Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The making of Copse Wood

I took a few pictures along the way, while painting Copse Wood.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Copse wood and a press article

Copse Wood - Oil on canvas (14" x 18") by Benoit Philippe

This is the painting I completed during the two week-ends of the Swindon Open Studios. We had a good number of visitors, but I still had time to paint. During last year Open Studios, I painted Pause cafe that I exhibited this year. It is nice for visitors coming year after year to see framed the work they saw in the making.

A journalist and photograph from the local newspaper, the Swindon Advertiser, came along.

Article in the Swindon Advertiser

You can read the online version of the article Swindon library exhibition offers insight into artists’ work on the website of the newspaper.

Have a good week-end.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Lydiard House

Lydiard House - Oil on canvas board (6" x 8") by Benoit Philippe

Lydiard House is set in a beautiful park just outside Swindon (Wiltshire, England). I painted it on site with my pochade box.

Monday, 10 September 2012

First week-end of the Swindon Open Studios 2012

We had a good flow of visitors for the first week-end of the Swindon Open Studios 2012. I started an oil painting that I hope to complete during the next week-end.

I did not bring my camera and only had my phone to shot some pictures, but Carmen Norris, one of the exhibitors at the Central Library, did. So, I am happy to send you to her blog for a good selection of photographs (including one of me painting and another one where I am in conversation with visitors).
BBC Wiltshire radio came to interview me and should broadcast a short segment during one of the morning shows this week. I hope it will help promote the second part of the Open Studios that will take place on the 15th and 16th September.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Composing Summer tea

Still life paintings from nature are a great way to work on composition in real life. You select some props, move them around and swap them until you are happy with your subject. It is important to take the time to compose this way.

I like to take a break when I think I have achieved a good composition and come back to it with a fresh eye. There is always a little something that I can make better.

I took some photos while working on the set-up for my painting Summer tea in order to share with you my thought process.

Positives: The white china is interesting, even if it is difficult to paint (white on white). The strawberries give a splash of bright colour and will be a good focal point. The pot that contains the strawberries echoes the ellipsis of of the cup of tea and provides repetition with variation.

Negatives: This composition is boring, too symmetrical and binary.

Positives: The pitcher at the back adds height to the composition that now forms a triangle. The light part of the pitcher on the left helps to bring forward the strawberries. The dark side of the pitcher outline the light rim of the cup.

Negatives: One more white element seems too much.

I replaced the china pitcher with a silver one. The contrast is accentuated with the cup, but lowered with the strawberries in the shadow. I like the slander handle on the left that gives more height without being intrusive.

The single strawberry on the tablecloth makes the composition more interesting. It breaks the line of the pot full of strawberries. Its orientation helps to outline the green leaves.