Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marine Painting -- Latest Work "Evening Harbour"

Evening Harbour
This is the latest painting I have been working on. This was a difficult subject due to all the shapes which I had to draw accurately and painting all the small parts with varied colours took a long time. I underpainted with scarlet before painting this painting. I did that after seeing another artist do this. I found it interesting to paint on the undercoat but not sure if I liked it so much. It helped see what was painted but beyond that it takes some getting used to. This is 16" x 12" on canvas. Painting this difficult subject has helped me get used to more intricate painting but it was definitely harder. I think it helps though in that I become less wary of attempting difficult compositions. Hence I should be able to paint more subject matter.

I took this image from the photo reference library of domain free photos on wet canvas and it is somewhere in Alaska / Canada. Not sure where. I hope it will appeal to anyone who has done a bit of sailing or likes boats in general. That's it for now, as always comments are welcome be they good or bad. That's how I will know if this is a hit or a miss. Thanks, until next post...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Art is up for Auction at Nora Dunne Gallery Oct 4th

One of my recent paintings has been accepted into the Auction which Gormleys Fine Art are holding in the Nora Dunne Gallery on October 4th. Gormleys Fine Art have an online auction site which is showing all the paintings and you can bid on them in the days prior to the auction. Here is my painting, Howth Head from Portmarnock. Gormleys is a well established gallery chain, having two galleries in the north of Ireland and one in Dublin. They are renting the Auction Showroom from the Nora Dunne Gallery/Auctionhouse.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Croagh Patrick -- Paintings of Ireland

Croagh Patrick -- Finished Painting.
First step, I drew out the image, using a small paint brush and raw umber paint. Next step, I put in a sky of cerulean blue and white using large brushes. I can refine this later using smaller brushes, but for now it is fine. I mixed a variety of off-greens and semi-neutrals using ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, and permanent mauve with lemon yellow. I also created dark browns using orange and ultramarine blue. I didn't use greens straight from the tube as I can vary the green colours easily by varying the proportions of the mixes. It makes for more varied colours, if I need them.
I created light grays in a bit of an unusual way but it worked out nicely. I mixed viridian green with permanent rose. I got a dark almost purple black and I used this on outlining the rocks. I mixed white with this to get a light gray for the side of the mountain. I didn't use any black in the painting. I might have used a little paynes grey in extreme dark areas.

Continuing on the rocks using the white grey colours.
It may look like there isn't so much happening at this stage but I have been working on the rocks to make them appear more natural and graduate the shadows from dark to lighter as they get further away. Also I have begun to green up the mountain using my ultramarine blue with cadmium yellow mix.
A lot of refining is going on at this stage - I have worked on smoothing out the sky brushstrokes and I have been going over the whole picture with alterations here and there to create a balanced look. What I actually do is a kind of instinctive thing, so difficult to describe, but it's mostly tweaking of colours and tones to make the sense of distance more apparent. Finally I put in the figures and signed the painting. The finished image is up the top of this post. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Past work -- Dust Stained Posse.

Today I am posting a painting I completed in 1996. I still think it's one of the best I've done. It has one drawback...the idea is not mine.
It was painted freehand by me from a picture reproduced in a book of the work of Frank McCarthy, an American artist. He painted such scenes and unfortunately died in 2002. This painting is on canvas 24" x 20" and I gave it as a gift to my sister and her husband. Frank's original, I am sure would be very expensive to buy, and this is almost an identical copy. He made limited edition prints of his version and they are all sold out. I am showing it here, as an example of the standard of work which really I should be getting towards more consistently, given time. The style here is not as loose as some of my more recent work, and I might try to veer back towards this somewhat. I really like the way this painting turned out, and it proved to me at the time that I could paint really well if I took the time. This painting took me five times the time it takes me to paint my 12"x16" paintings -- but I think I could be faster at painting it now. It also reinforces my belief that I should be aiming for quality as much as possible. No shortcuts!! Anyway it's here for you to enjoy, and hopefully I will paint something original soon which is equally as good! As they say...Watch this space!
In the next day or so I will post shots of what I have been painting over the last two weeks. So check back and see.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nora Dunne Gallery Update

I went on the website of Ben Dunnes Gallery yesterday. I sent several paintings into the gallery earlier in the year, but now the gallery is closing as a gallery!! So I have been watching changes in the gallery operation for the past month or so. Originally the gallery space was to show art, but now it is becoming an auction house. This is not a bad thing and they could become very successful -- depending on how much Ben Dunne can drive the project. I am interested to see that they are uploading all entries to the gallery auctions on the website of an associate from Belfast Gormleys Fine Art. Gormleys appear to be a well organised operation and their site for auctions (Irish Art Sales ) allows viewing and bidding on the auction works in the days preceding the auction.
The above is an example of ideas I have been looking at for my next painting. This is a harbour in New Zealand taken from the reference image library on Wet Canvas. I went down to Howth Harbour on Saturday last and took around fifty photos of the boats. It was a dull overcast day and I would have preferred it to be brighter but sometimes that can add to the atmosphere of the images. Anyway I have two ideas to work on -- so will show them as they are progressed over the next while.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finished Painting - "Lazy Afternoon"

Here is my finished painting of what I am calling "Lazy Afternoon". I took this photo in less than ideal conditions so colours are slightly off the reality but not too much. Since then I tweaked a few things but barely noticeable and because it was dark out I didn't take another photo. I just added tiny shadows on and under the decking and a few highlights on the tree on the left. I consider this painting as having worked out reasonably well but I have done better, and fellow artists will know what I mean when I say it was one where you just have to keep plugging away. Sometimes paintings are really enjoyable to do, and others are a chore. This was in-between but nearer to a chore. I am pleased with one thing though and that's that I am getting quicker. The size of this is 20" x 16" on canvas. I finished it over the course of 12 days. That's quick for me as I find it difficult to paint in long stretches - but that seems to be improving too. Sometimes it depends on the actual painting a lot too!

Tomorrow I may drive out to Howth to take some photos of the Marina. I want to paint some more scenes with items related to people in them, such as boats. I have noticed that the most popular selling paintings and the ones that all the auctioneer houses want are paintings involving people, things they use, make or are associated with such as boats, buildings etc. and scenes of local places. So far that seems to be what people are buying from my recent look at the market. Of course I could be wrong, but I am willing to explore the market for such paintings. Hence my last two paintings have had people in them.

Anyone enjoy that last posts poem?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

10000 visitors since June last year...Sep 3rd

The blog has just hit the 10,000 mark!

Photos of current work are thrown in here amid the celebration!! (top photo was manipulated to contrast it a little as it was taken in sunlight and came out pale, but now is a little darker than my painting - other photo is lighter than the painting, reality is somewhere in between).

And here's a return to poetry corner to celebrate.

I sit beside the fire and dream of all that I have seen,
of meadow flowers and butterflies in summers that have been.
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silversun and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be,
When winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.
For still there are so many things that I have never seen;
In every wood in every spring there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

Anyone like to tell me were they think that's from, well
it's easy find out, just google it... a very famous person...