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Friday, April 24, 2009

Completed ‘Vintage in Ventnor’

The finished painting, a postcard of which will be available for holidaymakers at the bungalow in the background.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Half-painted Vintage Vacations postcard...

Back to Vintage Vacations last night, which is now half-complete. (Or if you're a pessimist, 'half-started' ;) You don't get much more bespoke than this. To be completed tonight and uploaded on Friday (24 April 09). Tomorrow's a day off to pursue that other passion - fishing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Man catches fish thumbnails

The thumbnail sketches show my original thoughts. Not happy with the fussiness of another figure in 1. Poor dynamism of scale in 2. Angler not interacting well enough in 3. 4 was closest and note the extra scribble adjusting the angler's arm, making the whole thing cleaner and easier to 'read', shape-wise. I onced picked up a great tip from a Disney artist when I used to work on character designs, which was always imagine the drawing as a silhouette. Make good negative shapes happen and it will work so much better. The last frame with amended figure hopefully demonstrates just that.

Man catches fish, fish swallows man

Blue and black Biro sketch combining two subjects very close to my heart, drawing and fishing! Sketched on the train to work this morning. A defiantly stubborn fly fisherman keeps hold of his catch, despite the fact that he's been swallowed whole by a hungry giant carp. Will make a great painting someday when I've finished my current round of postcard paintings. Note that I initially drew the carp's adipose/soft dorsal fin, (near the tail) wrongly, but this is a sketch, so it stayed in. I also forgot his whiskers, so characteristic of the carp, but it's more a fantasy fish than representative, so accuracy is unimportant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hut silhouette thumbnail sketches

Whilst I need to wait until this evening to produce a pencil sketch for Vintage Vacations, here's a few I prepared earlier which are similar to last week's posting, Dog walker and Whitstable and wine, though in the end I painted the latter directly without a sketch. Sometimes the best paintings, especially watercolours, are spontaneous. Anyway, these sketches were doe in black Biro on the train. I think I'll revisit the idea at a later date.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The next postcard... ‘Vintage in Ventnor’

As I mentioned in a previous post, my girlfriend Fiona has a little 1960s chalet/bungalow down by the sea near Ventnor in south-east of the Isle of Wight, which for my foreign blog readers’ benefit, is positioned just off the south coast of the UK. It’s a charming place with a unique atmosphere and gorgeous coastline. Anyway, Fiona’s friends Helen and Frazer run Vintage Vacations there, a retro experience whether you choose to holiday in an authentic American Airstream trailer, beach shack, tin tabernacle or 1960s holiday bungalow. See What better place for a Peter Gander-style postcard, I was thinking, so this morning after completing ‘Hutspots’ last night, I got sketching again. The bottom left scamp is my favourite, the composition is sweet and natural. I’ll be working that up into a bigger sketch, full-page size very soon...

‘Hutspots’ final art, full-size...

The final art reveals the completed linework throughout, adding further clarity and crispness. The hand-lettered title is also complete. Very happy with this one, let’s hope the customers are too and that it sells well in the local Whitstable shops.

‘Hutspots’ original sketch and final art...

Sometimes if I'm lucky and happy enough with the composition, the sketch remains fairly untouched from its transition from the sketchbook to the final painting. ’Hutspots’ is happily such a case. I love it when a plan comes together!

'Hutspots' - work in progress

This shot shows much of the groundwork having been painted and just prior to the 'local' linework being added, that is, the outlines for everything which change in colour according to their 'fill' colour, i.e fleshtones being pinkish will have a darker, reddish-brown local line colour whereas a lilac-coloured beach hut will have a purple outline, purple being the darkest range of lilac. Note the yellow Masking Fluid in the guy's eyes, which has been taken off the woman's eyes in readiness for painting the pupils.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Half-painted 'HutSpot'

Flesh colours are attended to first (the hardest colour to get right and in this case the colour covers the greatest area of any individual colour). Note the yellow areas of Masking Fluid on the eyes, etc, ensuring that such areas won't get bled into. Due to the Easter Hols and some necessary family/fishing time, I won't get back to this until next week after the (UK) Bank Holiday (after Tues 14 April 09).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sketch and final pencil for ‘Hutspot’

Last night I transferred the sketch (above) onto layout paper (below). The sketch, already being quite 'tight' in terms of finish, needed little embellishment, so it remained virtually unchanged. This was then traced through onto 300gsm Langton watercolour paper, ready for tonight's painting.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Whitstable and Wine

Again, as below, I painted this without sketch, rendering the foreground first, wet-into-wet. A young couple watch the sunset over the island of Sheppy in the distance, a bottle of red wine and two glasses rest on the beach hut balustrade. Watercolour on 300gsm Langton Rough Watercolour Paper.

Whitstable dog walker

No sketch was done for this painting, it was produced 'on the hoof'. One of the shops that sell my cards expressed an inkling for 'beach huts', so I thought I’d try and oblige. Watercolour on 300gsm Langton Rough Watercolour Paper. • SOLD 30 June 09

Thursday, April 02, 2009

From today’s ‘London sketchbook’ blog...

This one's done from photographic reference, but I was so taken by the remarkable clarity of the reflected image, I wanted it to be revisited. It almost looks like a canalside sketch rather than a dip in the pavement, due to the way I gave it a tight crop. Depending on whether you're a 'glass half empty' or 'full' kind of person, I think you may interpret the shadowing figure behind the girl as either sinister or harmless. It could be the cover of a crime novel if you're of the former persuasion! Materials: Black, grey and white Daler-Rowney Sketching Charcoal on Cachet sketchbook paper Duration: 30 mins