Friday, 6 December 2013

Casting a Shadow : Cockerel

New Cockerel coming to life in an exciting first wash

On my recent tour of USA and Mexico I gave many demonstrations on how to paint a wide variety  of subjects. But my beloved cockerels , or roosters as I now call them thanks to my American friends, always make an appearance.

I think on this tour, the excitement in the workshop rooms that grew from  gorgeous colour discussions and my now very popular colour exercises was so much fun. Seeing a room full of artists absorbed in a challenge is really a fantastic experience. As ever, is it always artists attending a workshop that leave feeling inspired? Whilst I am teaching there always comes a point where I feel really envious of everyone painting rather than teaching.  Because everyone looks as though they are having such a great time. Please don't get me wrong as I adore teaching my workshops and everyone who attends knows that I do.  I love that heady high when the atmosphere has taken the whole room to that point of  connection between artist and paper, when you can hear a pin drop due to the silence and yet know by facial expressions that everyone is having a great time.

Well I am now home in my studio and it is my turn to paint. And oh boy, I am having a great time. So my first news is I have even more exciting new shades to  share and even more exciting techniques.The more we grow as artists the further we seem to need to travel. My experiments today have been brilliant. I have had a ball. 

Artists Tip.
Shadow Wash : The above cockerel has been painted on a salt wash, with the head in full sunlight in this image. The shadow created by placing the paper on my easel at mid day was deliberate. By playing with sun shadows I can see where I might add my darks or varying background wash. This is a great technique so please experiment with it. It saves wasting time  thinking about where your darks should be and also stops you from ruining a painting by being over zealous with colour.

The simplest tricks and tips are the best! Oh and you should see all the wonderful tips flowing into my new book! I wish I could share them now but they will be worth waiting for.

Happy painting!


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