August 16, 2014

Maisie Pillimer book cover

Last week I finished a first book cover commission. The publication is due to be out before the end of September I believe but I am waiting to hear more at this stage. I was tasked to do a characterization of Ms Maisie Pillemer of whom the book is about. I read it in preparation as I was quite interested to get a feel for the cover and a better sense of what I should do. It was an enjoyable read about her life and experiences in her spiritual calling and work in South Africa. Andrew Barron who heads up the organization which Maisie had been involved in got hold of me and we skyped to discuss the project before it got going. 

Below are some process shots I took as I worked on a final oil painting portrait working from photo reference. Look forward to seeing this in print! 

And the finished art work below:

The final cover design with text and back I will upload onto my website soon. 

Spooky House on the Hill

A recent go of mine at a rather large and elaborate house in my immediate surrounds. The problems I faced here were many working on location, the structure alone a challenge. Perspective is important with this kind of motif, and therefore again the frame and overall composition. The mass of dark, a large front door on the edge at the bottom is out of place and perhaps not a happy accident, only because I didn't infact manage to fit the whole of the tall building into my picture!!

August 10, 2014

Fair Lane air

 (or lessons in unforgiving and perfectionism)

5" x 4" 

For this little pure watercolour plein air painting I drew a frame on a larger piece of stretched paper (forget which kind ) somewhat central hoping to achieve some of the vital edges this medium can give but this was not to be as inevitably when working I tend to drip little pigments all over, trying as I may have to wash a few out. A mind for the border seems to be a prerequisite with watercolour. At least there is the comfort always of knowing a frame may help, and I stress help for in my quest for perfection as is more often than not the case, I learn the lesson of intention with the wonderful and unforgiving nature of this transparent process. Real intentional mark making where the result is my own and hopefully one that another may appreciate also but not always be subject to all the little secrets of its origin. 

Here we have the road leading to my house (as all of them do, this one two off). The sun went down immediately in front of me and in fact was making the subject unseeable without using my one hand to shade my view at the time penciling in the composition. The effects needless to say changed somewhat dramatically over the period of the hour or so it took, by the end nearly in darkness. I like to think I caught some of that ambiance and just enjoyed the arrangement to begin with. So, now for a suitable tittle (and to accompany this post as well).