Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sketching in Oxford

On Saturday, one of my daughters and I went to Oxford (England). We packed our sketchbooks and managed to do a few sketches during the day.

As usual, I have used different ink pen brushes that I like for quick execution, a range of black PITT artist pens (Faber-Castell), and my Sennelier travel watercolour box for the wash on one of the sketches. These are direct execution, without any preliminary drawing.

Inky Fingers Comics - Sepia Ink pen brush (Pentel)

Inky Fingers Comics is an independent specialized bookshop located 38 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1HZ. They stock the usual American comics (Marvels or DC) and Japanese manga books, but also some original graphic novels,‘indie’ and self-published books. And you can buy a coffee, seat and browse the "Library" box... Great atmosphere and warm welcome from the owner. Recommended shop if you like comics and go to Oxford.

Eating at Wagamama - Green ink pen brush (Pentel) and ink pen

I started with the ink brush and, at the end, used a black ink pen to give more definition to the main subject (that is until the bowl of Ramen arrived at our table).

After lunch and raiding a few bookshops, we went to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History to do more sketches. They have one of a rare specimen of a Dodo (another one is in London).

Statue of the Prince Consort - Ink pen and watercolour wash

Iguanodon Bernissartensis - Blue Ink pen brush (Pentel)

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Liverpool: The Beatles and a Dazzle ship

In Liverpool (England), The Beatles are everywhere. The city is rightly proud to be the home town of such a famous band.


The Beatles – Bronze by Andy Edwards (2015) 

An engraved stone in front of the group’s statue reads:

“The Beatles
last played in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre on 
December 5th 1965
… but they never really left.
They are synonymous with this city 

A tribute on behalf of fans worldwide.

Funded by the Cavern Club.” 

Near the docks was also a multicoloured boat painted by the artist Carlos Cruz-Diez and placed on Liverpool Waterfront.

Dazzle Ship by Carlos Cruz-Diez (The title of the piece is “Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris, 2014”) 

The notice near the boat had some very interesting pieces of information on the origin of dazzle painting:

Dazzle painting was a sort of camouflage for ships that was used from 1917. The contrasting violent colours, curves and broken shapes would not hide the ship but create an optical distortion. This illusion made it more difficult for German submarines to calculate the course of the ship.

The ‘dazzle’ style was heavily influenced by Cubism and its multiple viewpoints. The marine painter Norman Wilkinson invented Dazzle painting and more than 2,000 ships were painted that way.

Related resources

Monday, 23 April 2018

Bristol's Crane

These cranes are in the port of Bristol, on the West coast of England.

Bristol's Cranes - Oil on canvas board 6"x8") by Bnoit Philippe

Monday, 16 April 2018

Fairford Art Society oil painting workshop

Last Saturday, I have done a day workshop for the Fairford Art Society. It was a great experience with some people experienced  and others having a go at oil painting for the first time.

Everyone is busy working on their painting

I brought some material for those who needed it

And in the afternoon, I managed to paint a small canvas myself.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Along the Thames

Along the Thames – Oil on canvas panel (6” x 8”) by Benoit Philippe 

I had previously done a watercolour from the same reference photograph (See here in this previous post). It is an interesting how the medium influence the feel of a piece and its execution.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The White Rose

The White Rose (Portrait of Miss Jessup) - Pastel on paper mounted on canvas (c. 1886) by William Merritt Chase - American, 1849 - 1916 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Miss Margaret Mallory) 

The White Rose (Detail)

Josephine Jessup was a student of William Merritt Chase.

What makes this work remarkable, considering its size, is that it has been executed in pastel. This portrait is life-size and I cannot recall seeing another example of this type of standing figures done in pastel in this way. When I first saw it from afar, I assumed it was an oil painting. It’s only when I came closer that I realised it was done in soft pastel.

The use of pastel gives a freedom of stroke very much in the spirit of Impressionism. This is also a great medium to create transparencies and luminous highlights. The palette used is quite narrow and classical rather than the exuberant colours Degas used for his pastel works. 

The Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 – USA

Thursday, 8 March 2018

American and Western American paintings at the Phoenix Art Museum

Pont Aven Harbor - Oil on canvas by William Lamb Picknell - American, 1853 - 1897 
(Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by COMPAS and a friend of the museum)

Pont Aven Harbor (detail) 

Pont Aven Harbor (detail) 

Pont Aven Harbor (detail) 

Woman Driving Geese - Oil on canvas by Winslow Homer - American, 1836 - 1910 
(Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Pratt) 

Along the Canyon Rim - oil on canvas by Ben Foster - American, 1852 - 1926 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Carolann Smurthwaite, by exchange) 

October Mountain in Winter, Lenox, MA - Oil on canvas by Clark Greenwood Voorhees - American, 1871 - 1933 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with gifted donor restricted funds from Mr. Edwin Q. Barbey) 

Watching for Game - Oil on canvas by Eanger Irving Couse - American, 1866 - 1936 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Mr. John B. Mills) 

Home of the Desert Rat - Oil on canvas by Maynard Dixon - American, 1875 - 1946 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Bequest of Leon H. Woolsey) 

Mountain Lake - Oil on canvas by Edgar Alwin Payne - American, 1882 - 1947 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thorne) 

Fiesta Spectators, Taos – Oil on canvas by Ernest Martin Hennings - American, 1886 - 1956 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum) 

The Flamingo Gate - Oil on canvas by Theodore Van Soelen - American, 1890 - 1964 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Gift of Orme Lewis and Frances Hover Stanley, by exchange) 

The Flamingo Gate (Detail)

The Flamingo Gate (Detail)

Arizona - Oil on paper mounted on board by Maxfield Parrish - American, 1870 - 1966 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Bequest of Thelma Kieckhefer) 

Arizona (Detail)

The Lonesome Hole, Valley of the Little Colorado - Oil on canvas by Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton - American, 1889 - 1971 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by Men's Arts Council Western Art Endowment Fund) 

Glenwood canyon (Pictures of you) – Oil on canvas by Jim Colbert – American, 1946-2007 

Desert Rain God - oil on canvas by Louisa McElwain - American, 1953 – 2013 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by an anonymous donor) 

Desert Rain God (Detail)

Desert Rain God (Detail)

San Tan Valley - Oil on canvas by Howard Post - American, born 1948 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by Western Art Associates (West Select 2010)) 

San Tan Valley (Detail)

San Tan Valley (Detail)

Sweeping Clouds - Oil on canvas by Ed Mell - American, born 1942 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds from anonymous donors) 

Neapolitan Cliffs - oil on linen on panel by Arturo Chávez - American, born 1949 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by Western Art Associates and J. M. Kaplan Fund, New York) 

Llano Estacado: High Plans, High Stakes, The Diptych - Oil on linen by Don Stinson - American, born 1956 (Collection Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by Men's Arts Council Western Art Endowment Fund) 

The Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 – USA

Monday, 5 March 2018

University visits sketches

These sketches were done one year ago when I went with one of our daughters to visit universities. These visits involve a good deal of waiting time (for parents at least) or, for me, sketching time.

Lincoln University Cafeteria

Waiting for the end of the interview

Checking her online life

 At Koishii in Plymouth

After visiting Plymouth university, we had a nice dinner at a Japanese restaurant named Koishii (which means in Japanese "yearned for; longed for; missed​"). The rain was pouring down, so we were not in a hurry to get back outside.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Nuestro Señor el Desollado (Our Lord, The One Who is Flayed)

Nuestro Señor el Desollado (Our Lord, The One Who is Flayed) acrylic on canvas (2004) by Paul Pletka (Collection of  The Phoenix Art Museum) 

Paul Pletka is an American artist born in 1946.

The painting Nuestro Señor el Desollado represents the celebrations of Lent. During that time, rural communities in Mexico reenact the Passion of the Christ. The painting also features references to ancient deities.

Nuestro Señor el Desollado (details)

The Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 – USA