Thursday, 24 November 2016

'Roses and Parrot Lilys on Windowsill' oil on board 10 x 8 inches. As I said before, I live on a narrowboat and unfortunately they don't have windowsills. I really love paintings of objects on windowsills and views through windows so I was missing very much having one to use in my paintings. So my lovely partner Dale made me one specially for my studio area. This is the first painting I've done featuring my new windowsill.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Sketching the Dog

I've been trying to get back to doing some sketching lately. This is an old one of Molly, my shih tzu. I rarely manage to complete a sketch of her as she moves around such a lot - I could swear she doesn't like me drawing her and moves on purpose, often deliberately hiding her face from me!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Lilys and Plums

I had a few problems with this painting - it's funny how some paintings seem straightforward and others are such a struggle! The lilys took all week to come out and I'd finished painting them by then! Also we moved our boat in the middle of me painting this so the light direction changed completely. Never mind - I don't think it came out too badly.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Garden Flowers and Pear

The above photos show the progress of my recent painting 'Garden Flowers and Pear' from the set up to the finished work. I took a different perspective with this one and painted it standing up and looking down which I think gives a more dynamic result. I do like to be comfortable when I'm painting though so I prefer sitting down really - I'm just so lazy!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Room with a View

We've just left the marina we've been in for three and a half years where we were sandwiched between two boats. It's so lovely to be out on the canal and to have a view!

Friday, 30 September 2016

My Top 3 Art Instruction Books - No. 1

Light - How To See It, How To Paint It. I discovered this book in the 80s and upon reading it I truly had one of those 'Aha!' moments. Up until that point I don't think I'd properly comprehended what painting was all about. Lucy Willis, a gifted and accomplished artist herself, has written a brilliantly detailed and informative book, covering every possible aspect of how to see and paint different aspects of light and shadow. The beauty of sunshine and shadow are what give paintings what I call 'soul' or in other words, they can conjure up a particular strong mood, atmosphere or feeling. This book, illustrated throughout with examples from some fabulous painters, made me see painting in a whole new way, and made me want to immediately go out and paint some light-filled canvases of my own. All this time later I don't think I've got anywhere near being able to do it as light conditions are so fugitive and difficult to pin down and I'm such a slow painter! Nevertheless I will keep trying!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Carnations and Wildflowers

Here's the set up and finished result for my recent painting 'Carnations and Wildflowers in a Tankard'. I bought these carnations from the supermarket. I do like carnations but I don't think they're really considered a 'cool' flower! So I thought I make the whole thing a bit cooler by adding some stuff from the boatyard where I live. I picked some branches from a blackberry bush and some leaves and a bit of buddleia. Then I placed the flowers and leaves in a silver plated tankard I bought from a vintage fair. I used a pretty embroidered cloth which I think I bought from the same fair. The shell is from my small collection of shells which I plan to add to! I love the different shapes of shells and this is one of my favourites so I often include it in still life set ups.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lisianthus and Two Lemons - step by step Here's another stage by stage description of how I painted 'Lisianthus and Two Lemons'
This was my set up. I really liked the clashing patterns of the orange embroidered cloth and the plate together, although I did think the scarf at the back might prove a bit too much with the other patterns, so I was thinking I might change the colours or just leave it plain.
Step 1 I outlined the shapes of the objects with a thinned mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. At this stage I was observing very closely the proportions of the objects and their relationship to everything else.
Step 2 I started to block in the colours, trying to get them as accurate as possible. At this stage I am quite concerned to get the flowers in as they can change quickly, and also to get the values correct in relation to each other. I kept everything quite low-key as I wanted the white flowers to stand out.
Step 3 The block in is complete - now the fun can begin!
Step 4 I felt a bit worried at this stage - I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew with the complicated pattern and getting the ellipse of the plate correct! But there was no turning back...
Step 5 Phew! I was quite surprised it didn't look too bad. I had to do a couple of tweaks to the shape of the plate to get it to look convincing.
Step 6 I then proceeded to paint the orange pattern on the cloth, darkening the orange in the shadows, and I also decided to darken the background to make the flowers stand out more dramatically. I'd decided to lose the pattern on the scarf at the back and just paint it a plain blue-black.
Step 7 This is a scan of the finished painting. I've worked a bit more on the shadows in the cloth, refined the pattern on the plate, developed the shadows and highlights on the lemons and added highlights to the side of the plate and the flower pot.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

What's It Like Living on a Narrowboat?

My partner Dale and I have been living on a narrowboat for about eight years. In that time we have lived on the Grand Union Canal in London, on the Thames, cruised the midland canals for a year, and eventually decided to settle on the beautiful Oxford canal. There are advantages to living on a canal boat – the calming proximity of water, ducks bringing their ducklings to be fed in spring, sitting on the front deck in the sunshine watching other boats go by – what could be more blissful? Also if you don't like where you are - it's very easy to move! Disadvantages? Well winter can be hard. Although it's toasty warm with the coal fire burning, if you have to go away for any reason in winter, returning to a freezing ice-box is not unknown. Also space can become a bit of an issue, although for some reason I love living in a small space, and cleaning isn't a long job! The one thing I miss though is having a garden. Although some boats have moorings with gardens (we had one in London) they are few and far between. I do miss having a bird feeder and watching the birds. All in all though, I think the pluses outweigh the minuses, especially if you add in the wonderful boating community, quirky eccentrics and non-conformists all, and always there for you if you're in need of help.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Step by Step Through a Painting: 'Freesias and Vintage Tea Cup'

I just wanted to show how I created the painting ‘Yellow Freesias and Vintage Cup’ from the set-up shown on the left, in stages. It actually took me about a week to complete it.
Step 1 I always work on gessoed mdf as I like the hard surface, and I start off by applying a thin acrylic burnt sienna ground as I don’t really like working on white. This takes about 10 minutes to dry, then I make a rough drawing of the subject in front of me in pastel pencil or thinned oil paint. Then I get going on the flowers – the most important thing is to get them done as quickly as possible as they soon change! I use warm and cool yellows mixed with a little purple in some areas (purple tones the yellow down), raw umber and rose madder for the subtle tones of the flowers.
Step 2 As you can see, I’ve just about finished the flowers, but if they don’t change I will keep working on them throughout… I’ve painted the satin cushion cover in the background using Paynes Grey, Raw Umber and Yellow, to make a sort of greenish blue. I’ve also made a good start on the body of the jug. I mixed a combination of ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red and titanium white to make a creamy colour for this.
Step 3 I’ve painted the bodies of the jug and the cup and saucer. It’s best to get the basic modelling of these forms correct before adding pattern on top. I’ve also taken a good look at everything and realised the jug was too wide, so I’ve changed it. And I’ve changed my mind about the background. I didn’t like the severe line of the bottom of the cushion cover going across the back so I’m going to have the cloth going over it instead. I’ve made a start on that here.
Step 4 I’ve put in most of the doiley underneath. Now it’s getting fun because I can start putting the patterns on the jug and cup with a fine brush! I just added a bit of shine on the cup too as I couldn’t wait! (You’re supposed to do shiny bits and highlights right at the end).
The finished painting! Sorry about the colour differences in this picture – I used a scanner so it’s more accurate than the photos I took for the other steps. As you can see I’ve finished all the patterns on everything now, and put in all the highlights on the cup and saucer. I hope you enjoyed seeing the steps I went through to create this painting!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

A Painting Journey

My name is Angie Wood and I live on a narrowboat on the beautiful Oxford canal. And I’ve got to that stage in life where I know what I really love to do. And what I really love to do is to paint. I think it started from childhood when I was given my first set of ‘painting by numbers’, and that’s also the reason why I’ve always loved oil paints in particular… the smell, the buttery texture of the paint, the vividness of the colours. I’ve always sketched a lot, and in the past few years have done a fair few ‘pet portraits’ as commissions, but generally found working from photos a bit tedious because I couldn’t say I was really learning much about painting. So then I decided to have a go a doing a ‘painting a day’ from life instead of photos. (Look this phrase up on google – you’ll find there are lots of people doing it). I would do an onion, or an apple, or a lemon. This was fun, but I wanted to go a bit further with the paintings, so I’m currently doing a ‘painting a week’ and hopefully making something a bit more resolved. So at the moment I’m painting and painting, trying to learn as much as I can, because however much you learn, you never really get there! You’re welcome to join me on my journey!