Friday, 30 March 2012

Unkai Spoon with Lychees

I am beginning to collect quite an array of oriental objects to incorporate in my still-life studies. This Unkai spoon is my latest buy, I really like the shape. I don't need much encouragement to buy lychees; the texture of the skin and the slightly translucent flesh is a joy to paint and then consume.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


These Pinks survived long enough to get painted, they are such hardy little things. I certainly find flowers a challenge, so I just attempted to suggest the nature of the petals otherwise I may well have been driven to distraction! I was back in known territory with the jar and the water; in contrast to the flowers they are familiar and comfortable.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Granny and Grapes

This is my entry for this week's challenge 'pared down apple'. I have included some grapes to help strengthen the composition. They happened to be the same colour as the apple and I handled them in the same way; keeping the colours and values pared down but still conveying a 3D recognizable shape.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Jelly Doughnut Revealed

This doughtnut was purchased whist we were driving through Florida last week. Before it was fully consumed I photograghed it thinking I might paint it from reference as it made a good subject for a daily painting. What serendipity when I saw last week's challenge was 'doughnuts' and this week's is 'crumpled paper'....... talk about killing two birds with one stone! The american doughnut differs from the variety that we have in the UK; the dough is lighter and it is indeed jelly in the middle and not jam. The verdict ....delicious!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Giant Oysters

This is the first daily paintwork I have done since Sally Strand's workshop in Florida. Although I have my pastels with me, I thought I would give my fingers a rest and picked up the brushes again. I saw these oyster mushrooms in the local supermarket. When I shop I chose items I can paint and then consume. They didn't disappoint!

Sally Strand workshop 12-16th March

Last week I attended a pastel workshop with Sally in Leesburg with the Pastel Society of Central Florida. The workshop focused on the colour of light. We worked from still-life set ups (sometimes under different coloured light sources) and also from fairly elaborate model setups. The main focus was on the substructure of values, keying the pastel at the start and relating colours and temperatures within the value structure. The pastels of Sally Strand are known to all those who have ever attempted the medium but I was incredibly impressed with her excellence as a tutor and how well she communicated her knowledge to the group who were all at different stages of their artistic journey. It was a well organised and most enjoyable week and I learnt a lot that I hope to take forward into my future work. I met some great people too.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Pot with Lychees

Pot with Lychees
Oil on Board (8x6 in)

This is a study of yet another blue and white pot which I managed to hunt down in a bric-a-brac shop. I remain eagle eyed when out and about in these places and am fairly quick on my feet when I find something promising.  The shed outside my studio (where I store all my booty) is becoming a bit of an Aladdin's Cave.
Tomorrow I travel to london and then on to Leesburg, Florida, to attend a Sally Strand pastel workshop.  I have always admired her work so it is eagerly anticipated.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Oriental Vase with Lychees

Oriental Vase with Orchid
Oil on Board (6x6 in)

I found this vase on ebay and it just shouted, 'paint me!' I teamed it up with the orchid as I felt it lended itself to the theme. I find painting flowers quite a challenge and tell myself to find the shape and suggest rather than over describe. I know it is only hours at the easel that will make the difference.