Friday, 2 December 2016

A bit of summer in the studio

Here are an other two paintings done in the studio while the baby sleeps... If I'm looking for inspiration and need some good reference photographs, I know I'll always find something inspiring in my sister's Instagram account... She takes the most beautiful pictures of her life in South Africa with her family (have a look here if you're curious: www.instagram.com/sophiepirlot). She has three adorable daughters and they make the best models for those pictures. I found two photographs that were begging to be painted, and they brought a little taste of summer back in the studio.

The painting below is Aprilia walking on a sunny path:


Sunny Path  8"x8" oil on board


Detail


Detail


Here are the step by step pictures for those who like to know more about my technique. As you can see below I work directly from the computer because it is convenient but also because an RGB display screen is generally richer that any printed pictures...





Step 1: I picked a background colour that fits the subject (something warm in this case), then applied a grid like on the reference photograph, then did a basic drawing.




Step 2: Bock out the darkest green and some mid tones




Step 3: Some lighter tones in the greens and work on the path




Step 4: Painting the figure




Step 5: Adding all the highlights and refining some details


Step 6: Stop now! Don't spoilt it! :-)



This second painting depicts Colombine and Aprilia heading to the swimming pool:

The gate to the swimming pool  10"x10"  oil on board


Detail


Detail


Here is the step by step:



(Note: I'm missing the picture of the basic drawing on step1 because I had left my phone in the baby's room to play the white noise app to get him to sleep! :-))
In this case I used a vivid orange background to convey the feeling of heat across the whole painting.


Step 2: Bock out the darkest greens and some mid tones




Step 3: Work on the figures and the background 




Step 4: Adding some highlights




Step 5: Adding more contrast and defining the shapes of the trees and gates




Step 6: Adding the flowers and final details





These paintings are not for sale as I'm keeping them in the family, but I just wanted to mention I'm available for similar commissions if you have a good inspiring photograph waiting to be painted! All my available paintings are for sale on my website here.

Also, with Christmas approaching, let me remind you that my 2017 calendars (desk and wall formats) are available for sale on my website here, alongside other products such as postcards and giclée prints. Worldwide shipping available.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The rain is coming - Lacanau

Here is an other studio painting I did while my baby was asleep. It is from a photograph I took during a family holiday this summer at Lacanau beach, near Bordeaux. The weather wasn't great during our stay but in the typical english good spirit, it didn't stop us going to the beach in our swimming suits, parasols, and a ton of suncream (well I speak for myself here), while it was hardly 18 degrees and it was clear the rain was only a few minutes away. I caught on my camera this moody dark sky just before we got completely wet and wanted to have a try turning it into a painting.


The rain is coming, Lacanau  12"x10" oil on board


I enjoyed painting the sky with freedom with big brushes and generous amount of paint, without thinking too much about what I was doing (not that I ever really know what I'm doing!). I'm quite pleased with the result and might try a few more from the same series.




Detail



Detail





Tuesday, 1 November 2016

First painting since the baby's arrival!

Yeah! I'm back at the easel! It is now two months since my little boy was born and I have missed painting ever since I had to stop in late pregnancy. I have been blessed with a baby that sleeps well so during his naps, and when the eldest is at preschool, I can sometimes manage to sneak in the studio in my home for a quick oil sketch. That means that I have to rush in the studio as soon as he's asleep and put the brushes down when he wakes up, so I end up working on the painting over a few naps sessions. Obviously we are not talking about plein air painting or large work, but small studies from photographs instead. Still, it feels good to paint!

The painting below was done from a photograph of Lake District (UK). I had fun painting those distant hills contrasting with the darker foreground. 


Lake District view  10"x8" oil on board


If you spot a few shaky lines here and there, that could be because I was so eager to finish the painting after my boy woke up that I completed it while rocking the bouncer with my foot as he watched me paint with interest (I know they can't see that far at that age but let's pretend he's interested shall we).

Here are a couple of detail close up below.


Detail


Detail

I hope to be able to post more naps paintings soon!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Baby, shows and calendars

I haven't posted much recently but I think I have a good excuse; we've just welcomed to the world our baby son Sebastian, born on the 28th of August. So I'm temporarily swapping paint brushes for milk and paints for nappies until I get back behind the easel in a few months' time - or maybe before? My husband found it funny that only a couple of hours before I gave birth, I was still sorting out a painting delivery between the contractions! Artist and mother go together! :-)

I just wanted to keep you updated on a few things here. First, for those in Belgium, I wanted to let you know that my exhibition "The Battle of Waterloo in paintings" held at the Waterloo Tourist Office has been extended until the end of September. So you still have a few weeks to view it. See my original post for more details here: info about the show

Talking about shows, it seems I will be exhibiting some of my work next year 4 March - 29 April 2017 at the Galleries Shop and Café venue in Freshford, Bath. I'll give more details soon.

And another good news to coincide with the new arrival: my new calendars 2017 have arrived! If you want to spend 2017 with my latest favourite selection of paintings, then you can order yours now on my website here: http://www.valeriepirlot.com/shop

As usual, there is a wall and desk calendar option and they can be shipped worldwide.
See below to have a preview of the selection of paintings.
  

Wall calendar cover


January - Note the original painting is available for sale here.


February


March


April


May - Note the original painting is available for sale here



June


July


August


September


October - Note the original painting is available for sale here


November - Note the original painting is available for sale here


December - Note the original painting is available for sale here



The same selection of paintings is displayed in the desk format:



For more info, go to my website: http://www.valeriepirlot.com/shop

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Clouds, sheep and boats

Here are a couple of paintings done in plein air in the countryside between Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon a few weeks ago. These outings have become rather rare lately because it is getting harder to carry my painting kit at the same time as my ever growing baby belly, not to mention the risk of breaking my chair! I would love to say I'm being inspired by this pregnancy and doing some interesting studio self portraits, but the truth is I'm spending my evenings instead watching the sound of music and eating chocolate... Still, the optimistic person I am just thought it was the perfect time to buy a new easel so I will do my best to use it before the new arrival end of next month...

For the first painting below, I wanted to use big bold strokes and keep things very simple, using the minimum amount of marks possible. I had fun painting the clouds and suggesting the sheep with a few brushstrokes.


Clouds and sheep, near Bradford on Avon  10"x12"  oil on board 


The painting towards the end

A few close up details below:

Detail


Detail



Below is my second painting of the day, done just a few minutes drive from the first painting location. What caught my eyes was the variety of greens and the light piercing through the trees and hitting the roofs of the boats.

Narrow boats near Bradford on Avon   10"x8"  oil on  board


As you can see below I like to live life dangerously as I was painting pretty close to the edge. Anybody that didn't like my painting could have sent me in the water with one push!



The painting towards the end


Detail

Detail




Saturday, 4 June 2016

During a walk in Bath...

Here is a painting I did in the studio a few weeks ago but forgot to post it. It is the view from the path I often use to go to the local shops. I was with my daughter when I saw this beautiful light so I couldn't stop to paint but I took a picture and rushed home to produce this painting in the studio.

Bath from the Linear Park  10"x8"  oil on board

This painting is for sale on my website here:
www.valeriepirlot.com/englandmainlyinbath


Detail 1



Detail 2

By the way, I finally signed up to Twitter so you can now follow me on @Valerie_Pirlot

I have also launched a brand new newsletter so if you want to be kept up to date then please enter your email address here: www.valeriepirlot.com/mailinglist