Three girls in the courtyard

The grey work continues to expand across the canvas – it’s beginning to feel like a proper painting now. I’m having a great time working on the piece, which is the most reminiscent of a pre-raphaelite composition that I’ve done so far, although I doubt that anyone would mistake this for a nineteenth century painting.…

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Three Girls

The grisaille work is moving along quickly, with the three major figures already painted in the first layer of the grisaille. I want to get more of the bodies complete, then I’ll make a second pass at all three, fixing all the bits that aren’t the way I like them. I’m thoroughly enjoying painting them, the…

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Drawing the Circle

It was so satisfying to get to work on drawing the girls in the new painting. We’ve been very focused on preparing the conference, including a trip to San Francisco to visit Sadie Valerie and the wonderful exhibit at the Legion of Honor, the Cult of Beauty show that has traveled from London’s Victoria and…

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Architecture for the Priestess

I’m thoroughly enjoying myself in the studio working out the architecture of the new painting, making shapes for a courtyard beside the ocean somewhere on the coast of California. I want to create a setting for two girls to look at a big old book, under warm sunlight and shady leaves, in the golden sunshine…

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Purple, orange and green

If you had asked me ten years ago what colours I would use most in 2012 there is no way I would have predicted that Cadmium Orange, Viridian, Lead White, Carbazole Violet and Raw Umber would have begun to make regular appearances on my cart. I used to use an almost entirely earth tone driven…

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Beneath the Grass

Because the grass will stand in front of the Empress’ legs I’ve decided to paint the skin now, then work on the grass over the top of it. This will be a lot better than trying to paint flesh around all the fiddly stems and leaves once the grass is in. It was such a…

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Shorts

  The Emperor is beginning to get increasingly convincing now that his shorts are becoming more substantial, although I’d like to add a second working of the Raw Umber to the painting I did today to make the value more appropriate for the next layer, which will introduce colour to the canvas. Meanwhile there’s a…

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Using Millais as a Reference

There’s nothing like building upon the foundations built by giants to make certain that your own work is of better quality. At the Getty we visited some of my favorite paintings (Alma-Tadema’s “Spring”, a lovely Sargent portrait, a pair of Tissot society ladies and one of Godward’s best pieces, “Mischief and Repose”). But I was…

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Red Lips, Red Hair, Red Dress

The face is much improved thanks to a solid day of focused work, although the ear still needs to be fixed up. I spent a lot of time around the mouth and eye, re-shaping the contours of the shadows to make them more accurate and to blend out some of the edges that I felt…

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Red on Red

  This sounds crazy, but I’ve spent a long time painting the red dress red again with the Red Ochre, deepening the colour and adding and blending some blues into the shadows. I added a little Raw Umber into the Ochre and used it to emphasize edges, especially around the hem of the dress. A few areas of…

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