Tuesday 14 May 2019

Painting in Seville - Part1

Here are my paintings from my February trip in Seville. I'll do it in two posts. It was a wonderful, intense painting trip! We painted non stop and only stopped to sleep - just about! I was with a group of talented painters - David and Herme Bachmann, The Northern Boys (Ian Layton, Chris Slater, Rob Pointon), Tim King, Eric Davis, Karen Adams and Tim and some local painters - Brad, Richard Maud, Joe, Robbie........I think 14 of us altogether.

Most of the paintings were done in the wonderful Alcazar Gardens or in the streets nearby.

First one below was done as soon as I got off the plane. The short night I just had must have helped keeping the style loose and rushed! I just loved the light reflecting on the pool!

Real Alcazar Gardens, Seville  10"x12"  oil on board

The first stage - messy!

Still messy!

Tired but happy!

The final result

Afterwards I did an other one in the gardens. A place where Sorolla painted before. Very inspiring!
If you compare the finished painting with the one on my easel you'll notice I ended up cropping the painting at home and tweaking the tree as I thought it achieved a better composition...

Courtyard in the Real Alcazar gardens in Seville   7”x8.2”   oil on  board
Available here

Quick drawing

Then the shadows and darks

Who's that lazy painter sitting down?

End of session

On that night I ignored my tired state and decided with Rob, Chris, Ian and Karen to try a nocturne of a lively café. Those lights were surreal and great fun to paint! The result is a bit mad, even to my standard, but it reflects how much fun it was to paint!

Patancho bistro at night, Seville  12"x10"  oil on board
Available here

The setting

Next morning, back to the Alcazar Gardens (we might as well have camped in a tent in the gardens since we spent all our time there!). I spotted that view framed in a window hole from the top of the archways and it looked too good to be missed. I had to be quick as visitors where starting to pour in and the view would soon be obstructed by the people walking in front of my easel.

Overlooking the Real Alcazar Gardens, Seville   12"x10"  oil on board
Available here

What a view

Towards the end

I was behind that wall on the right

I then saw a few of my painters friends painting this fish pond / fountain and decided to shamelessly steal their idea. Water ripples, fish, water from fountain.. that's a lot of moving things to capture with paints!

Fountain at Real Alcazar Gardens, Seville  10"x8"  oil on board SOLD

Towards the end

After a short lunch break, I was off to do the third painting of the day and decided to tackle this busy street in the centre. I was then with lovely Karen Adams, the only feminine company in this otherwise very male painting trip!

Calle Mateos Gago, Seville  9"x12"  oil on board
Available here

Chris Slater captured Karen and I while we were painting - very funny and accurate! Again, who's the lazy painter sitting down here! And can we just all take a moment to admire Karen's typical Seville apron bought from a gift shop nearby...

Painting by Chris Slater

The final result

What about pushing it to a forth painting that day?? I just couldn't resist the beauty of Seville on this warm late afternoon and started this painting of the light hitting the Palacio de San Telmo. That magical moment of light didn't last long so I had to come back an other day at the same time to finish the painting properly.

Palacio de San Telmo, Seville  16"x9"  oil on board
Available here

The painting after the first session

Next day, back in the Alcazar Gardens. (Told you we practically lived there!)
I went for this challenging zigzag composition. This was hard work and took me longer than usual but I think I got there at the end!

Morning light, Real Alcazar Gardens, Seville  12"x10"  oil on board
Will be on show at the The Russell Gallery Summer show

Afterwards, I headed back to the centre to capture this busy streets filled with people and tapas restaurants. (mmmmh... tapas!)

Tapas restaurants at lunchtime, approaching the cathedral, Seville  10"x10"  
oil on boardAvailable here

Rough drawing. I challenge anybody to be able to guess what it is!

Block in the main shapes

Focused, ignoring the curious people stopping by to have a peek
(apart form the guy I asked to take this picture of course)

More details

Towards the end

As I just finished the painting, someone came to speak to me and said: 'I walked past your painting about an hour ago and was worried for you because it looked like a mess, but now I'm reassured to see it finished and it looks good!'
Those comments make me laugh! And he's right, my paintings look like a mess, often up to the last 10 minutes! 

I'll soon post part 2 of the trip.

For all my available work, including all the paintings from the trip, have a look here:


Thursday 21 March 2019

Autumn and winter paintings of Bath during my tutorials

Here are a few paintings of Bath I produced in the last few months that were all done during tutorials I gave to private students willing to practice painting in plein air. Here is how it works: the student and I paint the same view alongside each others so I can easily demonstrate at the same time as helping the artist each step of the way. The weather wasn't always great but that never stops us! 

First one below was done in my usual local allotments on a grey cold chilly day. After a quick flower demo in the warm studio, Martin and I headed to the allotments but just after the set up it started to rain. So we ended up painting with one hand and holding the umbrella with the other. I spent as much time teaching to paint than I did making fun of Martin who looked completely underdressed for the weather as he only had a light (white!) shirt and body warmer. Or maybe it was him mocking me for having 30 layers on!

Cold foggy day in the allotments, Bath    12"x12" oil on board
Available here

The grey weather weather was a great opportunity to explore subtle tone changes and nuances of greys in the landscape. I find it harder than painting in plain sunshine with strong shadows, but it is a great exercise with interesting results!


The set up

The second painting below was done at one of my favourite places in Bath, Sydney Gardens with lovely Zoe. Sunny day this time, but cold, specially as we were painting in the shade. The aim was to work fast and simplify and get the essence of light.

Cold and sunny, Sydney Gardens, Bath    10"x8"  oil on board
Available here


My painting usually looks like a mess for the first half so I have to tell my students to have faith and trust the process :-)

After 30 min

Towards the end

The painting below was done a rainy day, just minutes walk from my house with two lovely artist ladies. To shelter from the rain, I found near the local football ground a transparent pod shelter made for sports spectators which could perfectly be used as a painting pod with great views over Bath! 
We had a lovely time!


Our convenient little pod

After 20 minutes

Towards the end

The one below was done on Pulteney Bridge with lovely Zoe. It started as a very grey day but the light started piercing through which added some interest to an otherwise very grey painting.

Cold and busy day on Pulteney Bridge, Bath  12"x10"  oil on board
Available here

Block in stage

A bit more definition...

Towards the end...

And below, again the beautiful Pulteney Bridge, this time painted with Liz (who came all the way from Spain!). Again the weather started grey with chances of rain so we took shelter under a bridge just in case the rain would happen.

Light piercing through the mist, Pulteney Bridge, Bath   10"x12"  oil on board
Available here

The view at the start of the session

The session towards the end

Later on that day, Liz and I braved the Bath Christmas Market to try capture the festive spirit of the place. It was really really busy but we found a spot away from the crowd against a shop window. The challenge was to treat the mass of people as one big mass rather than paint separately every single person.

The Bath Christmas Market  10"x8"   oil on board   SOLD


If you're interested in a tutorial indoors or outdoors or would like me to do a group demo or workshop near you, just contact me here:

For all my available work, have a look here: