stories and illustration

Four Stages of a Painting: Fly-By-Night

fly-by-night 2Fly-By-Night, painting in acrylic, neocolor II and conte, to be shown at The Coldstream Gallery in an exhibition entitled “Imagine”.

October 3, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Tubes of Blue

watercolour tubes

I was trawling through photographs, eliminating a good many –  if I go on amassing images my computer will not have room to breathe. I found some very repetitive snaps of my studio, which I sent to the recycle bin (how do old images get recycled, eh?), but I kept this one as I thought the colours were nice.  At this point I seem to have got some pristine tubes – delicious.  I thought of entitling the blog Blue Tubes, but decided it sounded a bit too like a late-night pay-to-view programme. I keep my acrylics in an old cutlery tray when I am working, but these watercolour tubes are in a contraption which I bought for a couple of quid at Kelso Car Boot Sale, I think it is for serving some kind of Japanese delicacy by the look of it, but soon as I saw it, “paint tubes” came into my mind.  It is ideal, the best thing I have found for keeping the colours fairly separate, so I can find them when I want. If anyone knows what it was for in the first place, I would be interested to know.

Off to Newcastle tomorrow, to look at the SevenStories collection at Design Works, to choose something appropriate to go into an exhibition of children’s illustration in the Granary Gallery in Berwick upon Tweed, as part of the Berwick Book Festival in October.  We have been asked to to choose some work from the wide collection at SevenStories, to by shown with our own work. I am hoping that my choice of a page from Angela Barrett’s work sheets will be permitted to be shown.  Her work will put mine to shame, but hey-ho, that’s my choice.

Actually, I like it that there is much room for improvement – it makes life more interesting.




August 14, 2014 Posted by | Art, Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paintings for an Exhibition at Eyemouth

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Art, Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hare Moths Candle

Hare Moths Candle

Had to scan this on my computer in two parts, hope the join doesn’t show.  Put my cardigan over the scanner in case light crept through, as this is a deep edge canvas.  Needed to do the scan as it may be used as part of publicity material for an exhibition at Harestanes, an Arts Centre near Jedburgh, subject The Hare. The colours come out brighter than the original, even though I have taken otu much of the magenta.

The little ghost figure  with the candle is like Wee Willie Winkie.  In the background is a city, perhaps Sunderland, with the bridge, and  church spires or factory chimneys.  White flowers and moths shine out at night. What is the hare doing on this wasteland?  It looks alarmed, almost frozen, but ready to flee.

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hare Country

Hare Country

Hare Country

This is a painting that is going into an exhibition in Eyemouth that is opening on Thursday,  called “Telling Tales”, so most of the pictures I have put in are framed illustrations for children’s books.  However, I am also a showing a few paintings that stand alone.  This hare is drawn in charcoal and some crayon over an original painting that I took against.

This is the original painting:

The countryside is based on a real place, of which I have taken many photographs, but doesn’t really summon it up.  And the hares themselves, in their small sepia circles, didn’t really inhabit the picture.  Also I disliked the blue blankness of the sky, and the rounded shapes.  Anyway, at the beginning I must have felt Ok about it, but this changed. I had put some oil pastel over the top to try and jazz it up, but it didn’t help at all.  Eventually I took off the oil pastel with turpentine, then drew a hare over the top with charcoal.  I have fixed the charcoal with some nice, expensive Winsor & Newton spray that I ordered specially over the internet.  I suppose that, having done illustration for a long time, and having usually followed the rule of “make sure you rub out the pencil lines” (probably a very old rule that has fallen into dis-use anyway) I thought if I was painting I ought to get rid of the charcoal.

Well, why?

So now, I am leaving some charcol drawing in the painting I am doing; and this hare is just charcoal over the landscape, so the landscape is seen through the hare.

It is much nearer the feeling that I wanted for the original painting.  I didn’t think of the hare at the beginning, I just got rid of the sky with a lot of naples yellow mixed with other colours, so it looked like rain had overtaken the scene (naples yellow rain, but why not?). Then the hare appeared, very fast, and I decided to leave the thing as it is  – unless I make the back legs a tad more muscular, which come to think of it….

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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