Here’s the last of my six castle paintings – the half-finished Beaumaris Castle. That’s the castle, not the painting that’s half finished… And, of course, the last was the trickiest! There is something to be said for having a good artist’s sketchbook, having the time and patience to use it and then apply what has been learnt onto the canvas. I don’t ‘do art’ quite like that…
When I used to holiday near Porthmadog, I joined Cadw – the Welsh Heritage organisation. I then proceeded to overdose on visiting castles – I think the record was 9 in three days. I don’t really know where the fascination started, but it was certainly early in childhood. The bigger, the better in my book… But, as a subject for a painting, Dolwyddelan Castle is pretty much up there, despite being the smallest castle in the series.
I’ve been painting again today – after I’d potted on my leeks… This time, I’ve gone for Raglan Castle, in Monmouthshire. You might note, in comparison to my painting of Caernarfon Castle yesterday, that the light is coming from the opposite direction. There is method in this madness – the paintings are to hang opposite each other on either side of the room. Thus, the light, and the shadows, will look as if they are from the same direction.
Ok, ok, it was a happy accident that I noticed the above before I started hanging the paintings. Now I will go back to my reference materials and check that the remaining four of the series are split 50/50 in light direction. It was one of those ‘oh no’ moments that turned into ‘well, of course, I meant to do that’ when no one was looking…
I’m having fun in the Studio, actually playing with paints and canvases for a change. It’s also been a little while since I have had any commissions. This is the first in a series of six canvases, each requested to feature a Welsh castle. The main colour of the room is grey, and the accent colour is purple.
I’ve loved the ‘purple twilight’ type photo treatment, and there’s nothing more striking (I think) than a castle’s silhouette. It gives a much more solid appearance, and given most castle’s prominence on the horizon, a real immenseness.
I’ve just updated my workshops page with two new sessions:
Make Your Own Embellishments – Saturday 5th October (£25)
A day of demonstrations and practical hands-on experience making your own embellishments for card making or scrapbooking: includes tips and tricks for colouring, moulding, shrink plastic, customised ‘metal’ tags, paper and fabric flowers, colour coordination and embellishing die cut lettering. If you have a layout in mind, bring your photos and make your own bespoke embellishments to match.
Painting with Powertex – Saturday 2nd November (£50)
In this session we’ll be using Powertex (a specialist pigmented liquid fabric hardener) as a paint. You’ll explore building up layers and texture on canvas and on a frame, making a complementary air dry clay to create figures or shapes to embellish your piece, and learn techniques to colour your pieces further with powered pigments.
For more details, pictures and to book online, go to my workshops page. Full terms and conditions are also available using the link at the bottom of the same page.