Sunday, April 26, 2015


I completed the main rock using a darker mix of the existing colors then added raw umber for the area closest to the sea (the splash zone). The foreground rocks were painted in much the same way and allowed to dry. At this point I think that they look a little light so I'll  have to address that later on. I continued with the sea working my way forward but holding off with any details for the moment - everything is just underpainting at this stage. After stepping back and considering the painting from a distance, I realize that the sea will also have to be darker so the work is put aside until the next day to give things a chance to dry off for a bit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Here you can see that I have got quite a lot done. I should have taken a pic after I had completed the background but became so involved in the painting that I forgot! I used a mixture of greyish-blue for the sky, going slightly darker (and greyer) for the distant mountains - actually Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. I worked on the sea a little but I will probably have to do some more to it when I have got most of the painting done, The rocks were first laid in using a thin pale mix of yellow ochre scrubbed on with a bristle brush then over-painted with darker browns and a touch of ultramarine blue. Further details and textures etc were added with a smaller brush while the paint was still wet. Unfortunately there is a glare in the upper left of the painting caused by the wet paint but I am happy that this one at least is going in the direction I want it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


After taking a look at the smaller oil study that I did of this subject, I decided on a slightly different composition for this painting. A small drawing in my sketchbook helped solidify things in my mind then I drew the main elements of the scene on an acrylic-primed canvas. I used a thin wash of raw umber for this and although looking a bit messy at this point, I was satisfied that I had accurately transferred my idea from my sketchbook to canvas. Next I'll get some paint on - starting as usual with the background and working my way forward.

Monday, April 20, 2015


This small study was painted from a day I spent visiting Peng Chau (a small island in Hong Kong). Usually when painting on location, I use either oil or watercolor trying to get an accurate representation of the subject along with my own feelings for the place. I did this one quickly (in about an hour or so) and although not quite what I had in mind, it did serve as a useful beginning to a larger study that I'll post next time. Fisherman's Rock, oil on board, 5" x 7".

Thursday, April 2, 2015


After laying in a slightly deeper toned background (and carefully painting around the bottle), I worked for awhile on thew shadow softening the edges and adding a slight translucent shimmer where the light came through. I feel I am close to completing this one now. I'll let the paint harden for awhile then take another look in case there are a few other areas that I want to work on before signing and framing, but for now, it's finished! Small Green Bottle, 8" x 8", oil on board.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Here I have completed the second pass, again using thin layers of oil and slowly building up the intensity of the colors. I looked carefully at the patterns that I could see in the glass and tried to reproduce them as I saw them. There was quite a lot of irregularities in the glass even though this bottle came out of a mold ( there are slight vertical lines on the sides where the edges of the mold join) so they were an important component and had to be included. I'm getting close to finishing the bottle now, I still have the shadow to do and also am thinking about slightly darkening the background, with a further subtle darkening of the foreground - we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I have only recently returned to the studio after having been away for 2 months and had not been able to log into my blogger account so unfortunately no posts until now. I do hope to catch up with these soon as I have a lot of new paintings to update - this bottle being the first of them.
I have a love for bottles of all shapes and sizes so when I saw this interesting pale green one that went from a square base to a round top, I knew that I had to add it to my collection. Meaning to paint it some time ago, I only recently got around to it! Starting with a gessoed panel (which I have to say is just about my least favorite surface on which to paint) and first laid in a thin even grey over the whole surface. When that had dried, I lightly drew in the outline using thinned oil taking care to get the correct shape and perspective. Painting very thinly as if I was using watercolors, I then put down washes of oil color using soft tipped brushes trying all the while to represent the various qualities of the bottle. The panel was then put aside to dry for a few days. Next I'll darken some of these initial tones and add more details.