Art Holiday Accommodation in SW France Details

Tuesday 24 November 2009


As you can see from these photos, if you choose to paint using a this kind of impressionist style (well, historically speaking, Van Gogh was a post impressionist, I suppose), but, anyway, in either style, the canvas is covered with several layers of small brush strokes. The French called it pointillism, and we now use that word too. These points of usually very pure paint (i.e. unmixed with other colours) juxtaposed next to each other create a shimmering visual effect. Without bashing you over the head with too much colour theory, this is partly because your eyes are 'mixing' the colours in your brain to blend the colours and this causes the mild dazzle.
In the first photo above, I have repainted the compositional outlines that I had originally done in pencil. And in the second, the end colours are taking over from those in the underpainting.
So now it's starting to look like the Van Gogh original. But still not much sign of peach blossom.
And there's quite a bit to do still, so keep watching this space.
A tout a l'heure.

Thursday 19 November 2009


More pics from my pristine studio.
The first shows the composition being 'blocked in' with a pencil.
The second is a basic underpainting where I'm trying to establish the mood of the painting.
There's not much more to say at this stage.
A bientot.

Monday 16 November 2009


For quite a while I've been thinking about showing what goes into a painting.
And now's my chance, because Heather - who lives in Cape Town - has asked me to do an acrylic along the lines of Van Gogh's 'Peach Trees in Blossom'. Van Gogh painted this work near La Crau at the western end of Provence (known as the Var) in 1889.

So, this posting shows how I get started, and if all goes according to plan, I'll post more photographs as the painting develops.

Unfortunately this first part is the boring bit, but, except for watercolours, it's the background - literally - and it's what goes into all the paintings I produce.

1. A shot of the raw canvas taken in my orderly, neat, clean and tidy studio.
2. The raw canvas is sized (twice) with a fairly thin undercoat.
3. Then I add a thicker undercoat (in this case cadmium yellow).

Still to come in this sequence: The outline of the composition comes next. And then I start the underpainting. After that I add layer upon layer of pointellist pigment.

Keep watching this space!

Wednesday 4 November 2009


Here's a rough translation of what the French invitation says:
"We've been in France for ten years now so, to help us celebrate, come and get pissed with us on Friday night."