Paintings 3 and 4



daily painting titled The Macallan
daily painting titled Louis

Welcome to my On-Line Classes page. On these pages I will be painting one or two paintings per week during the next few weeks whilst we are off and I would like to invite you to join me.

Each painting will be done in stages. Each stage will be explained as we go along. (a bit like the way we do it at class)

There are four paintings to choose from at the moment.

Before we start make sure you have a 20 x 16″ (50x40cm) or a 16×12″(40x30cm) canvas and all of your normal painting equipment.


Painting No.1 will start on Monday 16th March at 2pm and I will hope to be painting most days for 2 to 3 hours.

If you would like to ring me at anytime during this time please do.


Hi everyone. Welcome back

Today we will be starting the whiskey glass. This session will be mostly preparatory work such as lay-out, background etc

You can use a 40×30 or a 50x40canvas for this, but a rectangular canvas in general will do .

I am using a 50×40 canvas 9below) and I’ve divided them into 5areas on the side and 4 areas on the top

This time though I will ask you to extend your lines over to the sides as we will be painting most of the background in dark colours

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5:4 Ratio.

Make sure you do the same with the photograph….4 ON THE BOTTOM AND 5 ALONG THE SIDES.




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Filling in down to the bottom line

As you will notice on your photograph, this painting’s background is divided into two areas – dark and bright.

I’d like you to sketch the line as I have done (above) to seperate the two areas . You should be able to do this from your grid

Then with a mixture of Raw Umber, a little Paynes Grey and a touch of Cadmium Red start to paint in the dark background

If you have acrylic paint for the background it would be preferable as it dries quicker, otherwise please use your oils sparingly with a small amount white spirit to speed your drying time

Add little flickers of Cadmium Red and blend but don’t over blend as you will want to see the red coming through a little in places

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Flicker of Cadmium Red
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At the end of Stage 2

This is what it should look like when your finished. Please note the bright area on the photograph and why we are leaving it white. It will be worked on seperately.

We will have to allow this to dry now as tomorrow I’m going to show you how to draw a perfect balanced glass and how to place this glass in your painting

Please make sure you have a piece of tracing paper or greaseproof paper (for the symmetry) masking tape (cellotape will do also)and some white chalk.

That’s all for today



Hi everyone.

Welcome back.

At this stage this Thursday afternoon your canvas should be dry, especially if you added a bit of white spirits with your brown paint yesterday or used acrylics.

Using some bright chalk please divide your canvas into 5 and 4 and do the same with your photograph.

5:4 Ratio

There are two ways I use when drawing a glass, a vase or a bottle. The first one is to simply draw it from the grid (as above)

The second way is to use the tracing paper, chalk (or white oil pastel crayon) and tape. If you would like to try this please follow below.

Please draw half of the glass only (as in picture below)

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Drawing half of the glass

Then take your tracing paper and put it over the drawing of the half glass and begin to trace it and the centre line of the glass (all the way down)

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Covering the pencil line sketch of the left hand side with chalk

After you have done this you cover your outline with white chalk (as above)

Then if you turn the tracing paper around (leaving the chalk side at the back of the trace) and match the centre line (using it as a hinge) you can now draw the right hand side of your glass ensuring that the glass is now fairly symmetrical.

I hope I’ve explained this clearly.



Look closely at your colours and note how they are sitting on the glass and the direction they are moving. For example, coming down the glass (as in picture below) there’s a downward stroke where as if you look at your photograph you will notice that at the liquid, the stroke is horizontal.

The colours are mainly Crimsons, Yellow Ochres, White, Cadmium Yellow, Oranges, touches of Cadmium Red, Purples and French Ultramarine Blue with hints of Coeurillium Blue here and there.

Before applying your colours, please freshen up your background browns with a hog haired brush to make sure that when your colours are applied they will not be too stark.

Don’t be too exact at this stage. Try not to think about the fact that you are painting a glass of whiskey. Try to think of it like you were painting a bunch of knife and brush strokes that will eventually come together.

Each stroke should be relaxed but not overdone. Too much messing with the knife will dull your colours.

Use both knife and brush.

For example, sometimes a brush will get a better toning effect than the knife

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Downward stroke


Our painting should be now at it’s half way stage.

