - dedicated time in the studio would take care of that. At least the work seemed to be going in the direction that I wanted. Working on the ear, I laid in the deepest darks  then slowly built up tone creating shape and form but further shaping and definition would come in the final pass. Next I'll work on the arm and back then darken everything overall to finish off.

Monday, June 29, 2015

AFRICAN GIRL, PART 2



After deciding that I had done enough to the braids, I worked around the eye and the nose a little, again keeping things lighter that I should. I'll be working over most areas a few times until I attain the correct tonal value. I also worked for some time on the area around the ear and started to add more details to the hair directly above, feeling my way along as I'm a little unsure how to created the correct effect. Still at this point, I'm happy with the way this one is going so far.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

AFRICAN GIRL, PART 1



I had been wanting to do something like this for years but only recently was I able to have the opportunity to do so. I think that the idea came about many years ago after seeing Raymond Ching's amazing drawings of Vanessa Thompson in his book 'The Art Of Raymond Ching'. There are two pages of drawings of Vanessa in the book and also a large watercolor - the drawings especially are stunning!
So starting with a relatively large sheet of drawing paper, I roughed out the basic shape then started work on her braids. I tried to keep from going too dark as I wanted to have the choice to darken areas as needed later on. I was hoping this would lead to a better balanced work and would keep the drawing from being too much like a black and white photograph.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ASIAN PEAR



I loved the form of this Asian pear, especially the drooping shape of the stem. Deciding to make a painting of it, I set up in bright light from outside then started with a light drawing on smooth (hot-pressed) Arches watercolor paper. After that I probably laid down about 6 or 7 thin background washes letting each one dry in turn until I was happy with the tone. Then I painted in a yellowish-green mixture for the pear. Slowly color was built up over time leaving a thin underwash for the lightest area, then the final details were added to represent the texture of the skin and the slightly wrinkled stem. The shadow was added last and look quite some time until I was finally happy with it. Size is 7.5" x 11".

Sunday, June 21, 2015

MORNING SNOW, STUDY



I loved the pattern of snow and shadow when I first saw this little scene awhile ago. Setting up to paint in the snow is not always welcome, especially when it is a cold and blustery day - still I managed. A small piece of canvas was tacked onto a board and later when I had got most of the painting finished, I took it home to live for awhile in my studio. More recently I worked on the snow in a few places until I was happier with the balance then sat back satisfied. Next I'll get this one into a frame and hopefully hanging on someones wall. Size is 5" x 7", oil on canvas.