Blue Jug II

•April 13, 2014 • 6 Comments

blue jug II small

Sometimes it is a good idea to recreate a painting to discover why something works or doesn’t work. At the risk of copying the last still life too closely, I have painted the blue jug with the same flowers in a slightly different arrangement. I found that no matter how hard I tried not to use the other as a template, I referred to it time and again. This kept the colours and marks very similar.

There are rules I like to casually stick to which help me to control the painting till the end. It is perhaps a bit calculating but each style must have a semblance of order and attachment to its own guidelines, written or imagined. Think Cubism or Constructivism or any “ism” that has guiding principles to adhere to. I suppose my ism here is “commercial impressionism”  .

So my rules are ; use a palette knife, leave gaps for the ground to show through, vary colour and tone in the background on almost every stroke, leave bottom right section unfinished, try to capture the drawing with fewest possible paintmarks, stick to what is in front of you ( reproduce as accurately as possible)

One drawback of doing something twice is that the marks become less spontaneous and therefore lack a little bit of energy. I think that may have happened here. The first painting was painted in discovery mode and the second is reproduce mode. I am not sure if that can be seen or if it is familiarity.

Blue Jug finished

•February 25, 2014 • 9 Comments

Blue Jug - finished

Age old question for painters – when is it finished? When I am using a style I am relatively new to, I haven’t a clue. I am calling an end to this one despite the “unfinished” section bottom right. I like the look of that part. I am unsure about other parts, maybe overplayed bits but it’s not a big thing.

This was so enjoyable to paint. No pressure from it, just spreading some paint about.

Blue Jug – penultimate stage

•February 24, 2014 • 4 Comments

blue jug second stage

One sitting to go. It’s not that there is loads of work in it or it’s technically overwhelming. I am just very slow!

I did a little of the background and painted in some of the flowers. I think I will leave the bottom right hand corner and the lemon unfinished.

I’ll definitely finish it tomorrow.

Blue Jug

•February 23, 2014 • 2 Comments

Palette knife still life

Still life painted with a palette knife. I’ll finish one of these one day.

I stained the canvas with Acrylic Permanent Rose and began  a white jug and flowers thing. I didn’t get far with that and started painting a new one on top. A blue jug with artificial flowers. Palette knife paintings can sometimes look a bit 60′s so I have to keep that in mind!

I’ll try and complete it tomorrow.

Oh and there’s a lemon in there too, obviously.

Mary II

•February 21, 2014 • 2 Comments

Mary II

The second study for “Mary”. I painted this one for a demonstration for New Cunninghame Art Club in Saltcoats last night. It gave me a chance to have another look at it and get closer to knowing the face. Quickly executed, it forces a livelier painting and it opens up opportunities. I am coming to a closer idea in my mind how to tackle the next part. Putting the figure in a space and narrating, somehow, the character. I may literally place her in an unambiguous surrounding or may use an analogous environment perhaps more contemporary. Anyway, still preparing…

Study for Mary I (cont)

•February 11, 2014 • 6 Comments

Study of Mary I final

Completed the first study of Mary. So this is Mary before Annunciation. I might tackle a Mary at the point of Annunciation to see if I can pull it off ( or if Kate can pull it off! ). It might just mean a change of light or a subtle variation in expression.

Next up is a slightly larger one of the same face but with viewer standing further back.

Study for Mary I

•February 10, 2014 • 4 Comments

Study for Mary I

So this is the first look at a commission I am starting work on. A painting of Mary. This will take me some months to get to the place I want to in this portrait. The final piece will be fairly large and perhaps have the full figure of Mary showing. Those design decisions will come out in the wash as I work through some ideas.

This Mary stares straight out at the viewer. Plain and simple and trying out the head dress for now. An exciting project and looking forward to some sleepless nights!


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