Ivanhoe jousting off the grid

Ivanhoe jousting off the grid

In my last blog post I wrote about the painting session I did for my Ashby Arts Festival board and said that I would show it when it was finished. Well, now it is!Ivanhoe joustingFirst colours

I knew when I did my first preliminary sketch on a piece of A4 paper that I wanted the two knights jousting with lances, on horseback. With Ivanhoe facing the viewer and the other knight less important within the picture.  Since I knew the boards are 4 feet by 8,  and I was doing my picture as a horizontal image I had an idea in my head how it would look. And I also wanted the viewer to be behind the shoulder of one of the knights as it made the picture more dramatic than if they were facing each other from each end of the board. With the lances crossing and painting directly at each opponent. Since I love pennants and the movement of the wind, it made sense for me to add one to the picture, flowing across the scene and pulling the colours of the knights together to add harmony to the picture. Although it was painted as blocks of colours, since the picture has to be viewed from across roads and high up on buildings, it meant that every mark had to count. And every colour too, so after I had done a line drawing I was happy with as my basic image, I then numbered all the areas a number from 1 – 5, with 1 being the lightest colour, and 5 being the darkest. Then I looked at the paints I had and judged which were best as colours 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Obviously 1 would be white and cream, and 5 would be black. The dark tail of the horse on the left would be 4 and 5, the sky would be 2, etc etc. I also made sure that the colours I used were a good contrast to the colours by them. So, although the white shield was next to yellow and they are both pale colours, the fact the cross was red on it, and the sky and distant trees were darker, meant that it would still stand out.

Ivanhoe jousting Second coloursEven though I knew exactly what I was doing, it still took ages to draw the image out on the board, and the easiest way to do that was by gridding off the board and I mirrored that grid on my drawing on the A4 sheet of paper. Then double checked it looked right by standing back from my image and adjusting the drawing on the board. That took three hours! But, I knew that if the drawing was correct, the paint would be. If the drawing was wrong, it would have looked awful!

At least it was just a case of blocking in colours after that using the little match pots from DIY stores since its the cheapest and quickest method of getting paint that doesn’t need to be mixed and will stay wet in its pot until you use it. I did actually mix a paint for the knights chainmail armour and helmets, since I didn’t want black, or grey or dull blue as they would have looked too much like new steel. So the colour I mixed was a browny-fawny-greyey-creamy- colour. Why don’t Wickes do a colour called that? Instead of “Willow blossom” or “Old pine” or whatever they call them!! 🙂Ivanhoe jousting Third colours

So, bearing in mind, that it was freezing, and there was no heating at all in the warehouse that I was working in, and the bare concrete floor was hard, I am pleased with how well I got on. I might have had cold fingers, and bruised knees, and a dripping nose, but I got on well with the painting, and seventeen hours of my time finished it! From first drawing, to varnishing the finished board, seventeen hours. And I loved it!

I’ll show you when it goes up in the town but at the moment it’s in storage with the others until its needed. These things might not be used until the month of May, but the planning and creative execution of them is done months beforehand.


So, my painting of “Ivanhoe jousting”, finished and ready to go up for the Arts Festival in Ashby de la Zouch.

Ivanhoe jousting

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

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