Friday, 15 May 2015

My Palette for 'Kermit the Frog'


Kermit the Frog, oil on board, 8 x 10 inches £150 unframed
 A rather quirky name for a rather good arabian racehorse! I snapped Kermit at Hereford Racecourse which stages a handful of arabian races every summer.  If you've never been, it's well worth a visit if you live in or are visiting the area.

For this daily painting I thought I'd concentrate on my palette, I even remembered to take a picture!

A bit messy, I know, but I am a messy painter.  If you're wondering WHAT I'm using as a palette, it's an old piece of hardboard (a failed painting in fact), covered with baking parchment, shiny side up. Cheap and cheerful. And I tend to add fresh pieces as the palette fills up (as you can probably see in the picture).

For this painting, I wanted to do something similar to a previous one, Elusive Kate, which is still my favourite, I have to say.  This one is larger, 8 x 10 inches, and took around five hours to complete.

My palette for Kermit was: titanium white, naples yellow, naples yellow deep, cadmium yellow, winsor yellow, raw sienna, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cadmium red, cadmium orange, alizarin crimson, winsor violet, cobalt violet, kings blue deep, ultramarine blue, viridian and ivory black. I've never been one to shirk away from a wide range of colours, but I know my husband, a fellow artist, blanches every time he sees me lay out my paints!  He's a fan of the limited palette, but I'm not sure I could cope with such a small choice.
Painted with lovely square brushes, my new favourite kind, I'm still very careful and methodical when I work. Here I started with Kermit's muzzle and gradually worked my way up and round. I love the marks that the square brush leaves but where it's too harsh I use an old splayed round to gently blend. For my next painting in a day I will try to remember to do a series of photographs as the the work progresses but at the moment I'm waiting with anticipation for a new large canvas, so my next one may be some time. Happy painting!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Many Clouds

As  a lifetime fan of horse racing I try to get to as many meetings and open days as I can, though that's not nearly as many as I'd like to. This year we visited Lambourn for the first time in several years, principally to see my all-time favourite Kauto Star, and a few boxes down from him, the Hennessy winner Many Clouds.  We took LOTS of photographs...and I mean lots! From every angle and vantage point. I've had a problem with my eyes now for a few years so sketching from life is pretty impossible. Give me an hour of the kind of concentration involved in such an exercise and my eyes are so blurred I can barely see straight! So photographs it is then.

I had already decided to paint Many Clouds as he's such a handsome horse.  Very dark with a lovely pale muzzle. I had also decided to put a pound or two on him in the Grand National the following week after a word in his ear..ha ha!

I do plan to paint a larger portrait of the (now) Grand National winner, but in the meantime I decided to do a little 10 x 8 study, just to feel my way.


Many Clouds 8x10 oil on board £150 unframed  


So here he is. A subdued palette for this very dark brown horse: vandyke brown, cobalt violet, winsor violet, ultramarine blue, naples yellow, king's blue deep, alizarin crimson, raw sienna, ivory black and titanium white. I think that covers it!