Wednesday 27 April 2022

Sanctuary rework 1


I mentioned earlier that I was reworking a painting I did in 2009.

This is how I left it then.

There were a few things that i had started to notice and I decided to forego  varnishing it and try to improve the painting.

The main thing I wanted to change was the hair on the blond angel. It now looked like there was too much of it.

I started by using white body and glazes to correct the hair  equalize the colours on the figures and give a ground to work up from.

I also dedided to reduce the hair on the black-haired angel.

I also added a white glaze to the water and the distant landscape and reworked the blue areas of the sky.

This is what it looks like after the first session.

I am continuing to work on it and am taking photos after each session. 

I will post more on the painting's progress.

Until next time


Sunday 24 April 2022



It has recently occurred to me that, whilst I have posted about a great number of my paintings, I do not think that I have previously posted anything about composition.

Obviously subject, objects and colour are all essential elements of any painting, but none work well without good composition.

This is geometric and roughly mathematical.

I will use my painting Metamorphosis as an example

Here is the painting with the composition superimposed.

The tower on the hill is set at The Golden Section, which roughly( in this case very roughly) divides the horizontal space one third to two thirds ( this is a classical element of composition that has been used since the Renaissance) ;

The foliage of the trees is formed by two intersecting circles;

 The trees on the hill, the tower on the hill and the tor on the horizon from a triangle;

The trees on the hill the moon and the arc of butterflies form an extended ellipse

I use circles and arcs a lot in my paintings as they are excellent ways of leading the eye of the viewer and I like to encourage the viewer to explore different paths within a painting.

In this case , one path leads from the transformation of the flower to the butterfly, via the arc of butterflies , to the moon; the other from the trees to the tower to the tor on the horizon.

...and now I look at it again, there is a second triangle formed by the trees and the moon...which was unplanned and just happened that way...

I may use other paintings to talk more about composition later.

Until next time


Wednesday 20 April 2022



It takes quite a long time to paint a picture in oils. When it is finished the painting need to be varnished, but one cannot do this immediately. The painting need to be at least six months old before varnish can be applied.

This means that the painting has to be put aside somewhere it won't be damaged.

I have tended to hang my finished works and, as some of them are hung on the staircase wall, some of them are not easy to get down again. I am also prone to deciding to rework previously finished paintings ( in so far as a painting is ever finished...)

Consequently, there were eight painting of various sizes dating back to 2009 that had yet to be varnished and I decided it was time to do something about this. I thought that there were nine, but one, on closer inspection had already been varnished.

I have now varnished seven of these and have started reworking the last one- Typically, it is the one that is the most difficult to get back on the wall and will require a ladder to be set on the stairs and lent on the box room wall....

Anyway , varnishing equalises the sheen on the surface of the painting, protects the surface and adds luster to the colours.

Here is a new image of an old painting after it has been varnished.

This one is only A5 size.

Until next time


Sunday 17 April 2022

Restoring wall plaque


Early in my father's life, he collected several wall plaques relating to things he had done.

As some of these were heraldic, he passed them on to me.

They included two mementos from his time in the army: plaques for  the  Royal Artillery and Sandhurst.

Most of the plaques were in excellent condition, but the varnish on the  Sandhurst one had somehow become extremely dark and discoloured and the Sandhurst badge was obscured.

Recently, I decided to try to thin, or clean off the varnish.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo before I started, so am having to rely on a blow-up from the background of another picture to provided a very vague idea of  what it used to look like,

Once I started gently using varnish remover on it , however, some of the paint also came off.

I rebuilt the surface with gesso  and spent some time carefully repainting it.

I think it has come out quite well.

Here is a close up.

Until next time


Wednesday 13 April 2022



I and my husband are current languishing in self isolation due to a recent positive covid test.

The symptoms are currently heavy/ gunky  cold  verging on mild 'flu.

Consequently, I am not getting as much art done as usual...

But here's a piece I made earlier...

I found an Elfquest Cartoon idea in one of my old sketchbooks and decided to do a new version

I have used photoshop to add posing pouches to make it suitable for this blog.

I will add the unaltered version to the Garden of Dubious Delights website at some point...

Until next time


Sunday 10 April 2022

Medic 4


Here is the last version of the new computer art

 Until next time


Wednesday 6 April 2022

Dark-eyed boy


Here is another drawing from my sketch book.

As it is a male nude, I have adjusted it for this blog.

Until next time


Saturday 2 April 2022

Medic 3


Here is the third version of my new computer art.

Until next time