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October 2015

September 2015

Chipping Sodbury High Street and view up to the Horseshoe Pub


Chipping Sodbury, England, 15" x 11".

A view up the High Street of my local town towards the Horseshoe Inn (dark building in the middle).  A tricky one with the sideways aspect of the cars - you have to get the proportions right and the wheelbase length looking real.  There always seems to be some kind of bunting wrapped around the town.  I just left a very small amount of detail on the buildings - just a few lines of gutters and windows.


My painting style now, and then (5 years ago), Corralejo revisited


Corralejo, Fuerteventura, 15" x 11"

A few months ago, I was asked by a visitor to my blog how my style has changed over the years.  Finding it a bit difficult to answer, I decided to paint a subject from 5 years ago to make a comparison.  The scene was a street in the town of Correlejo on the island of Fuerteventura.  Above is the new interpretation and below is the previous one painted in 2010.  I will let visitors make up their own minds.  Compared to 5 years ago I....

  1. Use better paper (Saunders Waterford Rough)
  2. Use larger sized paper, maybe twice the size I used to
  3. Use bigger brushes - nice mops
  4. Use better paint - Winsor & Newton mostly
  5. Paint perhaps in a looser style

image from


Place Lenine Saint-Junien, France


Saint-Junien, France, 15" x 11".

A central square (well more of a triangle) in a central town in France.  I put a fair bit of thought to how I could render the house walls to make them look more authentic.  In reality they are a bit shabby chic - here in deep shade, I added in different colours as I went downwards.  While the paint was still moist I still added in a bit more pigment of thicker consistency.  Then as the base of the buildings was still wet, I painted in the rest of the cars and their shadows.


Saturday Market day in Cirencester


Cirencester, England, 22" x 15".

Central Cirencester and the open air market in the middle of the wide street here.  When painting parasols or umbrellas, I think it is a good idea to not make them too neat and tidy.  So rough edges and stripes loosely painted in and perhaps some darker marks to denote shadows and folds.  Then below their cover in dark shade is just a random mess of shapes and lighter areas.  You are just giving the impression of the market stalls and shadows.  Impossible to do too much detail!


Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade Tavira 2


Tavira, Portugal, 15" x 11"

A central small church in the centre of Tavira on the Algarve.  I have painted this chapel a number of times, but this is from a different angle.  I changed the angle of the cars parked so the weren't sideways on (always a bit tricky to get right and look good).  Then to balance out the cars I have a couple of figures on the left.  I made the base of the buildings quite dark to emphasize the light, made stronger with the contrast up against the cars and parasol.


Puerto del Carmen, Old Town 10


Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, 15" x 11".

Probably one of the last Lanzarote paintings for a bit (I have run out of reference photos from my trips).  Well a typical stormy sky but it rarely rains here half of the year.  Sky had a clear wash first, then allowed to dry for 3 or 4 minutes, when I dropped in the dark warm tones of the clouds.  I find when painting pedestrian crossings that it is best painted quickly with strokes coming forwards, generally pressing down more towards the end of the stroke so you get the thicker width and perspective.


Preliminary sketch for a painting of Chipping Sodbury High Street - Painting by numbers!

Sometimes I will do a preliminary sketch to work out my sequence of steps or areas which will be done together.  Here is one I did recently of my local town Chipping Sodbury, drawn on a scrap piece of paper...


Then when I have worked out also the darker areas and the lighter areas, I will start the painting...


Chipping Sodbury, England, 15" x 11"

It nearly always starts with the sky and ends with smaller details and figures.


Street Kiosks on the Moll de Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona, Spain, 15" x 11".

The wide promenade along the waterfront in Barcelona and a couple of street kiosks.  I kept the wash on the pavement area cool at the back and warmer towards the foreground (with a little light red and alizarin crimson).  The figures in the distance on the right hand side were almost just a few random marks to suggest people.  Dry brush strokes (using a small synthetic brush and almost pure pigment with little moisture) were used for figure legs, road marks and a posts.


Corso della Republica, Fabriano, Italy


Fabriano, Italy, 22" x 15".

The main shopping street through the medieval town of Fabriano.  Just an ordinary composition of a shopping street and not the wonderful architecture just up the road.  The whole painting was done with two brushes - a large (I think a 16 or 18 in size) and a medium sized mop brush.  I do tend to keep changing my mind over brush strategy - having a mixture of synthetics and squirrel mops, it sometimes gets confusing over which to choose.  Going with squirrel I find tends to produce a looser style painting.



Central Market Square, Chania, Crete


Chania, Crete, 15" x 11".

Central Market Square in Chania, Western Crete.  The main market hall is way over on the right.  When it comes to painting palm trees, I try to resist the temptation of making them too symmetrical.  In my preliminary pencil drawing I will just outline the boundary of the canopy of the tree with a faint circle.  Then the fronds are normally broad strokes from the inside outwards.