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It’s A Sketch Up

An oil sketch that has developed into another painting altogether.
An oil sketch that has developed into another painting altogether.

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 🙂

This is how we roll
Quite close to the original but lots of colour work to make the stripes look balanced.
Eventually the butterflies created the word ‘LOVE’ in the final piece.
An experiment in tonal variance that went on to produce ‘Memories’
White House
Incredibly I painted this white house before we found and moved to a white house unexpectedly last year. Spooky!
You can see the experimental sky on the bottom right and the positioning top right.

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