Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I am just back from Barcelona, Spain. I will upload some photos later in the week, after I have downloaded them from my camera. We visited Park Guell to see work by Guadi, and also saw a few of his other buildings, including the Cathederal. There are some steep hills in Barcelona, my calves are suffering after the climbs. We stayed near Salou on the Costa Dourada, and commuted to Barcelona on the train. An interesting journey in itself.
Now I want to get back to painting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More work on my Rainbow Trout

I have done more work on my Fish painting.

I started off by finishing the trout's body. When that was done I added highlights and finished off the fish's eye. Finally I scumbled in the background glaze over the dark olive under painting.

I have photographed the trout's head section in close-up also to give a better view of the detail. I am also posting a selection of the work-in-progress pics below.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Painting a Rainbow trout.

This morning I decided to paint one of the trout I caught while out fishing yesterday. It was taken on a fly, fished from a drifting boat, lough style.

It is a nice silvery fish of about 1.25 kg, a Rainbow trout, grown on from fry stocked into the lough. I kept this one because it was so sleek and beautiful. It was also late in the day, so I wasn't worried about it laying in the sun for hours.

I started off by painting a quick oil paint study, rendered in about 3 hours. Painted alla prima I was more concerned with the light and colours on the fish than with the outline. Consequently the fish is a little too narrow and long in proportion. I also am not really happy with the tail shape after a long look.

The study is painted on a 35 by 25 cm canvas.

For the second work I have used a canvas 80 cm by 60 cm. I started this canvas by being much more particular in my drawing. Although this was done in paint with a brush, the sketching in was done by measuring proportions to ensure they were correct. I then adjusted the drawing slightly, to emphasise the perspective by moving the dorsal (top) fin back a fraction.

You will notice that I have taken a different angle with the second painting. I moved the fish nearer eye level to allow more of the underside of the fish to be visible.

Today, I have blocked in the background and shadow, and painted in the tail. This was important as the tail fin has started to dry out, even with regular damping. This effects the light and reflections, I also have taken some close up photographs for reference if needed. I continued working on the head, catching the colours and light playing around the gill covers, and finally I have blocked in the body tone to allow me to reposition the subject correctly for the next day so that the same area is subject to the silvery highlights.

I am not going to be able to continue tomorrow due to other commitments, but I hope to get back to the painting on Sunday. My fish will keep in the Refridgerator, covered so it doesn't dry out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The River Dodder

I painted a study of the river Dodder at firhouse, close to home.

There are areas of the canvas unworked, but I like the effect, and I have decided to leave them as is.

It is a beautiful area of the river, the weir itself used to have a carrier from it years ago, but it hasn't been used for as long as I've known it.

I took the photo of the weir with my phone while I was there.

The river itself is a free-stone trout stream, which runs from the Dublin Mountains above Bohernabreena reservoirs, down through the reservoirs, through Tallaght, Firhouse, Rathfarnham, and further through the suburbs at Miltown, Clonskea, and Ballsbridge until finally it runs by Landsdown road and into the sea at the mouth of the liffey by Ringsend. There are wild brown trout throughout the river, a fact the local Angling club is justly proud of, as they have protected the ecosystem for the last 50 years. The angling club have fought against pollution, culverting, piping underground of small spawning streams, and generally have protected and cleaned the river while in most other major cities the river systems and fishing has been destroyed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works in progress, and a little about the process...

Here are a few images of some paintings I have been working on. They are paintings of sea-bream and a filleted sea-bass.

Red Bream


Fish stock

Bream head.

All are oil on canvas.

I have also been working on some of the Malta paintings, and they are still progressing.

Here is the one of the redtower, shown earlier that I have reworked.

I have also painted another more abstract work from the original view.

I have just reworked the sky on this painting
and re-explored the same view in a more simplified way.
I reworked the Tower painting, moving back away from my emphasis of colour. I also added some of the dry scrub back into the foreground which has solidified the painting as a whole. At the same time I have created more of a Haze to the work giving the impression of the heat instead of the hotter colouring.
As you will notice the paintings are still evolving, the evolution of the fish paintings are now having an effect on the landscapes, in particular the 3rd painting of the Red Tower which has abstracted out of the original. This was led by the interest of the fish paintings moving from a study of the fish
itself, morphing into the fish-head painting. In the way the fish head work is relying on a ghost image of the skeleton to create interest, rather than the more defined skeleton of the sea-bass painting, the 3rd work of the Red Tower has relied less on definition and more on imagination to pick out the field boundaries and terrace work.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Evolving process..

I have been busy in the studio again, working away... quite productively, the work is evolving nicely. A lot of what I have done will not see the light of day, but it is leading towards something I'm getting interested in.
It may take a few weeks to get there, but if it does-so be it. It is always nice to meander off on a theme, and just follow to where it leads. It may be successful, or it may not.....either way the journey is enjoyable and I thrive on the process anyway. Painting ceases to be hard work and turns into an adventure. When the process evolves like this it is exciting, not so much that you can't see where it is leading, but you get the urge to keep going even beyond tiredness. The hardest part is stopping work, and even when I'm tired I can't wait to go back into the studio.....the tricky part is striking the balance between work and overworking. Getting over tired just means that you lose the impetus and the work gets stale.
This is why I am resting today, and probably tommorrow...