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 I thought I would show you some of my work step by step, adding my later paintings first.   

 

It is a while since I published my approach to painting in its various stages, so here I am again at the end of 2016, an exciting year for me in terms of my art.  I have managed to maintain my displays of originals and prints at Brett Gallery, Monks Eleigh, re-stocking them weekly.  In between, I have been painting my new range of keepsake boxes, as well as the speciality paintings I have produced on milk churns and jugs.

Do keep an eye on my One of a Kind catalogue as it builds up.

 

So this seems a timely moment to return to my beloved birds and I have chosen the Peregrine Falcon for my next piece. I am throughly enjoying this one, painting the wall as well as my subject.....   

 

1.  The main sketch is in place on Crescent Watercolour Board.  Yes, I am starting

    to use this more as my backing and I am finding it easier to work the acrylics..... 

2.  I always paint my bird first, here is the beginning.  It is so important for me to get the

     eye right and I can already sense that sharp, piercing look......                                                                                                                 

                                                     

 3.  The Peregrine colours are now complete and I am starting, patiently, on the dry stone wall.  

      I can imagine the finished piece, realising the importance of putting as much effort and detail in

      to the surroundings, as well as the bird itself.  It will help to bring together the whole

      picture, especially when I have carefully toned in the mount board 

                                                    

 4.   A little more of the coping stones, I can sense the mood emerging, just as I had imagined it........

                                                    

 5.   Those coping stones completed, the horizontal wall stones next, no rush but I am getting

        really excited about seeing the painting mounted and framed.  

        I have already decided what colourways to use ........................

                                                                                 

6.   I am really enjoying painting this wall, almost as much as I did the Peregrine!  

      Its detail is so important to the overall impact.  As the whole picture comes together, I am

      wondering what to name it, some ideas are coming to mind .................

                                                   

 

 7.  My painting is finished and named " Wandering Peregrine ".  The image is now published in my

      Birds of Prey Catalogue and is also ready for a possible later release of a limited edition print run.  

      The original is framed, having carefully chosen a colour and style which tones in with the picture.  

      You will find more detail of this painting ( and the origins of its name ) in my Catalogue.

                                                            

 

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Windhover  

My second kestrel, in a very different pose.  You will see my earlier one on this work in progress section, further down.

  

1.  Initial sketch of my male kestrel, as yet not named ..............   

 

 

 2.  Getting to work on the bird, I really love the colours of this beautiful bird of prey.....

 

 

3.  The bird is pretty much finished, very happy so far!

 

  

4.  The branch is now taking shape..........

 

  

5.  I have colour blocked the large rock and stones ready for my next sitting when I will add all the detail.

     I have framed it in a temporary mount just to start to get the feel of the final painting ............

 

 

6.  The finshed kestrel, now for a name, scanning, then final mounting.  This initial image will be shown

     as a preview within the Birds of Prey catalogue ..................

 

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Before I start your trip through one earlier idea, I thought it worth sharing with you how quickly this painting was named.

When I showed the sketch to my Mum she named it at almost the same time as I did.

 It wasn't me !

 1.  My initial sketch to whet your appetite.  I am not finding it easy to take a really good photograph of the        sketch, but the idea should be taking shape in your   mind.

 

 

 

  2.  He thinks he has not been noticed...........

 

 

 3.  Sorry..........

 

 

 4.  It's worse than I thought, how can I hide this? ..............

 

  

 

5.  I hold my wings up now, guilty!....................    This is the finished work, do take a look on my web site for      

     more details

 

 

 

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Tawny Owl - After asking for suggestions from my friends, this was later named "The Watchful Owl"

Another one of our favourite native owls.  I created the sketch just before Christmas, then started painting in the New year.  It was something to really look forward to after the festivities.

 1.  My initial sketch, in the twilight..............

 

 

 2.  The owl is really taking shape now, those eyes..........

 

 

 3.  The finished owl, on part of his perch, happy so far..............

  

  

4.  I have completed the branches in the foreground, the fine green foliage too.  

    Just the background tree to go now....

  

  

5.  Nearly there, I get quite excited at this stage of my painting ................

  

 

 

6.  The finished work, do take a look at my Birds of Prey gallery..................... 

 

 

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 Kestrel 

I realised that I have not published many birds of prey in acylics on my web site, to date you will see the Barn Owl, the Little Owl and the Merlin.  I have decided to paint a Kestrel perched on a post, eyeing up all around him. As I develop my art I continue to strive to include as much detail as possible, however intricate my subject. You will see, even at the sketch stage, that I have taken on quite a challenge but as I finished the drawing this afternoon, I feel very excited about this piece of work.

 

1.  My full initial sketch in pencil.........

 

 

2.   And here he is, as I begin painting............

         I always like to start from the head and once the eyes are finished, my subject

      comes alive.  I have tried to capture his softness together with those piercing,

      searching eyes. 

  

 

 

3. At this stage, I get really excited about continuing............

 

      He is complete, in all his glory.  Whilst this published, reduced size image does not

    do justice to the fine detail in the same way as the acrylic original, I hope you can

    already see that  am trying to capture the majestic elegance of this beautiful bird. 

     

4. Now I have finished the bird, I need to tackle the background!  I enjoy painting

    the bird best so I must make sure that I take it steadily with the background.  

    I want to maintain a similar level of detail with his post so I have decided to tackle

    it in sections. 

  

5. Natural light beat me at the end of my last sitting, it can be so frustrating 

     to have to stop when the work is almost there. On the otherhand, it gave me

    something to particularly look forward to on my next day off.

   

    I am nearly there now!  The painting is complete apart from the surround, which

    I always feel helps focus the eye even more on my subject.

 

 

 

6. My next step is the finished painting.  Take a look at my Birds of Prey Gallery.....................

   

 

 

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Little Owl

 

After painting the Barn Owl in several settings, which I am pleased to say is

proving very popular, my next owl venture was the Little Owl. 

 

 

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6.         The finished painting, now on display in my web site gallery.

 

 

 

 

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Wren on Hollyhock - later to be named "Morning has Broken"

 

I make no excuses that this one is another wren!

 

1.  I sketch out the picture with a 4H Derwent pencil.  When I am completely happy with the sketch, I can

    start applying some paint.  I always begin with the bird, trying to get as much detail in as I can,  using a 

    number 0 Pro Art acrylic paint brush with a good point on. 

 

 

 

2.  Once I am happy with the bird, I can start work on the background, in this case I have chosen a

     purple hollyhock.       

 

 3.  I am putting down a base colour and will work around the petals, gradually introducing more detail.

 

4.  The hollyhock is really taking shape now! 

 

 

5.  All of the detail has now been completed.

 

 

 

6.  I mix some white with cobalt blue flowed by some water, to make the paint more transparent for the

     blue background.  I use a number 7 brush for this.  Once completely dry, I can varnish the painting.

 

 

7.  The finished painting.  I have chosen a stone grey mount for this piece, it seems to

     work really well with the purple flowers.  Finished on 26th July 2015.  This was

     exhibited at the 2015 Sudbury Church Art Exhibition.  And it sold!

 

 

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Kingfisher - since called "The Chain Gang"

 

I thought I would share my approach to a three aperture painting of Kingfishers.

 

 1.    

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2.

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3.   

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4.   

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5.   

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6. The finished painting, now on display at the Brett Gallery as well as

     in my web site Gallery.

 

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7.

 

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8.  The finished painting, now on framed and on display at the Brett Gallery,

     Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, as well as in my web site Gallery.

 

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