Thursday, 31 December 2015

Same Palette different Painting

I chose theses two particular images as I want to do some snow scene workshop pieces. Both photos are from PMP the first by Villager Jim and the second Steve Gibbs.

Interestingly (well I think it is) I have used the same palette for both these paintings.

Turquoise, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna (my favourite), raw sienna and a touch of SAA Quin Gold. I emphasize SAA as it is a completely different colour to W&N but gorgeous!!

If I hit on a combination I like, I tend to use it for a variety of things and can create different atmospheres by using the paint in different proportions as I have in these two.

The first I wanted to create a cool crisp feel as the image gave me that impression and the second the complete opposite. Even though it is still a snow scene the photo was really warm and inviting with a lovely glow about it.

This is the "cool" evening scene

It was looking a bit twee as one of the members of my local group pointed out and I have since darkened the bg and hopefully created a bit more atmosphere but my aim was to create some highlights of snow around the piece. It's important to keep the intent at the forefront of your mind then you can be constantly working towards your aim.

Here is the second

I'm not sure this one is finished....I added a yellow glaze to the sky but am now wondering if it needs a touch of yellow in the snow and some work needed to the hedgerow on our always I will leave overnight and have a think about it!!

But I do think it illustrates really well how you can use exactly the same palette and create two completely unique pieces just by using different dominant colours.

Isn't colour just the icing on the cake?

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Old Shoes

I rather like painting shoes and when I saw this image taken by John Robinson I knew it was one to be painted.
The photo was from an old deserted cottage and the shoes just as John found them. I like this sort of image as there isn't too much detail, and it lends itself to my way of painting...lots of uneven edges. not too precise anywhere with scope for my wayward brush to make their haphazard unexpected marks!!  The only area which really needed attention was the shoes and even there I have left lots of white spaces which always makes watercolour sparkle.

Very limited palette with this, Cadmium red and yellow and UB. This is a palette often used by the lovely Joanne Boon Thomas and not one I often use at all but the whole image shouted those colours to me and I really like the effect. Cad red and yellow are opaque colours but because of how I mix them on the paper I rarely get mud.... check some of my earlier blogs for what gives you mud!!

I did draw the shoes on this as I wanted to get them looking right, just a quick sketch and the paint does the rest of the work.....

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Adventures in the Farnworth Household and a New Guest Writer!!

Okay everyone…Chester here!! Have hijacked my human’s arty blog, she’s been a bit remiss with it recently so though I would entertain you for a bit instead!!

I am a part working, part show cocker spaniel though rumour has it there may be some Labrador/Retriever in my heritage but I am keeping quiet about that despite steadily growing larger than my humans ever thought I would… a solid 14 kilos at my last weigh in at the vets (boy do I love that place… I ran my female human absolutely ragged the last time she took me…. soooo many delicious smells…..)

Anyway they aren’t the most experienced of owners and I have been having great fun testing their good humour, their physical stamina, their emotional well-being and their sleeplessness to the limits and they have now introduced me to another human who is altogether a different kettle of fish (sounds like that would be tasty) and he has me somewhat mesmerised into submission. They call him a dog trainer but I am just in love and so happy they brought him into my life. My trainer says we puppies need boundaries and rules (but all I can do is gaze lovingly into his eyes… sigh) and my humans weren’t too good at that, letting me on their knees, the sofas the bed you name it they allowed it… all I had to do was look at either one of them with my big amber spaniel eyes and they were putty in my paws!!! 

But my new human is teaching me (and them) my place and where I sit in the Farnworth household hierarchy and assures everyone I will be much happier once I know my place as a dog!!  I haven’t been out for my daily run since he came to see me for the first time, he says I need to learn some manners and pay more attention to what my owners are saying before I can be let loose again,  I mean I’m not a bad boy but I more or less do what I want and eventually go to them when they call but they’re so slow they can’t catch me when  I am running wild with gay abandon dodging them with my rugby dummies in the fields!!

Before he came, they decided to take me to a puppy training class, what fun that was!! Full of other puppies though none of them as excited about things as I was so of course it was my job, obligation and downright duty to wind them all up as much as possible, straining to get at them all at every opportunity and generally running riot during the whole session. My humans didn’t seem too pleased about how I behaved there and decided to cut my lessons short and introduce me to one to one training where I can be the complete centre of attention even though for some reason now they seem to be ignoring me a bit and our cosy intimate sessions on their bed and the sofa have been conspicuous by their absence since he came but don’t you all worry I spy my moments and every so often, when they think I’m not looking and they accidentally leave the door open I am up those stairs before you can say pedigree chum and up on that lovely squidgy bed!!

