1980’s self portrait

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Oil on canvas

Forty years ago I was at college learning how to paint. I had lots of fun and did some painting too! I used to paint in oils until I discovered how fast and clean acrylics were a decade or so later. I’m a fast painter but acrylics go off very fast so my style changed somewhat. Instead of mixing colours wet in wet on the canvas I ended up trying to get my colours right on the palette. I think I probably ended up with a more splodgy style until I learnt to blend layers on the canvas.

Clouds are a pain!

More work in progress photos. I’m struggling to get the clouds right. I need to try and get the detail and shading correct. Also when it’s finished the paintwork on the frames will be all crackled and flakey.

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Looking closer, the greys are dark but not too dark, I may also bring a tiny bit of brown in and thin it down for the wood in the windows. Mostly it’s blending and shading to get a realistic effect.

Pastel workshop


I was going to have a quiet day today. But I got up and there was a bit of a disaster in our kitchen. My hubby had decided to brew some beer. But he had added some extra sugar to the brew. Then he has put the bung in upside down. Beer had turned into volcano. Half the brew was all over the kitchen. It had hit the ceiling, there were puddles of ale on the cupboard tops, it was all over the cooker. Basically half the kitchen has been inundated with beer….

After about an hour of cleaning up I decided to go to the pastel workshop with the Orme art group. Basically to escape! The workshop was run by Sandra Orme (no relation).

It’s difficult to describe what we learnt, it was complicated. I’ve added a few photos of the two pictures I did. First you lay down colours in soft pastel on fine toothed pastel paper. Once you have enough pastel on you blend them together, then build up layers using smaller more intricate marks, gradually blending and adding. Sometimes only lightly pressing on the pastel, other times blending more. The direction of the marks can make a difference to how it looks. You can use the edge of your hands, your palms, your fingers or blending tools (like a brush but with the bristles replaced with a rubber tip).

Im pleased with the results. I’m even thinking of getting them framed….

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Still painting

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Spent a productive 3 hours today on this…. Very complicated. The 1st canvas needs to be completed by Friday. I’m getting a bit tired so I think I will leave it till tomorrow…..

Trying to get the details is the problem. The image I’m working from is a bit pixelated. I’m bothered about getting the smoothness and roundness of Jupiter and also the blending between the different areas…. Oh well I’ll keep working

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