Our colours are now roughly applied and are awaiting refinement.

This will be in the form of some smaller brushes and a little flattening of the texture.

Once again, before applying these colours please remember to refresh your dry brown background with a skim of your brown paints with a touch of Cadmium Red here and there.

I just put a rough pale base on as I needed the glass to sit.

I hope you enjoyed this session today.

Tomorrow will see this painting completed.

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Colours roughly applied awaiting refinement.


FRIDAY MARCH 27th 2.30pm


Hi everyone. Welcome to the final stage of our still life.

We are going to concentrate mainly on the base for now and the first thing I will ask you to do will be to refresh your remaining base (excluding your yellow glint on the right)

Put a few minor tints on it such as a touch of Coeurilum Blue or a hint of Lilac (Purple and White or French Ultramarine Blue, Crimson and White) This will just be to take the bland white look off of the base.

Next thing will be to soften the base line like I’m doing below.

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Softening the base line as brown and white are wet

What I’ve done here is to refresh the brown background and as both brown and white are now wet. Move in with a touch of Burnt Sienna.

Gently TAP your brush (round head hog hair) up on to the brown and down to the white until you get a nice soft division between background and foreground. (Use both the top tip of the brush and the side)

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Tapping the brush.


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Finally just go around the painting to touch up highlights tints etc.

I hope you enjoyed this painting as much as I have.



Painted by Rita from our Tuesday evening art classes


Painted by Seosaimhin
Painted by Patricia from our Wednesday evening art class
Painted by Catherine from our Wednesday evening class
Painted by Margie from our Wednesday evening art class
Painted by Mary L. from our Monday morning class


MONDAY MARCH 30th 3.30pm

Welcome to the start of Painting no.4

It will be just the sketch and ink drawing today only.

daily painting titled Louis
Painting No.4.


First of all, Our canvas should be rectangular preferably 50×40 cm (40x30cm will do also)

Divide it 5 long and 4 wide. As you can see my photograph had to be altered.

In this case I’ve had to extend it to the bit of black to make it suit the rectangular canvas I’m using which is 50 x 40.

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5 long and 4 wide

When you have this done you should now do the same with your canvas (see below)


Now for the pencil sketch. Please use a 4,5,or 6B pencil. Have an eraser close by as like me….you will need it.

As you compare your gridded photograph with the newly divided canvas, you should have an idea now where to start.

If you look closely enough you will notice that I have not only divided my canvas into 5 long and 4 wide but I have also sub- divided some of the tricky areas so as to make the drawing easier (note the lips for example)

Feel free to do this with any area you are finding difficulty with. I find that when I’m portrait painting, I would do this regularly.

Please make sure that when you are sub-dividing an area on your canvas, you also do so with the same area on your photograph.

At this stage, the drawing should be a fairly rough draft as this portrait depends mostly on painted detail at a later stage. We should mainly be concentrating on lines and shapes that we know we’ll need at the painting stage.


After your sketch is complete and you are happy with it you should now begin to ink it.

The ink you need is made from a little Burnt Sienna paint mixed with some white spirits. Make it fairly watery as this way it dries within 10-15 mins. If you make it too strong it will take longer to dry and harder to get rid of at the painting stage.

Inking has three purposes

(1) To enable yourself to see the sketch clearer,

(2) To take the pencil marks away and make task ahead seem less daunting

(3) To block the graphite from the pencil leaking on to some delicate colours at the painting stages

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Inked drawing ready for the painting stages



Hi everyone.

Welcome to today’s class

This afternoon we will be concentrating not only on background, but also garment and some skin tone (just to make up for lost time yesterday 🙂 )

Please freshen up your background with some white. Use your largest round head hog haired brush to do this. Do not put too much paint on though as it may interfere with your colours at the next stage.

On picture below, you will see the advantage of inking your pencil sketch. Do you see how it has allowed me to put the paint on liberally without having to worry whether I’d lose my pencil line or not. Even though I painted over the outline in places, it still remains visible and allowes me to paint away freely and unhindered.

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Painting the white basecoat on background

The background in this painting contains many colours. I’d say the original artist selected mainly blues as they are the perfect contrast for the many orange and dark browns on the skin tones.

