Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gerome's Sea Cats

The French academic painter Jean Leon Gerome, loved big cats.
Lions are a kind of signature for him, perhaps because his middle name is French for 'lion', and his last name is also the name of a saint who is supposed to have had a pet lion.

He may have chosen a marine background for these kitties because the turquoise hues contrast nicely with the orange of their fur.
Depictions of exotic animals catered to the Orientalism of Gerome's day, evoking the power and majesty of Eastern landscapes.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Northern Serenity

Hans Ole Brasen (Danish 1849-1930), Morning Greetings, 1907.

Mikalojus Ciurlionis (Lithuanian 1875-1911), Sailing Boats, 1906.

These two mystical works, painted at about the same time, in the first decade of the 20th century, evoke the calm before the storm of two World Wars.

A serene atmosphere is created not just through the mirror-like surface of the sea, but by the use of soft pastel hues.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Joseph Paquet - Plein Air

Joseph Paquet is a plein air painter and instructor working in the US. See more of his paintings at his website:
You can also sign up to receive his newsletter.
images used with permission

Friday, November 15, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Francesco Lojacono

Francesco Lojacono (1838-1915) was an Italian landscape and seascape painter based in Palermo, Sicily. These are all coastal views of that region.
His sense of composition is spot on.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I've been experimenting mixing greys from complementary colors. (If anyone has any other favourite tube greys or mixed greys, please let me know).

The top row consists of tube greys.
The Warm Grey Light shown here is by Old Holland.
The Torrit Grey is a very colourless gray produced by Gamblin from leftover pigments (it varies from batch to batch apparently, depending which pigments are left over).
The Davy's Gray is Winsor and Newton and very transparent. Davy's Gray is useful for darkening bright colors without dirtying them too much. It leans toward green.

The other three rows are greys mixed from complementaries.
In some of the mixes I may not have spent enough time getting the colors to neutralise each other.
The Cad Yellow Deep I used to mix with Ultramarine looked very orange, but was not orange enough and produced a yellow ochre rather than a grey.

Burnt Sienna + Cobalt Blue and Raw Sienna + French Ultramarine look pretty much like Davy's Gray.
Viridian + Quinacridone Rose looks very much like Payne's Grey.
Prussian Blue +Venetian Red is a lovely grey that looks like Indigo.
These mixes could be used as substitutes if you don't have those tube greys.

If the complementary colours are not mixed completely, an interesting vibrant grey is produced.

Payne's Grey, Davy's Gray and Indigo, would be useful for marine painting. The mixes of Alizarine or Quinacridone reds with and Viridian or Phthalo Greens, look like useful greys for skies.

If you mix greys from complementary colors that you have already used in other parts of the painting, the effect will be to unify and harmonise the painting.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peter Nahum at Leicester Galleries

Frederic Lord Leighton, St Paul’s Bay, Lindos, Rhodes (Greece, 1867).

Julius Olsson, Seascape, England, c. 1920, St Ives School.

Montague Dawson, Full Sail.

leicester galleries