Stone and the Empress

I’m really enjoying painting the marble wall, which is going to work nicely with the addition of two or three very light transparent glazes of warm Iron Oxide red and a blue to give it some vibration. I need to measure the position of the cracks between the slabs too, so I can line them…

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Whiteout

The base white is down on the lower half of the Virtues painting, beginning the work in earnest. The gesture of the brush marks follows the contour of the wall and the slabs of marble that will be on the ground, while some of the warm orange colour of the sealer coat is allowed to…

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Folds and marble

I’ve been looking for sources for the two paintings, particularly the stonework of the foreground of the Virtues and the fabric of the dresses that will feature in it and the Empress. I’m very interested in Alma-Tadema’s work with marble in many of his paintings – he clearly knew he was onto a good thing,…

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Stanhope

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope Love and the Maiden (detail). Here’s a detail of a fabulous example of late Victorian painting. She’s fantastic, isn’t she? I found her quite by accident at the Legion of Honor Gallery in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, in the company of a beautiful Bougereau and a lovely Alma-Tadema. There’s an…

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Pre-Raphaelites to visit California

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England has announced that it is putting together an exhibit of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. This isn’t particularly earth-shattering news in itself, but their plan is to bring the show to San Francisco, which is an enjoyable six hour drive North through vineyards and amazing coastal scenery from my home,…

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Once blue, orange rising

I relined the blue drawing of the figures with graphite, having discovered that the pigment was not particularly strong once I started work with the base coat. The completed figures have been sealed under a wiped out layer of Iron Oxide Red, which means that soon I’ll be able to do some en grisaille work…

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Blue maidens

A lovely afternoon with my painting students led to a few hours of concentrated drawing on the Empress canvas, continuing the work from my initial foray and adding the majority of the other figures to the composition. I’ve edited out the globus cruciger from the image for now, but I’m not sure that this will…

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