Richard Demo

•February 28, 2015 • 10 Comments



A demonstration this morning for the Saturday group. Emphasising tone over colour (without neglecting colour!).

It’s a real shove to force the darks towards the correct level. Your instinct tells you to paint flesh tone, but you have to remind yourself to paint the reflected light instead.

Margaret’s portrait of Kate

•February 21, 2015 • 1 Comment

Margaret's portrait of Kate


This portrait of Kate by Margaret is finally, after an immersive, protracted to and fro, is near to a finish.

I am so happy to say so!

Margaret is a very interesting and intelligent painter, but has a terrible habit of wiping off a days work with the intention of starting fresh next session. Then, inevitably, making the same marks again and being similarly unsatisfied with that days work!

It took me too long to insist that she leave the work in the studio to avoid the scrape away process when she got home.

I am so glad I did though. It was the codebreaker to the enigma that was Margaret’s process. When she avoided wipeoff, then began layering and adjusting, it all fell into place.

Quick oil study, Kate with face paint

•February 1, 2015 • 10 Comments


A quick study of Kate with face paint on. I painted this some years back but came across it while tidying up the computer.

I remember it is on cheap oil canvas from a pad. The surface is very dry and scratchy in these pads and they really need a coat or two of gesso to bring them up to a paintable surface.

Big Cloud, Irvine Harbour

•January 22, 2015 • 6 Comments

big cloud irvine harbour jan 2015

The skies over the harbour are always changing; by the day, the hour, the minute even. I am finding a way to paint them by trying to understand the interpretation of the original view/photograph. I take loads of pictures of the harbourside and have been for years. It’s only now I think I am finding some way to get the drama onto canvas. The hills on the horizon are quite distant and it wasn’t until I dropped the idea of the land forms as a focus and began looking at the sky that the solution appeared in the clouds!

This big cloud sat over the water for a while before sauntering off into town. It was quite a blowy day and pretty cold. I am using a lot of prussian blue these days and it is the dominant colour here. The painting was done in two sessions, mostly wet-in-wet with a few corrections over dry areas later.

Green Jug updated

•January 17, 2015 • 6 Comments

green jug update


I had another look at the green jug painting. I sought advice and was persuaded it was a bit flat! I agreed as I knew there was something amiss. I put more shadow under the flowers and at the right hand side of the jug using a blue to bring the background colour in. Elsewhere I added just a bit of grunge to add a layered look. The flowers are a bit brighter as a result of the changes.

Stephen Phillips MBE

•January 10, 2015 • 11 Comments

Stephen Phillips portrait pin


A portrait of Professor Stephen Phillips MBE, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Editor-in-Chief of Parasitology, School of Life Sciences at University of Glasgow.
Stephen has a project in mind to have his family in a series of portraits. This being the first one to be completed, Stephen is shown wearing the colours of his team, Partick Thistle.

Keith Salmon and Glen Rosa drawing

•January 8, 2015 • 7 Comments

keiths HAC drawing

keith talking about drawing

Keith gave an inspiring account of the experience of drawing in public. This drawing was completed over eighteen days in the Harbour Arts Centre gallery. It is a memory of a walk in Glen Rosa on the Isle of Arran. He talks of the chance encounters with the public during the process, the variety of responses and the unpredictability of shared stories and experiences. The finished work is to be donated to North Ayrshire which means a civic handover and another chance of wine and good company!




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