Friday, 27 May 2016

"Piddinghoe Reflections"

The river Ouse at Piddinghoe, Sussex
The Spring sunshine took me to Piddinghoe. A picturesque village on the banks of the river Ouse just south of Lewes.
 The church here is has an unusual round tower and surrounded by a mass of snowdrops in early Spring.
  The village also has the only remaining bottle shaped brick kiln in the country ,which you can just see behind the house...
Brick kiln at Piddinghoe
  My path took me along the river bank and past the farm where I lived for a while back in the mid 1960's. It seemed strange to think I was walking in the footsteps of my past !

It all looked so very colourful (unlike my black and white photo ) and the reflections upon the river as it headed out to sea made the view just perfect to paint! 
                                     "Piddinghoe Reflections"
"Piddinghoe Reflections" Acrylic on canvas
 
Prints, cards, bags ....
  available at Here

Finally, an extract from Rudyard Kipling's Poem "Sussex"
"And the deep ghylls that breed
Huge oaks and old, the which we hold
No more than Sussex weed;
Or south where windy Piddinghoe’s
Begilded dolphin veers
And red beside wide-bank├Ęd Ouse
Lie down our Sussex steers. "

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Painting the seaside...bit by bit....

Painting the seaside in acrylics
I have had several people asking me questions about my painting methods lately.
 Now, I'm not very good at explaining things and this is NOT a "How to do it" but rather a "How I do it" .
I thought that as I paint I could post odd bits and pieces along the way that may inspire/help someone and I'm happy to answer any questions.
Alternatively I could just waffle on...and on...and on........ 
Starting with the sea....
undiluted, System 3 acrylics. Small splodgy strokes ( no confusing art jargon here ! ) Wet on wet.
Needs to dry at least overnight before highlights can be added.

Painting in the sea...
 Pebbles...
hundreds of blobs of paint gradually increasing in size towards the foreground. When completely dry very watery washes of white highlight the sunniest areas and very watery washes of burnt sienna give depth to to the uneven surface of the beach. These are also the colours used for the deckchair frames.
Painting in the pebbles on the beach
Blanket,( and most fabrics). Lightly pencil in where the creases and folds go. Paint in the pattern. Highlight with white and add shade with a watery mix of Prussian blue + Paynes grey
 I've now completed 11 hours of painting (excluding sketching out the composition) Whilst waiting for paint to dry I have started work on other areas. The deckchair frames take the longest. They are a variety of shades/tones and need about 4-5 layers of paint...and a steady hand. I shall work on these a bit at a time.
Painting the fabrics 
 Deckchairs ....
This time just 2 coats of paint were adequate to give an even opaque base of blue (often 4-5 are required). When dry I covered the area with an extremely thin wash of white..then dabbed it off with a clean cloth . This barely shows but it helps to give a bit of texture to the fabric.
Painting the deckchair seats
 Storing surplus paint in small airtight pots will keep it usable for 2-3 weeks .

Prussian blue is used to start adding the shade on the blue areas and the fabric seam lines
Adding the fabric detail
  Most of the painting is created with very small brushes . 
Yep....takes a while with these!

Painting in progress


Starting to add some shadows and highlights whilst building up a few more layers on the deckchair frames. Work has also begun on the smaller objects. 
Adding the shadows and shading




Finally, after a long painting session and lots of cups of coffee, the composition is complete ...

"Gone Swimming"
Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"Gone Swimming" Acrylic seaside painting


I hope you have  enjoyed the step by step trip to the seaside and found out something useful along the way 
The sun is now shining so I'm off for an ice cream




 
 






Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Art online

Today I enjoyed a wonderful walk in the sunshine along the promenade of Brighton and Hove.
 A colourful walk surrounded by smiling faces, crashing waves, ice cream and seagulls.
Another day could find me climbing the South Downs and delighting in the views ,
 that moment when you climb a hill, look around and just go "WOW !"
It's all about views that inspire, stories to create and moments to capture.
I love painting these scenes and I am always delighted when a buyer gets as much pleasure and enjoyment from them too. So often a recipient tells me that it looks "so much better in real life"  and they return for another and so their collection begins.
Now as many of you know I don't exhibit, the very thought sends me into a panic attack and to be honest in this day and age I just cannot see the benefit.
All my sales are made through online galleries or social media sites where my work can be seen by a much larger  audience than a high street gallery.
A potential customer can browse at leisure from the comfort of their own home and view far more artworks than they would see in a standard gallery or auction. 
The online galleries work well for me, they advertise well, payments are secured and there's always a returns policy if the customer is not satisfied. Many will also notify a previous buyer when a new work has been added.
My blog and social media are a great way to show works in progress, methods and techniques and answer questions along the way. I think this helps by building up a rapport with an interested client .
It's taken a while to build up an online presence but it has resulted in a good sales turnover for me. Today I sold "Bluebells and Brook "
  my 13th sale of the year and many works sell within the first week, even minutes of putting them online !
 I have found some wonderful like minded people along my way that are steadily building up a collection of my art and they eagerly keep a watch to see what's next.
Now that gets me thinking...
People buy my art because it's colourful, fun or reminds them of a specific place.
I love to paint these scenes because they're colourful, fun and reminds me of a specific place ,
I love the thought that they will brighten up someone's wall and make them smile.

 It makes me wonder how the famous artists of the past would feel to discover that a composition that they have put so much passion and emotion into is now hidden away in a dark vault somewhere  to be rarely viewed , just an investment . That to me is such a very sad thought .
But that's another story that perhaps the online auction site Invaluable and their  Fine Art Section could answer much better than me!




Saturday, 23 April 2016

Painting "Lewes Rooftops" (Sussex)

Lewes town, Sussex
Lewes is the county town of Sussex. It's a town steeped in history, character, architecture and traditions.
I went to school here and live just 6 miles away but on my recent visit I decided to go as a tourist rather than a shopper.
It was a lovely sunny Spring day just right for a walk around the castle and climbing up the battlements to admire the views. They were spectacular and inspiring!
I wanted a view to paint that would capture a  typical part of the scenery and surroundings. A view that in my youth I would have taken for granted and not appreciated in the way that I do now.
Looking south west towards Swanborough hill (The South Downs Way runs along the top), the rooftops and chimneys backed by the soft gentle slopes of the South Downs was just perfect!

The painting took quite a few hours to complete but the detail kept the composition interesting and challenging to work on......
                                                 "Lewes Rooftops"
                                   Acrylic on canvas 24"x18"
"Lewes Rooftops" Acrylic painting on canvas
 Prints, cards etc now available , click on link to view the full range Paula Oakley at Redbubble