The main colours to put on the wet white are: Coeurilum Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Purple, and if you look closely you could also apply a little Crimson Alizeron and some Viridian Green with the blues.

Apply these quickly and without fuss as each colour should stand out individually and should not be over blended.

Use a medium flat hog haired brush for this.

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Applying the colours


STAGE 5 THE SKIN TONES 3.45pm approx

Look closely at the skin tones and count all of the colours you see. The main colour is Burnt Sienna and this should be used as your base colour everywhere there’s dark skin.

The skin is somewhat distorted near the bottom where the light is having an influence. Don’t let that bother you too much. What you have to concentrate on at this stage is the colours and the colours only….You should not be wondering why is the dark skin now gone into blue and white tones. Just paint what you see. It WILL come together.

Apply all of the colours, firstly the Burnt Sienna basecoat and then a little white basecoat for the colours at the bottom. Note all of the shadows on her neck. You should still have some grid lines on the face which will help you with your shadows, so make good use of them now at this stage.

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Placing the Burnt and Raw Umbers on the Burnt Sienna basecoat

Start to apply the Burnt Umber and Raw Umber on top of your Burnt Sienna basecoat. Don’t be content with this though. If you examine your photograph (below) you will note that there are other more subtle colours through the dark browns.

daily painting titled Louis

I noted some French Ultramarine and some Crimsons there. It’s amazing the difference when you add these additions to the browns.

Much the same technique can be used at the bottom of the neck. Follow the brush stroke direction carefully. The colours to be applied on top of the white basecoat are Coeurilum Blue, French Ultramarine Blue , Burnt Sienna, a little Yellow Ochre and a touch of Lilac (Purple and White).

When all of your colours are applied, please start your blending but try not to over blend as we will need to notice the brush strokes a little on the skin.


SECTION 6 THE GARMENT 4.45pm (approx)

Please paint a little white base on to the garment area

See how many colours you can see there now and start to apply them on their areas. Obviously the predominant colour here is Lemon (Yellow and White)

daily painting titled Louis

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The Garment

There are stronger lemon shades mainly on the curves and creases. As the garment curves in to the skin, the colours get darker. this can be achieved by mixing the Lemons with a little Raw Umber.

The dark creases will also be achieved with both of these colours and maybe a little French Ultramarine Blue added to the brown for extra darkness (as in the collar above).

Keep your lines soft. By soft I mean that you blend your outline with it’s neighbouring colour. For example where the yellow meets the blue or where it meets the skin.

You can achieve this effect by brushing (with a small sable brush) over both colours together. We’ll say you want to soften the yellow with the blue. Place your brush exactly on the outline between both whilst both colours are still wet. Then paint gently between both at the same time. This removes any sharpness and softens the line.


Tuesday afternoon April 7th 3.20pm

Hi everyone

Welcome to this afternoon’s session. We are going to concentrate on her hair, her ear and some of the forehead and face.

Putting on the base coat (Burnt Sienna and White)

Use some Burnt Sienna with a tiny touch of white. Apply this sparingly as you only need this for your second coat colours can blend at ease with each other.

Freshen up the background colours that are touching the hair. There is no need to freshen all of the background. The reason we do this is so that the last of the hair can melt into the background (see below) and appear ‘see through’

Work in progress on the hair

Start to apply your Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey in places that you want to look particularly dark. You will notice that they gradually get darker going to the back.

Use a small round head hog haired brush for this. Try to use some circular brush strokes especially when you are applying your darker colours.

Working on the base coat colours for her ear, forehead and the skin tones around her hair

Mix up another bit of Burnt Sienna and White for your face and ear base coat. Only try a small area at first and concentrate on this.

Start to apply every colour that you can see, Paint it in the general direction of the contours of the face. For example, The lower forehead near the top of the nose would have round letter C like strokes.

Exaggerate every colour you can see and apply without wondering why. Only do a portion of the face at this stage as what you learn from this area will stand to you when you get to the more difficult last stage.


Hi everyone

Welcome to a slightly later than planned Thursday evening session.


Finishing off the basecoat

The basecoat is a mixture of Burnt Sienna and a little white. Apply it fairly sparingly as we don’t want it to influence the darker colours too much at the later stages.



Roughly applying the facial colours

Look closely at your photograph. Spend a few minutes with a pen and paper and take down as many of the brighter colours as you can see.

