Thursday, November 30, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I still have a set of Christmas Tree ornaments in my attic from when I was a kid; still in their original box. My husband has been trying to persuade me to throw them out because I generally don't hang them on the tree. But this year I have been absolutely dying to pull them out and paint them.
(If I get time I may have some of my paintings made into greetings cards.)

I went to pull out the box a couple of weeks ago while tidying up up there and found that a few of them were broken. I had a look on ebay and discovered that it is pretty easy to still pick up some of these vintage ornaments, so I bought a few to make up for the broken ones. This is one of them.
I painted this one first because I bought some tubes of gold oil paint a couple of months ago and have been dying to try them out.

Here they are on my palette:

I used the Gamblin Rich gold more than the others.
I just used it for some of the highlights but also used a good amount of Asphaltum (a dark brown). 
Now I need to buy some silver paint!

I think I'm going to paint a series of these ornaments.

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Something Sweet

I think I finally have the strawberry paintings out of my system for a while, especially since this one was much harder work than the last one. It took me at least twice as long. Anybody remember their mother sprinkling sugar on strawberries? As if they aren't sweet enough!

The reason this took so long is because originally I had a completely neutral background, like my last three paintings, but the little white sugar bowl just didn't work - it just kind of disappeared into space. I kept darkening the shadows, but then the painting just became too grey and oppressive.

I decided to leave it and come back to it - and in the middle of the night I had a brainwave - there's more than one way to differentiate an object from its background other than working on the values - the colour of course!

So this morning I got up and wiped it. I changed the background to this yummy aqua colour. I also simplified the sugar bowl lid which was giving me no end of headaches (it's a handmade uneven sugar bowl). After some other minor tweaks advised by my husband and eldest daughter, I'm finally happy with it.

(12 x 12 inches)
30 x 30cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Monday, November 13, 2017

Scattered Strawberries and a Painted Bowl

This is my first new larger painting staying with the strawberries theme. I admit I'm super happy with it. I'm glad I did a few smaller studies first.

I really enjoy painting ceramics that have a nice painted edge to them. You need to have a nice flat brush with a sharp edge, load it up with paint and... hold your breath! No wobbles!
The bowl is actually a little ceramic colander, but the drainage holes happen to be underneath - where you can't see them. It's also decorated on the inside so I think this little object is going to be very versatile and feature again in future paintings.

(12 x 12 inches)
30 x 30cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Berries on parade - and a website!

Another study of strawberries, before I post a larger painting I'm working on.

Have I announced I have a new website?

Here it is! 

I have been simultaneously working on:

  • building my website 
  • updating this blog 
  • and designing my business cards so that they all have a similar look to them. 

Super happy with the business cards and also got some note cards printed at the same time.

I wanted a semi-retro look to all of it which I feel fits well with my style of painting.
For each of the website, blog and business cards I have chosen FUTURA as my font for the main titles.
Futura was designed by Paul Renner in 1927 coincidentally the era when all my favorite styles of architecture were built.  It is similar to Gill Sans designed by Eric Gill designed around the same time. Both fonts are still widely used today.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Strawberries Three

A quick-ish study of three strawberries. Trying to get back in-the-saddle, so to speak with still life.

I'm planning to do a series of larger paintings featuring strawberries for an upcoming show. I decided on strawberries basically because I enjoy painting them so much. They are such a gorgeous luscious fruit to paint. Those seeds are kind-of tricky though. You don't need to paint them all in - just indicating them is enough, but you can't just paint them in random locations either. They actually have a very regular geometric spacing so you do have to observe their location somewhat.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on Gessobord

Before painting this I referred back to my notebook from when I'd painted strawberries before. I used to print out a little picture of what I'd painted, glue it in my notebook and jot down notes about it. Sometimes I'd just write down the colours I had used and other times going into more detail about design/ sketching ideas etc. Haven't done this in a while but definitely going to go back to doing this. I guess that's the purpose of the blog as well, but sometimes it's easier just to pick up a pen and sketch and jot things down.