This Ambulance painting was inspired in an instant. Driving through Manchester on the way back south, I was taking a few snaps for inspiration (I wasn’t driving, in case you’re wondering.) Sirens, Sirens everywhere! As is always the case, it can be tricky to figure out which direction it’s coming from. Suddenly I saw the blue lights in the distance, and it was coming towards us. I took a picture. Back at the studio, with a bit of editing, I had an image I was happy to work from. After creating a painting of a fire engine, and police on bicycles, It seemed natural to turn my attention to the ambulance service. No drawing images on this one, I got a bit carried away… Here’s a close up during the painting phase. And another detail of the painting developing… Finally, the whole picture in progress with the ambulance defined… I created this video of the cleaning up process. The stage when the mashing is removed and the final image is revealed. There isn’t a lot to hear. I was absorbed in the reveal. Here’s the finished painting I love the fact you can’t see the driver, almost as if the […]
Serendipity in art or the role of happy accidents.
Sure, you can know what you're doing, study methods and plan meticulously. You can control the paint to within an inch of it's life. You can be skilled enough to make the paintings seem lively, but too much control can often lead to lifeless work.
Watercolour, more than any 2 D medium is often transported by painting accidents.
A painting emerging from chaos it’s a magical moment in the progress of any artwork. With my paintings it’s the final step in the creative process, where the dramatic transformation takes place. You can see that moment happen later on. Yes, last week I promised you video, and I have it for you, although I need to set the scene first. The engine in question is outside the Science Museum in Manchester. This weeks painting has a very personal connection. The engine in question is outside the Science Museum in Manchester and has a personal connection. Crossleys were a prominent Manchester engineering firm and my dad worked for them for most of my childhood. So it’s a name I know well. My Dad loved engines, and I think some of that love has rubbed off on me. When I saw the engine outside the Science Museum was by Crossleys, I was keen to incorporate it into one of my pieces. Here is a close up painting detail of the main wheel. The picture in progress next to the reference image. Most of the painting has been done by this stage. And another detail at the painting stage. You can see […]
Ever get an earworm? I’m convinced most come from some subconscious association. Like this week’s painting, when I was looking at 2 of my favourite London buildings. I often play with angles when I’m taking my reference photographs, and, in this one, the buildings seem to lean on each other. When I noticed the Cheesegrater supporting the Gherkin. I was reminded of this Bill Withers song. “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.” It’s a beautiful lyric, and one that often comes to my mind in tough situations. In fact the whole song is an anthem to the concept of mutual support. Since then I haven’t been able to think of a title I like more. Some details during the paintings stages. Here, the painting is complete and it’s ready to have all the masking fluid removed. . And the Inspiring Architecture Painting that resulted from that earworm looks like this… Next week I have some video for you. And, if you enjoy this post, then please share it? Save
The Walkie Talkie Building… Also known as 20 Fenchurch Street as seen from Lombard Street. A while ago I painted a Golden Locust trade sign. Created in the days when reading was a rare skill, and images were the traditional method for advertising a company. There’s an interesting history of them here. I took several photographs at the time and managed to find a position where these signs were visible with the Walkie Talkie Building in the background. This painting took a while, and I seem to have gone mad with the photos. Here I’m getting ready to start painting. With watercolour, you need to be ready to act quickly. The best results are always done with the minimum of fuss. Although you can re-wet the paper, some techniques suffer if delayed. A close up of the Anchor. And another close up of the masking phase. I managed to catch the sheen of the water wash on this one. The painting begins… It seemed to take forever to get to this point. Some details of the painting once I’d started applying wet ink. Here’s the anchor with some other signs and the clock. And then we reach the best bit. […]
Some transport of a different style this week The Wedding Bus! After Last week’s bike post, I’m scaling things up. Curiously, this picture wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t spotted last weeks subject matter. In October I was wandering around looking for inspiration. Leaving the tube station at Green Park near the Ritz I was on the lookout. I spotted the bikes and moved around to get a better angle. The bikes were close to a tourist bus stop, so I took a few pictures of those first. Then I spotted the Wedding buses, there were 3. I lined up to take the shot. The first I mistimed, The second was blurred streaks, Finally, I managed to get a still blurry but “good enough” composition. Ah, the beauty of painting! Images can be sharpened! Starting off with the painting phase. No graphite image since the drawing proved a head-ache, I did say the original was blurred, didn’t I? Like last weeks bike painting,