Friday, 2 December 2016

A bit of summer in the studio

Here are an other two paintings done in the studio while the baby sleeps... If I'm looking for inspiration and need some good reference photographs, I know I'll always find something inspiring in my sister's Instagram account... She takes the most beautiful pictures of her life in South Africa with her family (have a look here if you're curious: She has three adorable daughters and they make the best models for those pictures. I found two photographs that were begging to be painted, and they brought a little taste of summer back in the studio.

The painting below is Aprilia walking on a sunny path:

Sunny Path  8"x8" oil on board



Here are the step by step pictures for those who like to know more about my technique. As you can see below I work directly from the computer because it is convenient but also because an RGB display screen is generally richer that any printed pictures...

Step 1: I picked a background colour that fits the subject (something warm in this case), then applied a grid like on the reference photograph, then did a basic drawing.

Step 2: Bock out the darkest green and some mid tones

Step 3: Some lighter tones in the greens and work on the path

Step 4: Painting the figure

Step 5: Adding all the highlights and refining some details

Step 6: Stop now! Don't spoilt it! :-)

This second painting depicts Colombine and Aprilia heading to the swimming pool:

The gate to the swimming pool  10"x10"  oil on board



Here is the step by step:

(Note: I'm missing the picture of the basic drawing on step1 because I had left my phone in the baby's room to play the white noise app to get him to sleep! :-))
In this case I used a vivid orange background to convey the feeling of heat across the whole painting.

Step 2: Bock out the darkest greens and some mid tones

Step 3: Work on the figures and the background 

Step 4: Adding some highlights

Step 5: Adding more contrast and defining the shapes of the trees and gates

Step 6: Adding the flowers and final details

These paintings are not for sale as I'm keeping them in the family, but I just wanted to mention I'm available for similar commissions if you have a good inspiring photograph waiting to be painted! All my available paintings are for sale on my website here.

Also, with Christmas approaching, let me remind you that my 2017 calendars (desk and wall formats) are available for sale on my website here, alongside other products such as postcards and giclée prints. Worldwide shipping available.


  1. Hi Valerie, these are beautiful! Very inspiring!

    1. Thank you very much Jo! Glad you like them! Hope you're well.