Thursday, 28 July 2011

Series of paintings for a beautiful house in Holt...

I just finished a series of paintings for a commission for a lovely house in Holt near Bath. 
There were several views the owners and myself had in mind so I ended up doing four separate paintings...  Here is the first one I did:

The entrance to the house - Summer evening   10"x8"  oil on board

I did this one on an evening after work. The light hit beautifully the front of the facade so I tried to catch it before I disappeared. The house is made of that beautiful golden stone which makes Bath and most surrounding villages so attractive.

I did a quick 5 minutes sketch before starting
to make sure I had  the composition right

The painting towards the end of the session 

I set up where the view was the best - which was almost on the road... Fortunately Holt is a very small and peaceful village so apart from children playing football and neighbours having a sneaky look, it was rather quiet.

That's me on the pavement (I should have put my hat on the floor to collect coins)

So focused I didn't realise I was being papped...

The second painting was the house from the garden. I figured out the best time for light was around 3pm so I came back on a sunday afternoon to tackle this one.

The house from the garden in the afternoon    14"x10"   oil on board

I liked the way the house was illuminated from behind the trees

Here again, a quick preliminary sketch to decide on the composition.

I set up in the shade to avoid unwanted shining effect on my canvas

Back in the studio, after having finished the two views of the house, I decided to paint the conservatory from a photograph I took during my visit there. I loved the vertical and horizontal lines and the sunny garden framed by the window which reminded me of a "Ken Howard" type of subject. 

The conservatory - Evening light     12"x10"   oil on board

The drawing was particularly tricky on this one
because of all the different points of perspective

One of the photograph I used a reference

Finally, I did a quick study from a photograph of the lovely garden. As you might have noticed by now I just love greens and I couldn't help having fun with the different shades and the highlights of the flowers.

Evening sunshine in the garden    6"x8"  oil on board 

The reference photograph

I got the chance to present my work a week ago or so and was so happy (and relieved!) that the couple loved them all and decided to adopt 3 of them! 

The framed paintings before I had to say goodbye to them ...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Alongside the Avon, Bath on a summer evening

As I didn't have any plans yesterday (I know, I bit sad on a Friday), I decided to head down to the river Avon, just 2 minutes walk from my flat and try to catch the sunset for a quick study. After hesitating about which spot to pick I finally settled on the side of the path just after the bridge.

Alongside the Avon, Bath on a summer evening    6"x8"   oil on canvas

I worked quickly and used thick brushstrokes to keep it spontaneous. Below is my setting on the path. I took this photograph at the end of the session and could feel the first drops of rain. I rushed home trying to protect the canvas from the rain - to be honest I was more annoyed with the thought of my fresh laundry still hanging in the garden;)

I realise as the time goes by I tend to work on smaller and smaller canvases. Only a year ago I would work mainly on 14"x18" and now I'm on 6"x8"! At this rate I will be soon working on post stamps! I will be working again at some point on big scale studio work but for the moment I'm just enjoying those small studies.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Goult in the midday sunshine

Following my previous post, here is an other painting I just made a couple of days ago since the return from my holiday in France. This was done from a photograph taken on the first day in a beautiful little village called Goult.

Goult in the midday sunshine   10"x7" oil on board

What caught my eye was the sunny landscape framed by the arch and the patches of sky showing through the top window. For the little story, it wasn't the first time I came to this village. I was actually there when I was 14 years old for a family holiday and had my first holiday romance with a local guy called Pierre... You bet I was looking around last week expecting to bump into him! (but I didn't...)

One of the reference photographs

Below is my painting in progress in what is my usual set up for studio work - I never get around to print my photographs so I tend to paint with my picture on the computer as a reference. Not ideal but good enough for small studies.

Do you think I'm a little bit running out of wallspace maybe??

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cedars at the Haute Eglise, Bonnieux

I just came back yesterday from a week's holiday in beautiful Lubéron in France. It wasn't a painting holiday but I managed to take a few photographs and couldn't resist doing a small painting today trying to recapture one of these inspiring landscapes as it's still fresh in my memory...

Cedars at the Haute Eglise, Bonnieux, France     10"x8"   oil on board

This is a view from a beautiful village called Bonnieux. We walked right up to the top of a rocky promontory where stands a very old church surrounded by cedars, offering far reaching views across the Lubéron. I tried to keep it spontaneous, as if I painted it on the spot.

Above is one of the picture I used as a reference. What caught my eye was the luminous greens and blues contrasting with the dark trees. On the right you can see my friends resting in the shade after climbing the steps in the heat. It was pretty hot indeed...

I have a few other photographs I can't wait to paint from so we'll see how it goes...