New Year’s eve

6°C, westerly, some sunny bits, some wet.

47½ miles- At last! I’ve needed a ride all week- now I’m sated.
I don’t really need a new year’s resolution this time, usually I do. Previously it has been the same one- sleep more. Now I’m getting 6½ to 7 hours a night! Yeay! I feel much better for it too.
Today is a second longer. This year has a "Leap second" to adjust time to suit variations in the Earth’s rotation. Look out for an extra "pip" as the radio/TV broadcasts get to 23.60 hrs.

Where’s it gone?

2°C, all snow gone

We’re expecting to see a decent covering of snow this morning, but no- all I see outside is cold clammy rain. The sort of rain that penetrates your clothes, runs down your neck and makes feeling grumpy seem worthwhile.
Two days have gone by, each full of Ikea flat-pack assembly and house painting. fun.

Low viscosity Oil:
Blimey– that’s left me feeling quite erm… high? Linseed oil onto prepared paper- just less than A3.
There is a previous shot of this picture- from a few days ago. I feel like there’sa lot done in this session. The paint was dragging a bit so I changed the oil, the fresh stuff is far thinner. There’s an idea for a new year’s resolution- change the oil more often. This picture is swimming in oil now- I took the photo’ gingerly – it could have run down the page being stood up angled towards the camera. Notes: set this up deliberately some time next year ( that is- let the paint dribble across after painting) to see what heppens.
There’s a  cold hands theme in there- that does need the transition from b.umber shadow into cold blue to be sorted out. Also I’m playing with not oft used colours – cadmium red and coerleum blue in addition to my usual pallette.
Kristin Hersch is good to paint to, "Hips & Makers" today, an earlier one, with purer voice, probably pre-rehab’ still deeply tragic feel.

Paint & decorate

4°C dropping to -4 or worse!

It’s taken until now finding time to get on with that painting. Domestic stuff has filled my day, painting, assembling white goods, assembling flat-packs from Ikea. I should get paid for this; it’s my holiday you know!
Now I’m off to do something useful….

Finished one! Twohats is done, below is a closeup but if you want an overall view, it’s in the Finished Paintings section. It’s the first one I have done on those canvas boards- you know the canvas stretched onto hard cardboard.
Seems like good stuff – especially after adding a layer of gesso – I judged the surface to be a bit coarse.
That leads me onto the next problem- when it comes to mounting the picture- erm… how? Presumably I have to get some routed wood and mitre it to fit. Sounds ok, but lacks control on exact framing, the mitre limits the edge overhang to the same amount on all sides.
Still- it looks ok though. Aaand… I returned to the folded arms picture. Maybe this can be used to the pink/green idea discussed recently.

2nd Snow

0°C, Snow &  

Light snow, keeps melting and refreezing as black-ice.
Painting: decorating most of the day.
Oil Painting: more skin layers, coats and shadows. The photo is better exposed this time, I used auto-bracketing- which takes 3 exposures 2/3 EV either way. The darker one did it ( after an adjustment of levels in photoshop) 

leaden roads

4 dropping to 0°C

Snow is on its way. Another Christmas done, and getting back to normal now.
Rode out to Measham and Twycross Zoo today, often the Elephants are visible from the side road, but not today. There were visitors though; I’m told that the only day that place is shut is christmas day itself.
Too much rich food, too much central heating. No painting done since the 23rd.
45½ miles today, again the roads looked like lead (the metal), occasionally smeared in redish silty mud. Fields green.
Graphics tablet: I’m tempted to put Corel Painter back on the try this out. There are a few things I need to check out with colour anyway. Green & pink!

Forum discovered

12° dropping to 4°C, bits of sun

Found some new forums on the subject of art – especially with relevenace here to Oil painting.
A little tricky to navigate- especially along thread replies. There is some well written stuff in there.
Another one I an checking out, no clear conclusions yet, but it looks promising:

Another unrelated link that strikes me as bizarre is the idea of Blog shares, apparently they are fictional shares marketing based on links pointing to the blog. In other words, links on others’ blogs that pint to yours. Somehow the number of links is related to the blog’s value.
Here’s mine:
blogshare. I can’t quite get my head around the idea there, but then I can’t with stocks & shares either.


12°C: blimey! &

Painting: this picture is a bit washed out- I should have set the camera to bracket exposure & you can see the problem. The skin tones in the white areas are much better than here. Maybe better next time. Progress is quite quck at the moment.
Thinking ahead- clothes wil be blue, with highlights consistent with the top-right light.
er… christmas soon.


10°C, clouds up quite high.

It’s mid-winter, yesterday may have been the shortest day, but either the afternoons get shorter or the mornings still lighten later, I can’t remember which way round it is.
OK just found it: daylight hours. Currently, sunset and sunrise are both getting later. the worst dark mornings are around the 2nd January. 12 December has the worst sunset time. The two cycles are out of phase by about 3 days.
Talking of cycles: 33.4 miles on muddly lanes = nice warm feeling with the urge to sleep deeply.

Painting: Twohat has a new hat. It’s getting a bit ripped in places. The faces are still terrible, I feel like going back to the previous method ( orange+white+B. sienna), it seemed easier to introduce deeper colours in shadows. On shadows- it still lacks the "self-shadowing" effect that marks out the more realistic pictures; yep- that’s the key for this one!
Oh well, too tired to decide now.


10°C. dry

Tecchies installed the new version of Macromedia Flash (v.8) on a few machines on the school network today. It’s part of the whole Macromedia Studio. Having a short period to play with it, I’d say it’s vastly easier to use than the one I have played with before. I feel encouraged to actually learn this app. properly now.
I have something to show now. A slideshow that displays pictures from one of my sketchbooks. These files can be locked so that the contents can’t be extracted. I can also easily change the pictures, so perhaps it’s a good idea for my web-site’s splash page.
Sample slideshow:->See here

Oh yeah- and it’s term’s end now. I’m going to drink some tea.

Not that blue!

8°C, clouds.

Last lesson today.
Mild cycling conditions.
Painting considered: The hat(s) is the wrong colour, it needs red methinks. Perhaps Cadmium red & a scarlet. Neat out of the tube paint never looks right, but rose madder + orange makes a very finered indeed.
A unbeneficial effect of using rose+sienna is now clear. The colours are tending towards that bland shop-window mannequin effect. It seems to be to do with the way white & earth colours work together. Unless I goofed & used the titanium white instead of the zinc.
Change it then.