Thursday, 29 January 2009

Finished article

It's not really finished, and I've worked on it for 4 hours. It's only 8 x 6! I think it's going in the right direction so I'm stopping now even though there are still things I could change. It's only practice, and I think I should move on to the next one! I think the slowness is caused by the amount of time it takes me to mix the correct colours, but that should improve I hope!
By the way, my followed blogs list has reappeared.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Work in progress

Blogger has just done a strange thing and deleted all the blogs I follow - so if you're one of them please don't take it personally!
There has been a bit a gap in my posts lately - because I only have a little time each evening to paint so one painting can take me 2 or 3 days. (You know how slow I am anyway!) So I thought I'd post this as a work in progress - I have done 2 hours on it and will hopefully finish it tonight!

Sunday, 25 January 2009


Here is number 16. I think I am slowly getting the hang of it. I find the thing that takes time is mixing the correct colours. Hopefully I will speed up with this eventually.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Third attempt

Here is another attempt. It's 6x8 and took me two and a half hours.I thought I'd choose a simpler subject and I was more methodical with this one, following instructions from my favourite book, Kevin Macpherson's 'Fill your oil paintings with light and colour'. I worked quite slowly, making sure I had the colours and values as correct as I could.
I've found a great website called 120 paintings ( by Jeff Mahorney. He heard someone say that you have to paint 120 bad paintings before you can say you know anything about painting. He did paint 120 paintings and learnt a lot! The transformation from when he started is amazing. I'm going to try and follow this path and hopefully I will make progress like he did. I've worked out that altogether I've done about 15 oil paintings up till now, so I'll be continuing to count them!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Second Attempt

This is my second attempt. It is 8x10 and took 3 hours. I found it quite frustrating, and difficult to get the lights light enough and the darks dark enough. I have painted in oils before, but it's always taken me weeks to finish something. I'm finding it hard to do a painting in one sitting that looks ok. However, I'm going to take Rob and Anita's advice and work on a coloured ground and work smaller.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Speeding up

I decided I'm going to do some small oil paintings and try and speed up. As you can see I am not used to oils. This took me 2 hours and it's nowhere near finished. Hopefully things will eventually improve if I practice enough!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Working from life

Last year when I had the time I found myself making some pastel works from photos I had taken. It's so much easier and more comfortable working from photos, but I find my heart is never really in it. I'd really much rather be working from life because I think there is more soul in it, if you know what I mean. You are responding to what is living and happening in front of you in a spontaneous way, and it is much more meaningful. The difficulties are: one that I work very slowly and two, the idea of going out in public with an easel fills me with terror! I've got so much admiration for people like Rob at (sorry I don't seem to be able to do proper links). He paints plein air in all weathers and completes his beautiful paintings in about an hour! I think it would take me an hour to sort my gear out and that's before starting to mix the right colours which always seems to take me ages. I think the answer is to practice in my own environment with various media first and try and speed things up a bit!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I love drawing people. It's difficult however to get people to pose sometimes and that's why I often resort to drawing myself. I have drawn myself hundreds of times over the years and always found it the hardest thing... I always think of being able to draw yourself well as a gauge of drawing ability, and I always struggle with it.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Friday, 9 January 2009

Sleeping dogs and basil

My pen has run out of ink so I have to draw in pencil at the moment. I am pleased with my basil drawing because I have always been useless at drawing plants but this one doesn't look too bad (in my humble opinion). I usually just look at all the leaves and get completely flummoxed! I think working in pen has improved my eye a bit, as once you put a mark down there is no going back so you have to judge measurements and angles correctly first time.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Worn out Molly

Last summer D found a baby rabbit who had been dumped in a box in the alleyway. We adopted him, he is now called 'Binky', which we discovered was a word used in the rabbit world to describe the mad running and jumping that rabbits sometimes do, and which he does a lot. Recently because of the cold we have kept his hutch in the back of the boat and let him run around a bit in the boat. Molly at first chased him everywhere, pushing him with her paws when he sat still because she wanted him to move and driving him to hide under the settee. Now he is a bit older and hormones are kicking in the tide has turned, because he has suddenly decided Molly is the love of his life and he must jump on her back and attempt to mate with her as often as possible. Now it's her turn to hide from him!

Monday, 5 January 2009


The kitchen window.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Cracking Ice

This is a sketch of the front of the boat, with Christmas tree at the side.
The canal was completely iced over this morning. We heard a rumbling and cracking and about 10 minutes later a boat came past. The noise it makes as the ice cracks and grinds against our boat is almost deafening.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year!

I have eaten and drunk so much and lazed about so much over Christmas that it's a relief to start work again. Happy new year to anybody passing by - thanks for visiting!
The bottom sketches were done while eating florentines and watching Jane Eyre on New Year's Day, the top one was done this afternoon showing Christmas cards and wonky clock (sorry about that!). I've decided to add tone into my ink drawings and to try and draw things I wouldn't normally do. It's only laziness (and fear) that stops me I think!