I'm really enjoying my first foray into oils on canvas,it has such a nice feel to it and allows so much more work to be accomplished over a period of time compared to working on boards.i think its a little looser but thats not a bad thing altogether.
a couple of months ago i was rummaging around in an artshop which was a real aladdins cave of goodies and came across some stretched fine detail canvas and a friend accompanying me urged me to try it as i'd never painted on canvas before.it didnt take much persuasion to purchase as i'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth and the two i bought were on sale at half price so result!.ive finally overcome all my own objections as to why i shouldnt use it and so here is the start of my first ever oil painting on canvas.i have to say that,thus far,i'm loving using the canvas,it feels really nice to work on and i can use slightly bigger brushes to scrub colour into the support and then build up paint almost immediately rather than having to wait for the underpainting to thoroughly dry.this has meant progress has been relatively swift(for me at least) and after a couple of sessions this is where i'm at.the subject of course is a delightful snow leopard cub and ive decided to keep the image simple so as not to distract from the cats lovely soft colours.
It may not be readily obvious what ive added to this piece since my last posting and indeed i didnt add a lot.in fact i chose to merely alter some of the colours on the vegetation and add another hint of wet area to the foreground.i have to admit to having seen no obvious benefits to the piece,other than the potential for completely lashing it up,by adding much more to it.ive called it a day with this piece and i'll leave it to sit in the studio for a while in case any new ideas arise but i'm quite happy that ive managed to illustrate my encounter with the Snipe on a freezing cold day last winter at Oare marshes in Kent.
after the brief return to graphite ive now turned my attention back to my snipe painting and hopefully will have this finished very soon.this is a shot of it on the easel this morning and i'm currently concentrating on adding dead vegetation to the foreground and trying to reach a point where theres enough of it to make a believable composition without it becoming too repetitious.
After a couple of days away from the studio including a stint as a tutor at The Marwell Art society's Big 5 art workshop event this past weekend ive resumed work on my horse commission today.i have deliberately chosen to do this drawing in a photo-real fashion following closely my own reference photos as i really liked the angles and effect of the head and neck being thrown forward.i am no horse anatomy expert and so tend to never venture beyond head and neck portraits for my clients but in this case i wanted something a little more 'arty' than a standard head and neck profile.
Horse's face just about complete now,probably a few tweaks will be required nearer completion.i'm now moving onto the horse's neck and will be using some darker graphite which will serve to lift the horses head from the paper and emphasise the lovely shiny coat.
Last year i was lucky enough to be invited to photograph a lovely retired racehorse with a view to completing a pencil drawing early this year in time for a special birthday.
Having drafted out the outline on a seperate sheet ive now traced it onto my prepared paper and made a start on building up layers of graphite.The lightest layers are just H grade pencil,from there subsequent layering of softer grades can be seen as i built up shape and form.the textures and fur details etc are added after achieving the correct tones using directional marks loosely applied.ive followed my usual practice of completing the darker areas first which makes working out the rest of the tonal range a little easier.i'll post further progress on this piece and i hope you'll enjoy watching it come together.
Back in october last year i held an 'oils for beginners' workshop at which i demonstrated the basics of oil painting including how to underpaint in preparation for a more detailed top coat of oils.At that demo i produced an underpainting of a Hare and my students then attempted to do the same.That little underpainting had been languising in the studio since then and the other day whilst pondering what to tackle next whilst my snipe painting was drying i remembered this little picture.i set myself the task of completing the top detailed coat of oils all in one session,no great feat for speedier painters i'm sure but for me definitely out of my comfort zone.Anyway i decided a different approach was needed including attempting to not get too hung up on detail and so for this piece i abandoned my tiny brushes and riggers(except for the whiskers) and used a small flat for the majority of the painting.i absolutely loved the sensation of working more loosely and mixing colours quickly on both palette and painting surface,moving paint about with bolder strokes is very therapeutic and akin to the fun i have when underpainting freely with bigger brushes.its only a small painting by most oil painting standards but i feel more comfortable working small,i think its because of my background in tight detail with graphite,and perhaps this technique wouldnt work for me everytime but this time i think it did and was thoroughly enjoyable.My snipe painting is still on-going and nearly complete as i slowly overlay vegetation in the foreground,although its slow-going as i have to let each batch of vegetation dry before overlaying more.next on the agenda its back to graphite and a commissioned equine portrait of a much loved animal for a special birthday.
Happy new year to all and best wishes for a happy and peaceful 2013.Just received a proper scan of my leopard oil painting from my publisher and the news that this will become the latest addition to my limited edition print range.watch out for some very special strictly limited canvas editions in the near future.this image will be one of several new publications arriving in time for the NEC spring print fair.as soon as ive approved proofs i'll publish details here of the new editions.
South coast based Clive Meredith is an entirely self-taught artist and has been working professionally since 1993 specialising in detailed portrayals of wildlife from both Britain and abroad. Clive's initial interest in wildlife and the countryside was fostered in his early years, brought up the son of a dairy farmer, and spending hours outside in the Shropshire countryside birdwatching and larking about on the river Severn and its streams in his hometown of Shrewsbury. Working in both graphite pencil and oils,observation is vital to Clive's working practice.Each drawing or painting reveals meticulous attention to detail,achievable only by hours spent in the field observing and photographing subjects in their natural habitat.As a result Clive has become renowned for the stunning realism of his images and an incredibly assured ability to inject real life and character into his works. His art has been extensively published with over 50 limited edition releases to date and can be found in galleries throughout the uk and beyond. In 2010 Clive was named Wildlife Artist of the Year by Wildscape magazine after winning the prestigious annual competition with his image 'The Egret pool' and appeared as a finalist in the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010,2012 and 2013 with works exhibited at The Mall Galleries in London. Clive is a member of the Pencil Art Society and the RSPB.