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Gallery Highlights E-Newsletter August 2017

Read more from the gallery artists whose work has been selected for this month's gallery highlights e-newsletter

Annabel Burton   Jeff Cain   Jenny Hancock   Michael Kummerer   Pat Harrison   Sarah Meredith

Flowers from the Local Shop by Annabel Burton

I am lucky to live in a small village in Cheshire and on impulse I bought one of two delightful bouquets on display next to the fresh produce. Although I have painted plenty of bunches of flowers in pen and watercolour I hadn’t tackled one before in acrylic, from life, at a much larger size than I am used to. This painting is 24 x 16 inches. I happened to have some larger canvases so decided to take on the challenge. Recently I was given some palette knives and I love working with these to create texture and to add pure colour to give a lift to the painted surface.

I began by priming the canvas with gesso and then added a rough acrylic wash as a base layer, allowing some of the primed canvas to show through. For me, it is important to simplify, and pick and choose when faced with a subject in real life, otherwise you can get bogged down in the detail. I set to with applying paint fairly haphazardly, knowing I could tighten it up later, or paint over it and used the actual flowers and foliage as a reference rather than a copy. I am always aware of how the colours work together and will use plenty of artistic licence. Ideally what I wanted to convey was the delicacy of these English garden flowers, grown locally. I loved the fact that the foliage was more abundant than the flower heads, to create naturalness and subtlety. I used plenty of white, sap green, magenta, yellow ochre, ultramarine, black, cadmium yellow and winsor blue, so a fairly limited palette. Usually, I use around fifteen different brushes and two large dinner plates to mix colours and create different effects.

I sell my work from my Facebook page at Annabel Burton Art and also ebay. The digital scans have been reproduced and sold in high street retailers such as Sainsbury, Tesco and M and Co.

You can see more of Annabel's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.

Whippet by Jeff Cain

This Whippet painting was my first serious foray into the world of wildlife art that has not involved a wolverine in some way or another! It is of a whippet named Bo, who died last year, and I really wanted to capture her look and soft character. She had lived a life of luxury.

I usually start with the background on my paintings but this time I painted the dog first and the background last. I wanted to make sure that it looked like Bo before wasting any time on the rest of the artwork.

I used acrylic paint on a large Ampersand Art panel. I found acrylics to be really great to use as they dry fast which allowed me to build up layers and detail to create depth.

My previous wolverine paintings were all completed using gouache but not any more!

I painted Bo well-aware that the owner would notice any mistakes I made, and it is certainly less pressure painting wild wolverines. However I did enjoy working on this whippet painting and am hoping to get more pet commissions in the near future. If anyone is interested please contact me via PaintersOnline.

See more of Jeff's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here or on his website,

Nasturtiums by Jenny Hancock

I began lino printing towards the end of last year after reading a small article about it and remembering that I had a basic set of tools and an old piece of lino in my studio. It’s always fun to experiment with a new process, technique or material and I have enjoyed the learning journey.

As I like to make colourful pieces, my lino cut prints are created using the reduction method where one piece of lino is used to create a multi coloured image. Parts of the lino are carved away and a colour printed. Further areas are then carved away and another colour printed on top of the first revealing some of the previous layer, and so on, building up layers of colour. The lino block is destroyed in the process.

This particular print measures 90mm x 155mm and is an 11 layer reduction print using oil based inks. It was printed by hand using a wooden spoon and is one of only 12 printed.

Whilst teaching myself to lino print I have also discovered a great community of lino cut printmakers who are generous with their help advice and encouragement.

I find that the printing process compliments my painting.

Jenny has provided the following images showing of the progress of her print:

See more of Jenny's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here or on Facebook.

Crail Harbour by Michael Kummerer

My sketch of Crail Harbour is painted on Windsor & Newton NOT. Having recently restarted  my art hobby I was looking for a style and inspiration. My search started on Youtube where I came across two artists, Tim Wilmot and Peter Shearer. Initially I started following the latter, Peter Shearer. He manages to simplify his subjects with line and wash, and usually his working size is 5 x 7 inches as is Crail Harbour. Seeing his work one of his followers said she will never draw a straight line again, and this is what I have tried to follow.

