Saturday, 5 July 2014

Right then.

It took a while to finish and then another while to dry followed by a further while to find a suitable collection date. However, after all those whiles, Lauren and Steve have seen it now and taken it away so I can finally post the finished image.

So, erm...   Here you go.



I have learned SO much from completing this one.  It has effected everything that I have painted since.  Of course it would be very different if I were to start again and it would take half the time!  It is not perfect, but it is a painting not a photo so I am calling the imperfections artistic...

The relatively newlyweds seemed happy with it.  So Phew...

They brought me very lovely beers and a fine bottle of gin when they picked it up, so I love them even more now.



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Onto the next thing I guess.


Which is Sheffield's Art in the Garden's Portraits of Distinction.

This year the subject is Pulp drummer Nick Banks.

I came second place last year so I will just have to try harder this time wont I?




I feel that it is coming along quite well so far.



Monday, 24 February 2014

Okay, real work pays the bills but...


For a coupe of weeks now I had no free time to paint more of the wedding gift madness.  However in a short lull I got a couple of hours to work on more of the detailing.


The central background building is coming along, but still needs finishing.



Of course I could keep on saying that for... well... years.  Knowing when to stop is always tricky.




Although on some sections it is easier to know there is work to be done.



I think the trick is to step away from the canvas for a few days.  Returning to it I tend to see all the bits that need a little more love.

Still working on paying the bills so progress will continue to be sporadic and slow for a while.

Being able to swap between playing with pixels and paint helps to keep me a little bit sane.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Ah now I get to start with the detail. I love the detail. A bit too much really.

Now I am beginning to add details as well as balance colours.

There are a lot more layers than just three, but these give an idea of how I have built a couple of sections up so far.



Everything will need further work to add edge lighting and deeper shadows, except for our lovely fire giant who really does not need so much help with anything at all really.




The zombies are beginning to come to life... They all need at least another dark layer, another look at the blood and gore depth and then light from the right hand explosion.  I was tempted to make them colourful, but the whole painting is pretty colour heavy so I opted for blue/grey zombies who luckily still bleed red.




Everything is lit by some kind of white/blue light emanating from over our right shoulder, without this it would all be too dark to see anything.  Mind you it would be a quicker painting.

I am pretty sure that soon I'll have to start work on our heroic couple.  It's a worry that they are smiling really, but if you ever met them you'd understand...

Monday, 27 January 2014

More colouring in

Really, this is layer after layer.  The only danger is that I ignore the bits that look tricky and concentrate on details.




Soon I will have something on the canvas for everything except Lauren and Steve, but our two lovely heroes will just have to wait.

Right now I want to get colour layed down into which I can work depth and detail bit by bit.  All the time stepping back from the canvas to make sure I like the way it is coming together.  In this case I think it will do that coming together thing at the last minute when the final shadows and lighting and gratuitous bloody splatters are added.




There are things that I know I am putting off though, as I am not sure how to handle them.  The winter gardens and Odin...  I will probably have to stop avoiding them soon.

After this post I will only be showing sections of the painting.  So that when it is done the people who will see completed item first will be Lauren and Steve.  They might let me post the finished thing, but it will be their call.  They might jut burn it for all I know ;D

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Told you there'd be colour

Okay, I can't put it off any longer.  I have to actually paint.

I want vibrant colours so chose simple bright oils - titanium white, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, french ultra marine and prussian blue (Daler-Rowney Georgian).  All mixed with Liquin Original (Windsor and Newton), which greatly speeds up the drying time. 

Firstly I lay down quite simple colours, all of this will be worked on to add detail and depth.





Honestly this bit is almost paint by numbers.  Maybe not the explosions.   A small part of the reason for doing this blog is to show that this is not as complicated as people think.  Like a lot of things it is mostly about doing it rather than talking about doing it.





That said I guess I should be... erm... doing it.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Not as exciting I'll admit, but...

Next step.  Buy a lovely canvas from Pinders (Sheffield supplier of art materials and printing), draw all over it.  In blue pen because it was the first one I found.




Yes I did draw a grid out, just to speed things up.  Once the oil paints start going on it will be more or less ignored in favour of whatever works the best.

A white canvas with a drawing on it can be daunting.  I mean, where do you start painting?

I get over this by applying rough tonal values using very thinned down oils - in this case Daler Rowney burnt umber, because I have a lot of it.




Already I feel much more at ease.  For a while.  I know the faces don't look much like Lauren and Steve yet, but this is just a guide.  They will be the last thing I paint.  This is mostly because I find painting a background up to the edge of a face really tricky.  I will save the worry about "can I paint their faces" for later.  Definitely not thinking about that now... at all...

Where on earth should I begin the actual oil painting? It is a pretty big canvas (60x90cm) with lots going on. 

NEXT!


Thursday, 16 January 2014

And then there was more

After a bit of faffing, prevarication and changing my mind while no-one was looking I coloured in the image, to let Lauren and Steve see something a bit closer to what I hoped the oil painting might look like.  If you squint and blur your eyes a bit :D

Oh there is now a wolf ( Fenrir ) and the serpent ( J√∂rmangandr ) and the flame giant ( Surtr ).




It was agreed that this looked okay.  But I felt I had to show them the image with a bit more detail.  I was not happy with the flame giant, or the wolf or the serpent either so I gave them another go. Also they asked for a couple of the zombies to look like three of their friends  -  sorry Karl, Liz and Neil.




That is close enough for me to get on with the painting.  Not panicking at all.  No me.  No way.  Well maybe a little a bit.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

And they call it Ragnarok

This is my first blog so please bear with me...

I have been a professional artist for over twenty five years and an artist for even longer.

Recently I missed a wedding.  And rashly I suggested I'd paint a picture as a wedding present.  Okay that does not seem so bad does it?  After all it is my job.  However, What I actually said was that I'd paint a picture of anything at all.  Whatever the very lovely Lauren and Steve wanted...  I may have been a bit free with the offer because of wedding misser guilt.

They said that'd be great and then requested a painting of themselves (the happily newly wedded).

Fine.

"Oh and could you include an alien invasion"

Okay.

"And Zombies.  Lots and lots of Zombies"

Yes, I can do that, I think.

"And Ragnarok"

Gulp....

I saw the photos.  Their wedding looked ace and they looked remarkable as always, but there were no zombies or Gods ending the world as we know it! :D

Here is the blog of the development of said mega painting.  This is going to take a while.

First I offered up a quick Photoshop sketch, just to see if we were thinking along the same lines - seemed unlikely really ;D




But as it happened they quite like it.

They only asked for one change.




Next I have to think about the lighting and over all colour scheme and adding in the giant wolf and the enormous serpent...  There's not as much general coverage of the end of the world as you might think.