A new device has arrived at the house, seems it’s a new lead which my trainer has suggested the humans get… it is meant to be better for me and to stop me pulling and I am such a good boy when my trainer uses it on me…. I walk I turn, I go slow and I even walk to heel when he drops the lead (he thinks I haven’t noticed but I have!!) haha,  lets see what happens when my humans take me, am not too hopeful of them managing me and I am so excited at the thought of going out again I may not be able to restrain myself!! But I am just so lovely and cute I know they won’t stay mad at me for long even  if I don’t do quite as they say!!

I must say my trainer was right, this concentrating business is fair wearing me out, it requires a lot of my puppy brain power to sit, stay, wait, leave and all the other commands demanded of me, but I secretly quite enjoy the challenge and though I still get incredibly excited whenever anyone different comes to the house I know I will make my humans happier if I can contain myself and not jump up into people’s nether regions with the potential damage I may do there!! I am finding that one difficult, but I am being so good in other respects, it has been a couple of days since I jumped on the furniture, they really don’t like that any more and I am such a good boy on my new lead, and I trot along really nicely for them……and I do seem to be getting a lot of treats, bit like a slot machine, I do good.....ker-ching.....another treat! Not rocket science and sometimes I sit, stay, lie down and leave all at once, as I am bound to have got one of them right!!

So that’s all for now, will update you all on my progress soon!! BTW am really looking forward to Christmas… rumour has it there will be 14 humans here (including 5 young ones who have lots more energy and will be lots more playful)…..and there's even another dog, he’s my cousin, another spaniel boy…….my cup runneth over !!!! 

Sunshine House Xmas Fair

It is always quite a lot of work to get ready for an event like this but I do enjoy doing them and have a great affection for this particular centre and the volunteers who work there.I run 4 week blocks and all day workshops there and am always made to feel so welcome, wanted and appreciated... no wonder I like going!!

Anyway I prepared  lots of paintings, framing one or two more and mounting quite a few....I also prepared a portfolio of older work which I put in at rock bottom prices, then I had a mid priced portfolio and finally my cradle which I had the most up to date work and some of my favourites all mounted ready for framing. I have just done a small exhibition of 6 paintings in the Horwich Art Society annual event so had already got some newer pieces framed, so I set off with a car full on Friday afternoon ready to make my mark!!

Barbara Nettleton who runs the centre works tirelessly and had mine and all the other stall holders tables set up and after a little, shall we say "friendly negotiation" we both agreed my stall needed moving to the corner with an extra backboard to complete the set up. As those who are regular readers of my blog will know, decisions are not my strong point so to get this set up in just under 3 hours was a feat of considerable determination on my part leaving the dithering at the door and marching on with uncharacteristic fortitude!!

I was really pleased with how it looked and managed to get most things on display and at least a good selection of my work and cards. The footflow was rather slow, but the other stall holders very friendly so we had no problem passing the time of day and I had quite a bit of interest not only in my paintings but also in commissions, workshops and tuition. Sometimes it isn't the sales which are of paramount importance at these events but the seeds which are sown for the future and there was a lot of interest in me running another 4 week block at Sunshine House which I shall book for March/April time.

There was a very interesting sale of a painting I did with a view to a Christmas card but  I wasn't too keen on it and never had it printed, but brought it along to sell. It was really popular and attracted a lot of interest.....a snow leopard which you can see right in the middle of the stand, I haven't even got a separate photo of it, just goes to show... what do I know!!!

I also sold a small floral I did in the Fabio Cembranelli workshop.....

It was my favourite painting of the 2 days and I was really very pleased with it so delighted it has gone to Elise a fellow local artist and tutor (check out her page....very talented lady!!)

The final sale on the first day was to Barbara at the centre who already has about 4 of my paintings and is very supportive of my work

So 3 paintings sold on the first day and a few cards so not bad at all and left me quite optimistic for the following day.

I arrived bright and early (the bacon barms were calling!!) and had new stall holders next to me who really brightened my time there and made it a very enjoyable day. The biggest shock of my day was the centre wanting to buy 2 paintings, how cool was that?  They have funds available to support local artists, and want to leave a legacy of art work for future generations, marvellous idea!! Then a lady who has been to my workshops had seen some of the work in my cradle after I had left the day before and came over to ask about prices. These two paintings had never been mounted and as I was looking through the options and trying mounts on different pieces, I realised these two looked fabulous as a pair one landscape and one portrait, so I signed them in the appropriate spot and crossed my fingers!!

They were double mounted in off white with black inset and I was so pleased with how they looked and even more delighted they sold as a pair.

So a very successful event for me, even though the centre wasn't as busy as in previous years, the hard work before hand doesn't always pay dividends but happy to say in this case it did!!