Friday, 3 April 2015

Black Coffee

oil on mdf board 20x20cms

Following my look at black at the beginning of the year I decided to try painting with black, that is to say mixed blacks and darks.  I searched for a good 'black' subject and found these little coffee cups.  I think they are Italian looking at the size although I bought them at a car boot sale in the UK quite a few years ago.

I used a limited palette of ultramarine blue, van dyke brown,  yellow ochre and white and I've included a few of the steps as I went along (when I remembered to take a photo).

I enjoyed painting this and I didn't think I would....just goes to show!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Move over!

Oil on mdf board, 20x20cms

If you take a wander down to the seafront late on a warm afternoon you will find people strolling or just sitting and chatting.  This is the Sicilian 'passeggiata' or the art of strolling and socialising.

This is one of my favourite times for observing and finding inspiration. This group of pensioners caught my eye because of the way they were squashed onto a bench. There is never enough seating for everybody and if you want to be comfortable while you eat your ice cream you have to wait for your turn.  The snazzy white shoes clinched it for me though!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Sketchbook Sunday (on Monday)

 I meant to post this yesterday, but due to waking very early with my Grandson I was just too sleepy!

This sketch in my Moleskine is a view across the bay from a popular local ice-cream/ crèperia .  It was late afternoon and the warm sun brought the colours to life.

Last week I received exciting news from the Sketchbook Project that some of my work would be in their new book.  I took part twice in the sketchbook project and the drawing they have used is from my secret places in Sicily project.

You can see my drawing of a balcony top right of the page. I have already pre-ordered my copy!

My original blog/sketchbook  post is here.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Blue Skies

20x20cms (approx 8x8") Oil on board

We're nearly into spring so it should be getting warmer soon, although here in Sicily we still have the occasional clear blue skies of summer even in winter.  This winter has been particularly wet and stormy and we have seen landslides and floods.  Our lane is looking very battered after the river flooded it's banks.

This is one of my recent small oil paintings, a serene sunny day on the beach just to remind my self that summer will soon be here!

If you are interested in having one of my small paintings this one and others are available in my Etsy Store.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Seriously Posh Sketchng

Yesterday I went sketching with the Urban Sketchers.  We had permission to sketch inside the beautiful 17th century Palazzo Mirto.  I only managed one sketch as I spent a lot of time just looking...and there is so much to see.  I sketched looking into the Pompadour sitting has decadently elegant silk walls embroidered with flowers. 

Walking through the Palazzo is like a journey through the past.  It was inhabited until 1982 and the furnishings and decorations have remained mostly intact. I loved the beautiful (and enormous) Murano chandeliers.

There wasn't time to sketch the stables, kitchens or bedrooms so we have asked to be allowed back in later this week. Although Palazzo Mirto is open to the public...painting and photographs are normally not allowed. I can't wait to go again!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Place in the Sun

oil on wood panel 20x20cms

This is one of my cats napping in his favourite sunny spot outside the kitchen door.  Purrrrfect!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sketchbook Sunday

I sketched these little fishing boats for a 'sketch swap' with the Italian urban sketchers.  I've sent it off to it's secret (for now) new owner and all I have to do now is wait for the postman to bring mine (hopefully) from an unknown person somewhere in Italy.

I have still been continuing with my look at black and have had a go at drawing in's not easy to do without smudging!

I also compared black watercolour paint to mixing my own darks.

On the left are my Schminke watercolours
Permanent carmine + phtalo green (didn't work too well)
Ultramarine + sepia brown
Indigo + burnt sienna

On the right are Maimeri watercolours, which I use a lot more and know which work well.
Red magenta + phtalo green
ultramarine + sepia
Indigo + burnt umber

As you can see none were as dark as the black paint.


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