Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spear of Destiny Glazed

My schedule for the next 4 weeks is on track. Spear of Destiny is glazed with it's primary (first) glazing layer. It's not a big picture but has taken 7 painting days so far, mainly due to the large amount of detail. The transhumanic picture is signed too, so that's one for the website when it is dry enough to scan. This is rather a simple picture, and like Waiting For B.T. was painted from one instant-flash type idea, so could be called truly surreal (although I was musing on a specific theme... I'm not sure if that counts. Breton can you help?)

Next up, an intermediate glazing layer of the RBSA portrait painting which should take Sun, Mon and Tues. Toc toc toc.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

M. C. Escher

I will start work on the underpainting of my latest painting tomorrow, a complex portrait that explores perspective which looks a little like an M. C. Escher image (as such, adding emotion to negate that awful "cleverness" that his pictures solely emit was important).

That, and seven other paintings are now in varying stages of completeness; three have been sketched and await underpainting, four await the first and most important glazing layer, and one, The Joyous Birth of the All-New Transhumanic Super Beings is in need of the merest and most zephyrous and translimnetic of top glazings.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Well it's been a generally depressing week. A foot injury and stress over the need for a quick but impressive R.B.S.A. portrait design has meant a delay in completing other paintings. I've not finished a picture since January despite working on pictures solidly since the start of the year. Today I've transferred the sketch to the new Judith-Holofernes painting (eight and a half hour's tedious work), and also done the same for the quickly envisaged RBSA picture. I plan to start the R.B.S.A. picture this Friday. Now I need £70 worth of painting supplies. No matter how much I buy I seem to be short of supplies. Am I alone in this?

To do: Underpaint the R.B.S.A. portrait (7-10 days), first glaze to Art of Painting (8 days), underpaint Judith (7-10 days), top glaze The Joyous Birth of the All-New Transhumanic Super Beings (1/2 day), glaze Rhino (2-3 days), glaze Christmas painting (1-2 days), plan The Death of Cleopatra by her Own Hand (6 days - at best - ideally spread over 4 months but I haven't the time because ideally I will enter this into the Threadneedle competition due in June), trace the Crucifiction underdrawing (1 boring day), and Escape (1 day).

There's lots more beyond that too. It proves that advance planning can be stress inducing. I'm left with no freedom, despite having as much as I take. At times like this I glance at Raphael, who died in his 30s after painting loads of huge pictures. I wonder if stress and anxiety like I feel caused his premature death; and conclude yes.

So, the choice for tomorrow is to trace something or paint the Christmas one.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Limping On

Well so far I've had a rather rubbish week; stressful because of a new painting for the R.B.S.A. Portrait Competition and I wanted to design something worthy of a contest with only 6 weeks until the deadline. The stress probably contributed to a foot injury that has left me limping and unable to walk any great distance. The steel panel I bought for the portrait is too slick for the primer, and I've spent too much on drawing paper that is too poor quality for my use.

On the plus side I've just read Cennini's fascinating and in parts amusing book. It's made me want to try some glair/oil emulsion recipes. My studies into spike and lavender oil have been revealing too.

Now though, after starting on Sunday with a mere idea sketch, the portrait underdrawing is complete. It's a complex picture, as complex as my Art Of Painting, or something like Leda Atomica by Dali. Four days for such as work is really a record. There are no colour plans or studies yet, which I must do. The underpainting to this great work must begin on Good Friday and may take ten days.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Work Being Completed

I seem to be working like mad but producing few visible results. However, I've got a few paintings in progress that should be finished this month. "The Joyous Birth of the All New Transhumanic Super Beings" is a rather abstracted picture about genetics. A Christmas card one is due, too, that's the second version of this one because the support was poor and paint application was too thick and I became worried about the long term health of the picture.

A second version of an old painting called "The Art of Painting" will probably be glazed this month too. The original was one of my first complicated compositions and was a little ambitious for the time (a mere 18 months ago). This version looks better in the underpainting already. A second version of a 2005 painting called Rhino is in progress in the underpainting stage too. That one is because I liked the first and now think I can paint it "better" (although the original is still rather nice).

Study for Arrow Stabbed Vine by Mark Sheeky - Graphite pencil, chalk and charcoal on paper

Finally I have a very surreal painting currently called Arrow Stabbed Vine. This is causing frustrations. After weeks, admittedly of mostly staring at it, I dislike parts. Parts of it niggle and annoy me. I have an insane tendency to want to restart a painting from scratch instead of "correct" it so I'll probably do that. Full pictures that become studies in this way generally lead to better paintings. I'm learning that imaginary objects demand studies and so I've done a few pencil studies for this one (pictured) which should help fix a few of the earlier insecurities.