Blogging a painting: IV


Highlights and shadows.  Do I start with a dark hand and paint in the highlights, or start with a light hand and add shadows?  I seem to remember reading that Greek icon painters did it one way, and Russian icon painters the other (can’t remember which way round this went.)

I usually start in the middle, by painting the whole hand with that mid tone on the wrist, then I’ll add dark and light, in that order.  However, with such a limited pigment range, I think the hand looks a bit 15th century.  So I’ll probably add touches of other colours – blue/grey and beige/green – later.  Always steal from the masters.

Blogging a painting: II


Heads, hands and phones. Pencil outlines for the foreground objects.

My first reaction is surprise how BIG and GRAPHIC everything looks (this is a 3 foot canvas.) You plan a painting in your head, and you might mock up a version on your mobile or laptop, but it’s still something of a surprise seeing it large. I like how the various planes are crushed together, but hope the big head on the left doesn’t unbalance the composition.

Blogging a painting: I

I’m starting a new painting and have decided to blog the painting process.  For two reasons:  First, I have three unfinished canvasses in my small flat, and don’t want a fourth, so blogging a picture should ensure I finish it. Second, I’d appreciate any feedback along the way.

The picture will be based on a press photo I found online (to be revealed in due course), and I’ll start by transferring what I want from the photo to the canvas using the age-old ‘grid’ method.

I’m using the grid drawing tool at to add a 36 x 24 grid to the digital photo (my canvas is 36″ x 24″), and I’m now, with pencil and ruler, covering the canvas with one inch squares.

Is grid drawing cheating?  Well, if it was good enough for Dürer.