31 January 2016

Rescuing a painting - Red White and Blue Rose painting

Red White and Blue, Red Roses still life painting
38x46cm (approx. 15x18inch)
Palette Knife Painting

Just lately I have been trying to assess my older paintings especially those on stretched canvas. I have also started throwing out some of my older paintings on paper and cardboard canvas board. In the process I have come across some howlers (I was keeping them WHY!), some not too bad and allowed me to see my progress and some that were worth further work. This was one of them.

I started this one, and almost finished it, when I first started using oils. I tried to look at it with a fresh eye, and although it looked a little flat and dull (probably to not using enough paint) I decided it was worth working on.

This is how it looked before

I gave the surface a good scrape with a palette knife and cleaned it with my patented formula (see post about Varnish Beading and allowed it to dry.

I mixed some cold wax and Gamblin Solvent free get in a ratio of about 40%wax to 60% gel and coated the surface of the gel in an even surface.

I saw this demonstrated on a video by Brad Teare an artist I admire and who shares so much information, have a look at his blog THICK PAINT


I loaded up the palette knife with paint and attacked the surface.

The wax/gel mixture holds the stokes well but allows blending when necessary. It can get a bit 'slippy' if too much is used, but i have used this technique a couple of times when I have lost my way with a painting and have let it dry. It rejuvenates the surface and allows changes to be made, it also adds body to the paint - great for impasto work. The wax is matt and the gel has a gloss finish, together they give a nice satin finish to the painting.

 Some Close-ups of the surface - click to enlarge

Let me know if anyone else has used this technique and your thoughts on it.

Thanks for reading

21 January 2016

Sunny Days, Sunflower palette knife painting

Sunny Days
Oil palette knife painting
6x6" on box canvas

Living in the South of France has it's disadvantages -- depression sets in if we have two consecutive grey days! A couple of weeks ago we had several days of heavy rain and so no sun. To cheer myself up, I got out the Cadmium yellow and painted these loose sunflowers. The colours and the act of putting lots of luscious paint onto canvas really cheered me up.

20 January 2016

Sunset Silhouettes oil painting, Finished

Sunset Silhouettes oil painting
24x30cm (approx 9.5x12")
Oil palette knife painting 
3mm MDF canvas panel
Available in my Etsy Store

Finally finished my trees against the sunset.

Now that I am looking at it with fresh eyes, I am wondering if I should change the colour of the silver birch to match the other two trees. Let me know your thoughts.

08 January 2016

Work in Progress, Trees against the sunset

I haven't had much chance to paint lately, I had to go over to England before Christmas due to illness in the family and I will be over there again on Sunday. In the meantime I had the urge to paint silhouette trees against a sunset. Why, I don't know but the idea just came to me.

I have two 6x8's waiting to dry a little before photographing them to try to get the colour combinations right. I have started a larger one (24x30cm / 9.5x12inch) and want to do a larger one still after that one.

About this painting
I started without toning the canvas and initially I blocked in the trees using thin paint mixed with liquin. This allowed me to get the spacing of the trees more or less right.

This dried almost instantly and allowed me to start underpainting the sky. I went straight over the trees as I was sure I would be able to see enough of the shape to work ontop of the sky. This also has the advantage of mixing in some of the sky colour into the tree colour aiding harmony and reflected colour.

I then re-established the trees and started to get serious about the sky. I ran out of light and hope to finish tomorrow.

05 January 2016

Happy New Year Thank you

A little belated Happy New Year to all my friends, supporters and collectors. Thank you for making 2015 such a satisfying year.