I work with a limited palette and use mainly with a ½ inch flat brush, sometimes a Pentel Waterbrush which is what I used for the Crail sketch. While Peter starts straight away with his Uni ball waterproof ink pen, I always sketch out the subject with pencil. Getting the perspective correct is important and I practise this by drawing cubes against the vanishing point, then adding roofs etc. onto the cube. I try to breakdown  every object into basic shapes i.e spheres, cubes, tubes, pyramids etc. then adding detail to them. Once pencilled in, I then harden the sketch over  the subject with the pen.

I also find that using a fountain pen with Quink soluble ink and then using a Pentel Waterbrush to pull out the shaded areas, then adding gouache to bring out the highlights works well. See some examples below.

I have done many sketches of the buildings and harbours of the East Neuk of Fife in a similar manner, the 5 x 7 sketch mounted to fit in an 8 x 10 inch frame. Fortunately I keep selling them, unfortunately I never have enough ready to display in an exhibition! Crail Harbour, once framed in the manner described, sold for £50.


You can see more of Michael's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.

Dartmoor Tor by Pat Harrison

My painting Dartmoor Tor is one of many created to express my love for the beautiful countryside you will find all over England, with the West Country being one of my favourites. My wife and I are both members of National Trust and English Heritage, despite the fact that we live on the continent.

Visiting the UK several times a year, I capture picturesque scenes on camera to refresh my memory when working in my studio back home.

I am not aiming to produce photo-realistic images, yet I want my viewers to be able to relate to my paintings with their hearts. Therefore I feel as though I am working in the tradition of the old masters, whose works speak a universal language.

The painting is acrylic on wood coated with primed cotton. As usual, I started with a drawing to determine the composition. The next step defined the atmosphere of the painting by choosing the colour of the sky. As it was meant to convey a bright and sunny day, I chose cerulean blue mixed with plenty of white acrylic.

I prefer to work from back to front rather than blocking in all areas at the very beginning. The sky would therefore overlap the background just a little to ensure a smooth transition. I painted the rear landscape with a very small round brush making sure that it would be slightly out of focus, and with a blue tint to create depth. As it was still too strong, I scumbled over it with a coat of very light blue.

Now it was time to block in the rocks in raw umber and the grass area in a mix of lemon yellow and ultramarine subdued with a little raw umber. Although I have read somewhere that you should not over-dilute acrylics, I tend to add as much water as possible to let the white surface shine through before adding more and more paint for the darks.

The middle ground on the left was coated with burnt sienna carefully diluted to create a hazy tint. By adding yellow ochre further back, I achieved the transition into the background.

The final modelling of the rocks was achieved by employing a fine brush to tap the different areas hundreds of times with various shades of raw umber mixed with white. Burnt umber was used in parts to add variety and Payne's grey was applied for the very dark edges.

A fine tint of yellow scumbled over the white areas of the rocks would add to the illusion of sunshine and the green of the grass was varied by going over it with cad yellow and multiple shades of green mixes and yellow ochre.

The whole process took about two weeks to complete. After varnishing and mounting on a white 40x50cm board it will go on show together with impressive works by our members at the Devon Art Society´s summer exhibition at the end of August. This follows several shows which I have attended already this year, including a solo exhibition at a museum in Greater London.

After a long career in industry, I have now taken up painting full time, showing my works both in England and Germany. My paintings and limited editions sell via West Country Galleries and my personal website.

See more work from Pat in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here, or on his personal website,

Peonies by Sarah Meredith

During the short period when the ancient peonies in our farmyard bloomed this summer, I brought some into my studio each day and worked to “conquer” this most extravagant of flowers.

The first blossoms I tried to paint were in full flower and because of the riot of petals going every which-way, I had trouble getting a handle on their structure. But when I worked with tight buds, like these, I could see and understand the basic globe shape, which gave me greater control when they started to open up.

My normal strategy for making a painting – whether figural or still life – is to create a very loose burnt umber drawing and then go in with color. In this case, however, I recycled an old canvas, so I started with thicker paint and worked very quickly with color in the initial stages in order to obliterate the image underneath. I almost settled on a cream colored background, but in the end switched to dark grey which seemed to better accentuate the deep pink hue of the flowers.

See more of Sarah's work in the PaintersOnline gallery by clicking here.