Thursday, 17 July 2014

Link to E-book on Amazon Kindle Store

This is the link to the e-book Oil Paint Basics on the Amazon Kindle Store which I should have posted before.......

Thursday, 26 June 2014

E-book Still Available on Amazon Kindle Store

For beginners, improvers, and experienced painters who just want to remind themselves of a few basic things.

Go to the Amazon Kindle Store, and download it there - although I can also provide it as a DVD (in pdf format) if required (but at higher cost - £7.50 including p & p).

My email address is

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Along the Path to Niton Village

This one is an oil, of a difficult subject - the path itself is usually fairly dark at this point, but I wanted to get a bit of light into it.

Dimensions around 30 by 40cm.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

New Acrylic

Back to my Cryla and Chromacolour acrylics for this one - a change being as good as a rest.  I've had the sketch waiting to be painted for over a year - what attracted me to this subject was the sycamore leaves, which were out before anything else - a flash of quite pale green at that time of year, against the browns, blacks, reds and greys of the other trees.

Down from the Downs is the title, 30cm by 40cm, cloth on board.  £150, for anyone interested.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Green and Red

One of our colleagues on Painters Online (web pages of The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines) painted a picture in a range of greens.  In admiring her (Louise Naimian's) work, I remarked that the late F C Johnston, ex-editor of Leisure Painter and the author of a book on oil painting technique, recommended painting studies in Viridian (Green) and Alizarin Crimson, as a lesson in tone rather than pure colour.

Louise is one of those people who, faced with an idea, has to accept it as a challenge.  You can see her watercolour using red and green on POL now (just type in her name to find her gallery).  I also, unwisely, mentioned I'd painted a few studies in Viridian and Alizarin - without mentioning I did them 30 years ago, and Louise wanted to see them.  

Well, they could be anywhere now - they're probably here in a file somewhere.  Anyway - rather than disappoint or brand myself a liar, I thought I'd do a new one.  It's only a very quick effort, in acrylic on Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paper (which I don't like very much, in sharp distinction to nearly all other D-R products) and  yes, I know the chimney pot is wonky: the point of doing this sort of thing is to explore tone, light and dark and the bits in between, and Viridian and Crimson produces a very strong range of colours.

Except ....... it ain't Viridian; I've run out.  So it's Hookers Green, plus Alizarin Crimson; and being acrylic, it has to have a bit of white with it, which watercolour wouldn't need (but oil would, obviously).  Always useful to have a go at this sort of thing, if you haven't already: I wouldn't argue the results are especially pretty, but that's not the point.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Finished? Don't Know - Plus Another One....

I think I've finished my painting of the Undercliff landslip - I could only really fiddle with it beyond this point, because I can't go back there and try working from the same place .... a) things have changed, b) it's a touch hazardous....

While thinking about that one, I did another - a scene to which I've returned, from various different standpoints, three or four times.  The interesting thing about this one - well, from my point of view - is that it was painted in one sitting (almost - apart from a bit of defining when it had dried).  The board on which it's painted had been the base for a scene that just wasn't working; so I scraped the old paint off, washed it down with White Spirit, let it dry, applied a very thin coat of Winsor and Newton Oil Painting Medium, and painted on top of that.

Both of these are oils, 30 by 40cm.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Oil Paint Basics E-book - Special Offer

Price cut by 78% from May 21st to May 28th.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Oil Paint Basics - E-book on Amazon Kindle!

Oil Paint Basics contains information on techniques, equipment, colours, and a glossary of artistic terms plus suggested colour mixes. 

Suitable for the beginner, the improver, and the experienced artist who wants to go back to basics (as, now and then, most of us do).  

Available on the Amazon Kindle Store for a low price for a limited time only, or on CD by direct application to the author at

Work in Progress, oil

The landslip on Undercliff Drive, between Niton and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, has closed a major artery of communication and a major tourist route.   I walked as far as I could in order to see the disaster at first hand, but couldn't get beyond the road-closed signs: not entirely unreasonably, the Council has tried to shut the road so that no one can gain access to the abandoned properties along its length.

