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Richard's Blog



  • It is interesting that the red lamp does not cast red light on the figures back. It makes the lamp look inserted.  Probably just an over site in composition.
  • Step 1 of 7 (Black) and because of the nature of this style probably using the most paint compared to the other steps! This was done with a size 3 filbert for the outlines and to follow the contours and then a very large filbert for the large areas, either following the contours as with the smaller brush or in sweeping strokes so the brush work direction becomes part of the painting. You can't see this in the photo without proper lighting and a camera unfortunately.

    I've added more things to my painting tool which I'm using for this one. I have a mode where I can see which are sharp edges in the step and need to be painting more precisely and which ones are part of a soft blended area and so don't need to be done in any great detail. I didn't have this for doing the wedding photo and it would have saved a lot of time - I only thought of it afterwards!

    Also a couple more viewing modes which are coming in useful for seeing where step areas are in relation to the photo.

  • Great project and for all the right reasons, Richard_P  I don't understand your reference to modes and tools. Are you talking about a technique or an object/device?                        
  • Hi Bob,

    It's a computer programme I've written that makes it easier for me to see the steps and colours values and where they should go.
  • Great start, @Richard. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out with the help of your new computer tools. From what I can see the composition looks really good but it's hard at this stage to make out exactly what's going on. Is he sitting at a bar?  Or at a piano maybe? 
  • Thanks Rob. He's sitting at a bar. I like to leave you in suspense as to what the source photo looks like. Much as you've hidden a secret in your rhubarb! ;)
  • I really like this style. I know you're doing this for a friend but is there a market for this for the ones that sell their work?
  • Thanks Bob :)

    Unfortunately my daughter had a bad vomiting bug at the moment and I have a bad cold too, so no time for painting. And as I didn't use Geneva I'm finding that the paint is drying already on the first step! Argghhh!

    Going have to repaint once better. Frustrated!
  • Get Well. Not using SDM in your oils?
  • No, Don't want to use solvents with our daughter around..

  • Repainted all the original now, and onto step 2.

    There are 4 hues in here, a blue, a greenish-brown, a dull orange-red and a more saturated red. There is also a very interesting mottled effect in the source photo in the textures and hues, so tried to create that in the painting too, prior to and during blending with the first step.

    Not the best photo.. but better than nothing.

  • I can see everything you said was there. It's looking really good so far.
  • Richard_P .... Looking really good so far and I trust your painting will turn out a masterpiece for you. Looking forward to following along with your progress.  By the way, how did you deal with the drying paint you mentioned earlier???
  • Thanks guys. :)

    @Uncle_Steve I had no choice but to paint over once it was dry as I couldn't blend with the black anymore. Luckily it didn't take me as long as I thought to paint over and I've using Geneva paints now so it shouldn't dry until I've finished.
  • Another step, again the same four hues, and more mottled textures and shading. I was mixing more on the painting than on the palette by the end! I'll try to get a better picture soon in the daylight.. :)

  • edited February 2017
    Starting to look really good, Richard. I can see this is going to be another fabulous painting.
  • Step 4, and managed to take a photo with more accurate hues and values..

  • This is the first time I have seen this Richard, I have mainly gone to the intro and post your paintings.i sure have been missing out, this is really amazing, I'm sure I would have pulled my hair out by the time I got as far as you have. Can't wait to see it completed.....really impressed.
  • Thank you @BradWood! I will post the final painting in the Post your Paintings section :)

    I've seen your work, I don't think you would have pulled your hair out yet.. ;)
  • Very impressive. Definitely shows a painterly style and loyalty to the hues.
  • Thanks Bob!

    Just two more steps to go.. pretty tired after today's session now.

  • It's really coming to life now , Richard. Skin tomes are looking great.
  • Thanks Rob! I forgot to say that there is an additional yellow-orange in this step (you can see it in the bar)
  • One more step to go and a few other bits to work on / do. I'll post the final painting with a better photo in the "Post your Paintings" forum.

  • This is great, @Richard!  I love the shaper focus on the guys face and hands contrasting with the softer effect in the background. Looking forward to seeing the finished painting.
  • Thanks @tassieguy!

    I've just finished this and added a red signature (as is Fabian Perez's style).. like a proper painter! :)

    I'm posting it in the 'Post your Paintings' section.

    In this painting I had to use 4/5 colour hues at once for each step as the colours blended into each too much to do one hue at a time. I found this really good practise actually and increased my confidence with painting areas with different hues that mix into each other.

