Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Green Shadows

The past few days have been cold and damp so I had to wait a little longer for the green layers to dry....roll on summer! Layer 9 was quite easy as I was only looking to add highlights to the leaves at this point. I didn't want too much contrast so it was just a case of adding a darker green to layer 8.

'Snowdrops'  Layer 9
Layer 10 needed to be a particular shade of green as this was about the casting shadows of the leaves. The green looked more subtle when I mixed it, but printed much stronger on the paper. I added a small amount of Burn't Sienna to neutralise the Phthalo Green for cool shadows. The next job will be to make two layers of green that give these shadows dimension, as they will cut across the mid-ground.....hopefully!

'Snowdrops'  Layer 10

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Strange Development of Tempestuous Skies

It's quite normal for me to have a few wrestles with my paintings as the dark and light are always competing for space but the fight started quite early in this one. The original idea was to revisit a painting, 'Deluge', which I did a few years ago in acrylic and work it in oils but expand the clouds out.
 Step 1; I painted the sky in and went in quite heavy with the colours as I knew where everything was going but it all looked a bit 'hairy' and needed to be smoothed out.

'Tempestuous Skies'  Step 1
 Step 2; I decided to knock back the brown in the clouds in order to develop the atmospheric layers and try and establish that transient feeling of the clouds being blown around. I knew I'd taken quite a lot out, but that was OK as it would be replaced by glazes later on and it would give me an opportunity to paint clouds receding into the distance.

'Tempestuous Skies'  Step 2
 Step 3; This is where I take a leap of faith....... I decided to build up the layers using the Chiaroscuro technique and keep going until I was happy with the overall balance. I  painted in highlights of clouds quite thickly in places which started to unbalance the composition. In my mind I know what the end game is but it's still making me nervous as there's a lot to do to pull the clouds back into place.

'Tempestuous Skies'  Step 3
I am hoping that step 4 will be the re-introduction of some of the paint I originally took out but it will be a tricky evolution over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Touch of Green

'Snowdrops' are taking shape. I decided to put one last shadow on the flowers, using a mixture of Burn't Sienna and Yellow Ochre, but I wanted to make sure my greens were nice and clean so masks had to be cut which added to the time.

'Snowdrops', Layer 7

Then I could let loose with the greens. This one is a real zingy number as I want the shoots to look bright and fresh.

Green Plate Inked Up

The result over the yellow was perfect and I was so glad I had masked the yellow/brown shadow as it would have killed the brightness of the green.
Can't wait to cut away the next layer so you can see some of the leaves 

'Snowdrops' Layer 8

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Panoramic Views

I have been working on a different size canvas to normal to try and get a sky with more movement.
This painting is about half way through but already the sky is becoming windswept.
Now the landscape will need to catch up and move with it. I am using the idea of lashing rain on the right hand side to create some cohesion. The next challenge will be to keep that immediacy once I've put the rest of the layers down.

 'Warming Skies' was a canvas I started last year but didn't quite get it finished in time for the Arts Trail. It's taken a few goes but the sky is starting to look like it has a convincing structure. The falling light isn't quite there but the canvas was too wet to push it any further. This must be the most finished work to date as I'm starting to think of details and glazes to really make it sing out.

'Warming Skies'

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Cold Winter Weather

This week I've been driven back into the house by the cold weather so both printing and painting have been on hold.
Before the temperature dropped though I managed to get this little chap off the printing press. He's currently being known as 'Rabbit' but I'm hoping inspiration will take hold and I will come up with a slightly better title....

'Rabbit' Resingrave block
'Rabbit' block inked up

'Rabbit' first test print
Just a few tweeks here and there and he'll be ready to be framed for the Arts Trail. 
In the mean time I've been drawing and planning for some more prints and paintings.
At the moment I'm thinking they will end up as prints of some kind, but then again watercolours seem tempting.....

Ideas for future prints

Monday, 6 February 2017

Painting the Horizon

Today I have been busy with two large paintings. The under paintings have all been finished so now I am working out the tricky bit where the sky joins the land. Not always straight forward as I don't favour an obvious line across the canvas, so everything has been built around a spot of light. 

'Dark Clouds Rising'

'Golden Horizon'
My next job will be to play around with the sky a little so the structure is more balanced. 'Dark Clouds Rising' is coming along nicely but I fear the blue is taking over too much in 'Golden Horizon' and will need to be toned back. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017


At last I have managed to get back to this reduction lino cut of 'Snowdrops'.
It's been sat on the side for nearly three months while I messed about with new painting ideas. 

'Snowdrops' ready for the press
I had already put down cool blues and greys for shadows on the flowers and three shades of yellow so today was all about getting yet another darker yellow before I start the many shades of green that I'm planning next.

Getting the right yellow
And here's how it turned out. Suddenly the stalks are coming to life. Maybe just a little tweek with a light shadow before I move on to the next stage.....

'Snowdrops' Layer 6

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Welcome to my Blog.
Paintings and Prints are well under way for this years Arts Trail.
This year I am adding wood engraving to the show and will be posting sneak previews on my blog on the run up to the Grand Opening!

Here's a quick reminder of what has been in previous shows......
'Wet Lands'



'Red Sunset'
'Rain on the Downs'