Mix up these colours on your palette so as you won’t have to worry about them again. It’s always an idea to have plenty mixed rather than running short.

Above you can see that I am starting off with some light Coeurilum Blue /White mixture, Some French Ultramarine/ White mix, Some Purple/White , Whites, Crimsons. These will sit nicely on your basecoat (providing that there’s not too much of it)

At this stage don’t worry too much about toning. Time enough for that when you meet up with the darker tones at the next stage



Beginning the final toning process

Look again at your photograph and this time study the darker tones. They basically consist of Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber and Raw Umber /French Ultramarine Blue. Use a little Paynes Grey here and there with the Raw Umber if you think you need an extra dark colour.

I’m using an ordinary round head sable brush to achieve a ‘blotchy’ stroke. These are just for the rough application of your colours. They will be toned more at the final stage 11.

When you are happy with your applications and your colour placments , it’s probably time to take a look at the outline especially on the left hand side. At the moment this outline is too sharp. It needs to be softened. We will be doing this at the next and final stage.

But now you can begin to soften the hairline to the face now whilst the paint is wet.



Softening the outline and some finishing touches

Finally we are at my favourite part of any painting…the touch-ups.

A few things to note. The first is the left hand outline that we spoke about at the last stage. If you refresh just a little of the background colour and then soften the darker colours and allow them to melt in with a tapping stroke.

Look out for whatever highlights you have to put in such as the bottom of her nose, the outline of her top lip and her visible eye lid. Put in a hint of an eyelash on the invisible eye with a light paintstroke and a ‘scrape’ whilst the paint is still wet.

I think that is all. I hope you enjoyed this one. The next paintings nos 5 ,6, 7 and 8 will be published tomorrow on their own pages.

Bye for now.




Painted by Margie from our Wednesday evening art class
Painted by Rita from our Tuesday evening classes
Painted by Denise from our Friday morning class
Painted by Denise’s son Calum (age 5)

Here’s a few colour mixing tips you can practice on in between classes.


Try a few variations to achieve different shades as you progress. For example whien making orange (No 7)


Try 50% Cadmium Red and 50% Cadmium Yellow, followed by 25% Cadmium Red and 75% Cadmium Yellow etc etc

1. Sky Blue …. Coeurilium Blue and White

2. Pink .… Crimson Alizeron and White

3. Lemon … Lemon Yellow and White or Cadmium Yellow and White

4. Fawn … Raw Umber and White

5. Lime …. Sap Green and Yellow with a little White

6. Sunshine Green . Sap Green & Yellow, a little Yellow Ochre & a little White

7. Orange …. Cadmium Red and Yellow

8. Tangerine …. Lemon Yellow & a little Cadmium Red & a little White.

9. Skin Tone 1. . White with a little Burnt Sienna

10.Skin Tone 2 …Lemon Yellow and White with a little Cadmium Red

11. Lilac 1. (Red Tone) Crimson Alizeron and white with a little French Ultramarine Blue-Purple

12. Lilac 2. (Blue Tone) French Ultramarine Blue and White with a little Crimson

13. Purple … (Red Tone) Crimson Alizeron with a little French Ultramarine Blue-Purple

14. Purple (Blue Tone) French Ultramarine with a little Crimson Alizeron.

15. Grey (Red Tone) Raw Umber and French Ultramarine and Whitewith a touch of Crimson Alizeron

16. Grey (Blue Tone) …..Raw Umber with French Ultramarine and White.

17. Chemical Grey.…. Black with a little White.

18. Dark Green.… Sap Green with some French Ultramarine Blue

19. Dark Red. ….. Cadmium Red with Crimson Alizeron with a little Raw Umber.

20. Brown 1. Cadmium Red and Sap Green.

21. Brown 2. … Orange and Cadmium Yellow

22. Brown 3. Cadmium Yellow and Purple

23. Brown 4. Cadmium Red and a little Black

24. Olive Green ….. Sap Green with a little Raw Umber and a little Yellow Ochre.

25 The Beach …. Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and a little White.

26 Pale Skin Tone 1. Crimson Alizeron with a little Cadmium Yellow and a little White

27. Pale Skin Tone 2. Burnt Sienna and White.