    I think I'm getting a bit quicker and more patient after a few of these paintings. Also I feel like I'm improving :)
  • edited February 2017
    Congratulations on a tremendous outcome with the wedding pic.  I know they will be thrilled.  Improving by leaps I'd say.  Scaling buildings in a single bound.  Its amazing what the Carder Method and Geneva paints do for people.  The smoking man is just crazy good.
  • Oh wow, amazing... and the likeness is great. Your friend will be so happy about this painting. I like everything about this one!
  • Thank you both, the support is appreciated! :)
  • You are really hitting them out of the park here, Richard. Very impressed.
  • Thanks @AlunapR!

    Next I'm going to work on another looser painting of a friend (in the same style as the one I did of Alex)

    After that I'll be doing more paintings of interesting source images that I find again as practise :)
  • I have a problem.

    I've discovered a photo that is very old, too small and in a bad condition. Not a good candidate for a painting at all. But something about it has grabbed me and keeps tugging at me to paint. I've not even sure I could make it a good painting and it might be a bit beyond my skill set at the moment. But I think I need to give it a try at least. This may go horribly wrong and lead to a lot of painting frustration, but sometimes I guess you have to go for it.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited March 2017
    @Richard_P ; Can you get it enlarged to at least use it for dimensions and values? Look at what @forgiveness did with that small photo from his childhood.
  • Yes, I have a version that I have processed to remove the noise and then enlarge. It's amazing what software can do with even a poor image, but there are limits. After a certain point you can't recover lost information when dealing with images.
  • First step - Black. A lot of complex little bits.

    I'm not going to have too many steps in the painting as some areas don't have much detail so I need to make it more painterly than realistic. Also experimenting here with a grey board with a layer of clear gesso applied over the drawing with a foam roller. In reality the drawing is lighter and the grey is a bit daker.

  • @Richard_P I can't wait to see the development of this!
  • Ok, unfortunately this isn't going well. A few reasons.. firstly the board is too rough so although it makes it easier to do more precise blending, it drags at the brush a lot and everything takes longer to do which is frustrating me too much. I should have sanded the surface down more or added a thin layer of oil to the board.

    Secondly I've got a bit bogged down in the second step doing small details and I should be doing much looser brushstrokes for this painting (due to the source image not being that detailed in places).

    I'm going to start again and see if I can get it right this time. Very frustrating, but something I'm sure we've all done here!!
  • Today I went to the art gallery at Nottingham Castle. I studied in Nottingham and lived there for many years. The art gallery has paintings from many different eras, genres and artists that were local to the area as well as international. It doesn't quite have a Michelangelo, but it's still got some great works in there.

    I wanted to go to look at the paintings as well as try to work out a way to improve as a painter and take aspects of Marks method whilst not making everything too mechanical.

    The experience was stunning, but I truly felt I was in the presence of giants in some of the artists in that room. The level of technical ability, the control of tiny brush marks, and the ambition! Oh the ambition of some of the monumental history genre paintings was awe inspiring, and confidence crushing. In comparison I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark at the base of a mountain with my work. 

    The only thing I could cling to in the face of such brilliance was to enjoy doing painting rather than trying to compare with such artists. If that means working in a way that doesn't produce as good as results, but is more enjoyable then so be it.

    So yes, trying to find a way, an approach, a direction with my painting this weekend.. Feeling tossed around like a leaf in a storm at the moment.
  • Stay away from Nottingham Castle, @Richard_P. It's no good for your ego and Robin Hood was almost killed there.

  • edited March 2017
    I think most of us have been there, Richard. No, not Nottingham Art Gallery or Castle. I mean that place where we doubt ourselves and feel unsure about our direction as painters. These feelings come and go. We work through them. :)
  • Thanks both of you :)

    I've started again with a much smoother board and a brown stain and it's going so much better. A lot quicker to paint so far and much looser with my brush strokes.
  • What are you painting on?
  • I'm painting on Expanded PVC Foam boards which I've found I like best (at the moment) compared to Canvas, Linen and MDF Wood boards 
  • Not that easily. It's pretty rigid! You might be thinking of foam boards with the paper on each side which are very easy to bend and cut.
    [Deleted User]BOB73
  • Ok, it's going well so far, but I think I'll post this when it's done as it's still a bit experimental and my ego is still fragile :p
  • Slow progress last week as our daughter caught chicken pox. So as well as being off nursery and not sleeping well at times meant that I had little free time or energy to paint much.

    She's better today and I've got a lot done tonight. It's coming together now.. :) 
  • Sometimes being a parent and an artist is a conflict of interests. If I have to chose, I chose parenthood. But then I need to paint to help preserve my sanity. Good luck to you and get-well wishes to the little one.
  • edited March 2017
    Thanks Bob! Painting keeps me sane too.. :)
  • More done today.. Sorry I'm not posting progress pictures, but for this one I do need to wait till it's done before posting a photo. It is pretty complicated with different elements and areas of low and high contrast. So far I love it though.. :)

    Hopefully done by next week so I can finally start the challenge!
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