Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm sat watching the annual Jools Holland Hootenany, and just thought I'd stop to wish you all a Happy New Year and that 2014 brings you all you hope for. 

Thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year, it's something I really appreciate. 

It's a privilege to paint for people, you've helped me stay well this year as well as raise money for Oxfam. I will be opening up my painting list again at the end of January/ beginning of February, so watch out if you're interested in commissioning something from me.


Even more of Samsara done

Once I had the background blocked out, I started on the foreground. I wanted to make the floor tiled and the rug as strong a blue as I could. This particular paint is a bit translucent, so I had to build the colour up in stages:

Here's a closer look at the background through the windows:

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Samsara update 3

Here's a bit more of the background of painting done. You can see that I've sketched in the characters already and have done the blocking in of the background without any detail yet:

Here's the whole image:

A close-up of the right:

A close-up of the left:

Samsara background started

Once we'd agreed on the background and characters, I started painting.

Here's the rough painted sketch I sent my commissioner first, showing the background we'd agreed on and the placing of the characters - the Nawab, the Chai shop server and the Dreamer:

Once he confirmed he was happy with the image, I started the final version on canvas - the previous images had all been drawn and painted on paper, which has a very different absorption rate to canvas. Paint stays easy to manipulate on canvas as compared to on paper for much longer!

Here's a close-up of the view through the windows:

Friday, 27 December 2013

Samsara step 2

Here's what I did next; I did a few sketches on paper with some quick washes of colour to see if I had the right ideas for the painting:

This one was one idea for a room, with one character in place:

This one was a pencil sketch of an archway:

This one of a potential character:

And another:

And one more:

I did a couple more, then had a discussion with the person who commissioned the painting to decide the way forward. We agreed a final image, and I started on the background.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Secret painting number 1!

At last, I can post about a couple of paintings I've been doing over the last 2 months - both were Christmas presents, so I couldn't post about them just in case the giftee saw!

The first one is from a lovely Storynexus game called Samsara, Samsara is created by Meg Jayanth, and her partner commissioned me to paint something from it. As it is a text based game, I had to imagine it completely.

The game is an interactive story set in 18th Century Bengal,and features walking in dreams.

The game tells you: 

"Samsara India, 1757. 

You have won a grand position in the Nawab of Bengal's court because of your rare and powerful talent: you can walk in dreams. But your Kingdom is threatened on all sides. 

The warlike Afghans grow restless to the North. The ambitious Maratha Empire looms from the West. And the British and French East India Companies grow more powerful, poised on the brink of a war which could engulf the subcontinent. 

You are perfectly placed to tip the balance of power. Explore the glittering courts and trade towns of Bengal by day and slip into the treacherous, delirious dreaming by night.

Find the rest of the story at: http://samsara.storynexus.com/s"

You play a Hindu sorcerer called a sa-ilu - someone who can walk in dreams. They serve the local Nawaab so they are generally very richly dressed and are a magician-spy. As the player, you get to travel around and investigate what's going on, and can enter people's dreams.

I was fortunate to find a set of C19th illustrations of a collection of Bengal folk tales, by Warwick Goble and used them as my inspiration. 

Here's where I ended up. I did a series of trial sketches in different styles, with different characters until my commissioner was happy with the overall feel. It was interesting working like this - he made some really good suggestions to enhance what I was painting, and the painting changed several times. We agreed I'd paint the Nawaab  being served a drink by a woman , with the Sa-ilu watching from the side. To make it feel more dream-like, I drew a night sky in one part of the picture, and daylight in another. This is what I ended up painting:

Pencil outline:

Close-up left:

Close-up right:

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Journey is finished

I've finished another Journey painting - its now in the post, heading out to its new owner.

I think this is one of my favourite pictures to paint - its such a lovely image, as well as being a wonderful game.

Here it is:

 The whole thing:

Right hand side:

Left hand side:

Next, I'm finishing one of my secret commissions - I'll be able to post about that over Christmas.

Monday, 2 December 2013

More of Journey done

I've had a day off work, and have painted. I can only show a little of what I've been painting, as one of the paintings I've been working on is still a secret, another is for my Secret Santee, and then Journey.

I will have lots to post about at Christmas, though!

Here's where I'm up to with Journey:

I need to re-work the sand dune on the right, as its too dark, and the sky needs a little work on it as well, but I'm happy with it so far!