Art Diary: Week Ending 22nd June


Sunday and I spent the early part of the day in the garden: weeding and similar seemingly pointless tasks (actually there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is just a very long tunnel!). I worked on the computers from the middle of the afternoon onwards.


I finished the main painting stage of MY THOUGHTS IN A LANDSCAPE and then left off the small landscapes to start two portraits/landscapes I am doing for a wedding present for a friend.

MY THOUGHTS IN A LANDSCAPE - work in progress

MY THOUGHTS IN A LANDSCAPE – work in progress

I did the pencil drawing stage of both versions: they are entitled COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE. I then went over the lines on one version with acrylic paint.


I went over the pencil lines on the second COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE with acrylic jar colour and then put a thin raw sienna acrylic wash over both pictures. After this had dried I painted the elements representing the two people using oil plus alkyd paint (I may need it to dry relatively fast, hence the alkyd).


June had the day off and we went for a stroll and meal in the late afternoon. I decided to spend my time before this catching up with some jobs in the garden. I belatedly planted out a number of potted plants into the borders and tubs – I would take more photographs if the weeds weren’t as high as sequoias.

A mess with recently planted flowers in the front.

A mess with recently planted flowers in the front.


I started painting bother versions of COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE using mainly oils (although I am using an alkyd white for some of the mixing – now only because I am short of artist quality white).


I did a bit more work on one of the COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE paintings and then had to go out for the rest of the day. I hope to finish painting the landscape components of both versions on Monday and then add the character symbols on Tuesday or Wednesday.

COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE - work in progress

COUPLE IN A LANDSCAPE – work in progress


My wife and I went out for the day so nothing much was done except for a bit of scribbled writing between clothes rails and a few photographs on the way home. I did spend almost £40 on two tubes of white paint though! (artist oil and acrylic). I must admit as an experiment, and to use up paint purchased extremely cheaply in a closing down sale, I do use student grade paint for some paintings or parts of paintings. Most other professional painters I have met do the same.

In case anyone is interested: I use Winsor & Newton Artists Oils (or Winton Oils as mentioned above) and Liquitex and/or Winsor & Newton Artists Acrylic.

Liquitex acrylic used to be markedly better but their mediums/varnishes do yellow (spoiling a lot of my early experimental work – partly my fault though as I applied it too thickly and also let it run) and their paint does eventually go hard in the tube – this is unsurprising of course. I think Winsor & Newton are probably just as good now. They are both owned by the same company and incidentally W&N’s student acrylic range (called Galeria) is made for them by the French company Lefranc & Bourgeois – also owned by the same company (or it was when I had a part time job in the art trade).

I like the Winsor & Newton artists oils colour range (they do lovely chrome yellow and chrome green hues for example – but sadly not a chrome orange hue) and it is less thick than some of the so called high quality ranges. This is important to me as I normally use the paint straight from the tube. Winton oil colours are even smoother; as are Griffin alkyd colours – although I have only used the white recently. I tried alkyd paints when they first came out in the middle Seventies and they were hopeless, quickly going hard in the tube and being difficult to paint with. They appear to have improved immeasurably.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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2 Responses to Art Diary: Week Ending 22nd June

  1. Brian Hughes says:

    I use oil paints made by some company called ‘Boldmere’ (apparently). Don’t ask me. My mum gave them to me. It says here on the box that they’re the artists choice…which says a lot about them as they haven’t even put an apostrophe in the word artists’.

    • The Works sells Boldmere products. I have never looked at them though. I imagine they are student quality from China (often with strange additives), not that this matters of course as it is what you do with them that counts.

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