Monday, 30 September 2013

When Churchill meets Douglas Adams

This fictional encounter between Winston Churchill and Douglas Adams took place on the wall... for the mural I am working on.

Click on the picture to enlarge

I love this quote from Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The books in this series are really good. And I like to listen to the audio BBC radio series while painting:

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Primary Phase (Original BBC Radio Series)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Secondary Phase (Original BBC Radio Series)

  • Related post

    Monday, 16 September 2013

    That's a lot of coffee beans

    Last week-end was part 2 of the Swindon Open Studios 2013 and I had time to make some progress on my Brown's Cafe painting.

    I mostly re-worked the background, made of hundreds of coffee beans.

    The lower part shows how it was, with the blue background still visible. The upper part is the re-work.

    I mixed the colours with linseed oil. This gave me the creamy consistency and brilliance I was looking for. I tried to vary the tones and colours to bring some variety and different depths to the background.

    Brown's Cafe - At the end of the week-end (Click on the photo to see a larger version)

    After 7 hours painting coffee beans, you really need a break. By chance, the cafe in the library was a few steps away and making an excellent cappuccino...

    I will adjust the background by glazing different parts when it is dry.

    Friday, 13 September 2013

    Swindon Open Studios 2013 press article

    The Swindon Advertiser, our local newspaper, published a nice article on the first week-end of the Swindon Open Studios 2013. And yes... its me painting on the photograph.

    Here is the online version of the article titled Town’s artists put on mass exhibition.

    (Click to enlarge)

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    Swindon Open Studios - The first week-end

    A few photographs from the first week-end of the Swindon Open Studios 2013

    I am exhibiting in the large corridor of the Central Library, with Margaret Sadler (collage, mixed media and embroidery) and Carmen B. Norris (Mix media paintings, collages and prints).

    Swindon Open Studios display

    Swindon Open Studios display

    I had time to paint, which was really nice. I brought along a painting that I started a few years ago and then put aside.

    Brown's cafe - End of day one

    Brown's cafe - End of day two

    Brown's cafe - detail

    Brown's cafe - detail

     Brown's cafe - detail

    I will carry on painting during next week-end, for the second leg of the Swindon Open Studios 2013.

    Saturday, 7 September 2013

    Swindon Open Studios 2013

    I am taking part in the Swindon Open Studios 2013 which takes place over this week-end and the following week-end.

    I will be painting at the Swindon Central Library

    Regent Circus
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    SN1 1QG

    Opening hours
    • Saturdays 7th/14th September: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and
    • Sundays 8th/15th September: 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

    Below is a sneak peek at the work I am displaying.

    Friday, 6 September 2013

    John Lennon Mural

    I started a mural project that will probably take me until the end of the year to complete. The office wall I am working on is around 15 metres long. The idea is to paint some quotations as well as some of their famous authors.

    Each member of the team working in this office gave their favourite quote. The first one I worked on was from John Lennon.

    John Lennon quotation and portrait

    I have used a black & white photograph manipulated in Photoshop. First, I pushed the contrast. Then, I applied the "posterize" filter to reduce the number of values.

    Set-up to paint Lennon's portrait

    I projected the photograph on the wall with a projector hooked to a laptop.

    Because I worked on a pale blue background, it was not always easy to see the projected photograph. The other issue to deal with was that you must keep your hand away (or the shadow obscures the projection).

    I decided to skip tracing the image and paint the image directly instead. I started with the white because the lighter value is easier to see. The paint is ordinary acrylic house paint that I applied with a small brush, starting with the edges.

    When a contour was done, I just had to fill the shape with a larger brush.

    After the white, I painted the grey mid-tone. I had a sample tin of a very nice grey (house paint).

    Finally, it was time to paint the red. I chose a tube of Vermilion (Daler Rowney artist quality acrylic paint). I also traced the boundaries of the image with a pencil and ruler because, after that, I could switch-off the projector and work with the natural light.

    So far, I have used only a small brush because some lines were fiddly and thin. What I was left with after painting the contour was large planes that I could paint with a larger brush.

    For the quotation, I wrote it on a PowerPoint slide, projected it and painted the letters directly - without tracing. It may not be as neat as tracing them first, but it already took me more than an hour to get that piece done.

    As I am left handed, I painted the letters from right to left and top to bottom, to ensure I would not smudge the fresh paint with my wrist.