Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Latest Paintings

Apart from my Thursday Avon Valley Artists sessions the last few weeks have not been terribly productive insofar as producing paintings are concerned. This has been mainly due to grand parenting duties with our three young grandchildren.   I must admit that when it comes to painting, or the grandchildren, painting loses out every time! I did go last week to the AVA but forgot my camera so cannot show a selection of paintings produced, except mine which I photographed later at home. The subject was `Farms and Barns' and we had a poor turnout with only twelve people present. As a result the standard of paintings was a little below what we normally expect.

A converted barn 16" x 11" Centenaire 140lb (300gsm) Not

I first made a pencil drawing - using a mechanical Pentel 07 with a 2B lead - from a photograph I took of the actual building, which I am very familiar with. It is in the village of Ducklington in Oxfordshire where my sister lives. One previous painting I did of  this scene was the highest ranked watercolour in the popular vote at a Bathampton exhibition two years ago. My usual colours with Hookers Green (Graham PG7/PY110) prominent in the greens. Quinacridone Gold (DS PO49), Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48), Raw Sienna  on the barn. Cobalt Blue Deep (Rowney PB72) and Cerulean (W & N PB36) in the sky. The darks are mainly Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. I'm now using B to 2B leads instead of HB which I found a little hard. Lead sizes vary from 05 to 09, with 07 probably most used..

After Thursday I decided to do another Indian portrait and also another animal - actually bird - painting. The Amerindian was one I've painted before so it gave me the opportunity to compare the two and see if any improvement had taken place. It is based on the black and white photographs of Edward Curtis stemming from the period of the late 19th century. In this instance the face and features are just part of the whole and not the absolute central focus.  The previous study was larger and I think this latest is better in part but not significantly so.

Wanduta Lakota Sioux www.firstpeople.us/

Initial Drawing

Stage 2

Wanduta Lakota Sioux - 16" x 11" Fontenay 140lb (300gsm) Not

Colours used for the skin and features was various mixes of Cadmium Red Light, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48). After reflection the following day  I decided to darken the right shadow side. This was done by wetting the area with clear water and then putting on a dark mix of Ultramarine Blue/Burnt Sienna. I also scratched out a few lights with a scalpel . The red on the headband is Cadmium Red Light. The darks are a mixture of Ultramarine Blue/Burnt Sienna and Indigo (Daniel Smith PB60/PBk11), Brushes were the Isabey 6228 Kolinsky sizes 4, 6 and 8 together with the 6201 retractables. I also used a Rosemary Series 33 Size 12 Kolinsky. I think I need to avoid overuse of the smaller brushes. 

The animal painting, actually owls, has now been produced in two versions so I'll post them separately.


Rui said...

Hi Peter,

Fantastic painting of "Wanduta Lakota".

You are mastering this beautiful technique of painting loosely in watercolour.

Congratulations on the quality of this painting.

Kind regards,


Peter Ward said...

Thanks Rui. Not sure I've cracked it yet though!

artist said...

The barn and the Sioux chief are done in such a deliberate way that I find only a painter that knows what he is doing can pull off.


Peter Ward said...

Thanks for those kind comments Artist. I still feel a long way from the finished article.

Carmen said...

I can only echo what everyone else has said. I'm particularly impressed with your colours on the second painting - considering you used a black and white photo.

Peter Ward said...

This is something I learned from Charles Reid Carmen. He uses old black and white photographs as a subject in his workshops. Apparently this came about when an outside session was rained off and he had to improvise.

Mick Carney said...

Two super paintings this time. The first has a limited palette feel to it that gives it a colour coherence and the second is one of your best in the series. The looseness of the left hand side works particularly well in this one. It is so easy to lose the balance when doing that.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. I keep trying!