Over the last few weeks I have been in the studio working on several brand new Impossimal collections for 2016. As usual they have all started off with simple pencil sketches followed by a pretty detailed oil sketch and this year, especially after the wonderful time I had painting Lost Alice I wanted the new Impossimals to sing.
Painting though never starts how you would like it to, the first four new Impossimal pieces I tackled took me back several years in painting style until I started to get my eye back in on the design. By this I mean the adjustment from incredibly detailed painting in Alice to the Impossimals made me afraid to paint; the Impossimals believe it or not can be more technical as there is no where to hide when producing smooth colour areas in oils and it demands a more painstaking method using sponges and soft brushes, something you don’t really see when the painting is finished. So I panicked – gone were the free strokes of the brush as I created teapots, keys and other strangeness, in came mahl sticks, straight lines and disciplined graduations and my painting suffered for it which is exactly why I do oil sketches, to help with the transition.
Not that it has been easy, you may have noticed the new sketch driven Pure Impossimal range we launched recently, that too demanded a different skill set and was taken directly from the original pencil sketches. Later on this year you will see more design led work using a variety of techniques all created to expand my skill set so I can tackle two things, firstly ‘Revelations’ the incredibly complex follow up to Bloodlines and secondly the continuing, extraordinarily strange ‘Seven Sins Of Alice’, a project that is gaining greater momentum with every working day.
In the meantime though I thought you would like to see a few of the oil sketches from the last year or so, some are more complex than others whilst several turned into new paintings completely. Each oil sketch goes through a similar process, I use a full Pantone set of colours to select the shades I need beforehand then add notes onto the oil sketch as I go along. The blobs of colour are my fingers dipped in paint and any ‘+’ signs are mixing ratios, normally you find these along shade examples. It’s really the easiest way to track the construction of Impossimal pieces. Even though I have produced many in the studio only a select amount has left the studio for sale making them quite rare indeed.
Here’s a small selection from the archive to brighten this Friday morning 🙂