Distant hills

So here I am desperately trying to tie up a few loose ends. My last painting this year was one of the biggest I’ve done – using a full sheet of paper and with the framed picture in the region of three feet by two-foot six. Quite a challenge – no sitting down for this one!

Again, based on some sketches done out on the Somerset Levels. Again, a gorgeous Autumn day, with too perfect a sky to begin with: the photos I took at the end of the morning at last yielded the bit of cloud you need for movement and brightness.

At first I thought the view of Lollover Hill near Compton Dundon didn’t have enough in it to make a good picture. But I always make things too complicated and this time simplicity won out.

The gateway was a gift for a focus, and the hill shapes and colours, especially the contrast between the shadowed and sunlit areas, gave me what I wanted. A very satisfying commission!

So all I need to say is – Happy New year, all!DSCF4299  cropped and resized

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House-painting

Having parted company with Chelsea, I next turned my attention to another commission: a lovely old converted building in Spaxton, on the Quantocks, sketched and photographed on a gorgoeus bright Autumn morning. The Challenge here was that the building was quite long, but with a fairly close wall, so a distant view wasn’t an option.

So I picked a spot where my customer often sat, looking over to the other end of the building. The sun streamed in at the windows, but a large tree conveniently provided a shadow on the left which stopped the eye, instead of feeling the building was cut off on that side. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

The typical Quantock red stone gave a rosy glow and enabled the use of some lovely purple shadows. The stony gravel was fun too – lots of splattering!

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Chelsea Girl – a gorgeous female boxer

I’ve been a bit tied up with several commissions ( which is great, obviously) and quite a lot of work with the Chandos Society of Artists recently, but, as the festive season approaches, I can review the work which, I hope, had found favour with the people that asked me to produce it…

First was the pleasure of producing a portrait of Chelsea, the charming successor to Rocky whom I depicted earlier this year ( see post: thinking outside the box(er)). (Tricky blighters, nesting brackets!) (Nesting Boxers? …Sorry!) So, the other paintings will follow, but this is Chelsea’s spot.

I took lots of photos and did some sketches, but this was Julie’s (Chelsea’s owner) preferred pose:

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Then I followed what has proved a useful plan, which is to collect sketches, photos and other ideas together:

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and then to do a drawing, full-size, in water-solouble crayons (such as neocolour II).:

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You can deal with any problems of composition at this stage, then trace the main shapes and …finally:

Chelsea 2013 resizedI was encouraged to think it a good likeness when the windpw-cleaner ( who also does Chelsea’s owners’ windows ) said ‘I see you’re doing a picture of Chelsea!’ . I had the painting on an easel inthe conservatory, so he had a good view. He then said ‘I recognise the umbrella stand too.’ But Chelsea’s owners seemed pleased with the likeness of the dog, too, which was a relief!

More on the other commissions later!