Very sad - people have lost all they had, and this follows on from the disastrous fire at Puckaster Close, just a mile or so away from the slip.

I've been trying to paint the landslip so far as I can see it - but am having to imagine it as best I can.  This (always assuming I can locate my pictures from my increasingly complicated hard-drive!) is the first stage of my attempt to paint it.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Threat to Cadmium Pigments

Urgent - the European Union is considering banning Cadmium in artists' paint, whether watercolour, acrylic or oil.

Cadmium is widely used by artists, professional and amateur, and as yet there are no good alternatives to it.  The danger is said to come from its being washed into the water supply, especially by those using watercolour, acrylic with water, or water-soluble oils.

The paintings of the Impressionists would, on the whole, have been impossible without Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red.  These paints have a strength, density, opacity, and longevity which nothing else can equal.

The evidence that Cadmium, in the quantities in which artists are likely to use it, is making any significant contribution to the pollution of water is very thin indeed - can't go into that here, but look it up online.

And please go to a) the European Union website, b) your MEP, to stop this potential disaster from befalling artists throughout the world.  Quite simply, modern painting methods would not be possible without the Cadmiums - visit the link below (copy and paste if it's not live) and comment if you believe this matters.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Castlehaven (Reeth Bay), Evening

I painted this a while ago - few weeks, that is - but followed it up with the small sketch of the same subject but in daylight.  I posted the little 'un, but had camera issues and couldn't show the bigger.  It's fairly fussy, really - I was experimenting with various kinds of oil paint.  I don't honestly know what I think of it, but anyway - here it is, for better or for worse.

This one is 30 by 40 cm, on canvas-covered MDF board.  And - probably obviously - it's an oil.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A "dirty picture", plus a bleak one

A couple of watercolours today - Bleak Coast (and believe me, it was) and Dark Corner: the dark one, "dirty" because there's a lot of dark paint in it, Payne's Grey mixed with various blues and reds and spattered with salt, didn't turn out as I'd intended but I let it go because I was interested to see what it would do more or less left to its own devices - it has a je ne sais quoi; or at least I think it has.  Can't speak for anyone else, of course.........

There are those who like very precise paintings, lots of detail, everything drawn with the brush to resemble as closely as possible realistic forms.  I don't do a lot of that - there may be a fair amount of detail, sometimes too much: but it's more in the nature of random brush strokes than very careful drawing.  This is because the paper I use for watercolour is invariably either Rough or NOT (cold-pressed) - if you're after fine detail and limpid washes, the paper to use is Hot Pressed: a smooth paper, with little texture.  I admire paintings like that, but have no desire to paint them myself.

Anyway: these are both around 10 by 7 inches, on 140lb paper (The Langton NOT).

Bleak Coast

Dark Corner

Friday, 28 March 2014

At Knowles Farm

Departing from my usual practice of building up an oil painting on a coloured ground - or Imprimatura, if you'd like the arty word - I painted this one straight onto a white canvas board; alla prima, to use another couple of arty words, i.e. in one go rather than building it up in many layers.

Which isn't to say I finished it in one sitting, but it was done without any great deal of faffing about, over a week of working fairly intermittently.  I know it's not everyone's draught of poison, but I think I rather like it - it's not been fiddled with or fussed over.  It could probably do with rather greater aerial perspective, but that's for another day.

30 by 40 cm, framed.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Vectis Artisans - back at Quarr Abbey for Spring Show

Vectis Artisans, or at least many of us in the group - some can't make it this time round - are having their third exhibition, the second at Quarr Abbey, between Fishbourne and Binstead, Ryde Isle of Wight, on Thursday March 20th to Tuesday March 25th.

Paintings, sculptures, some cards, some photographs - should be something for anyone interested in collecting art, or just coming along to take a look.

Hours are 10am to 4pm - entrance is free.