Sunday, 30 May 2010

Oil Painting Techniques: Making it Simple

Oil painting is straightforward, far simpler than etching or even watercolor painting. If you can see something, you can paint it in oils. To create something memorable, however, you need to:

1. Formulate what you hope to achieve, and devise a workable route to that objective.

2. Research the market if you wish to sell the work.

3. Approach the painting process in logical steps, which usually entail:

a. drawings to investigate compositional possibilities.


b. blocked-out charcoal/pencil/oil sketches to arrange tonal values.

c. oil sketches to experiment with various color schemes and harmonies.

d. preparing canvas and paint for the anticipated tasks.


e. applying paint to canvas, either incorporating the results of b and c in direct painting, or by tackling them in distinct phases.

f. varnishing, framing and hanging the work.

Yes, it does help to know what you're about. But though the objectives of painting, and even how to go about them, can all be stated in a few page:

1. Acquiring the necessary eye and manual skill takes years, and


2. Producing something significant requires individual gifts, strong personal qualities and unceasing application.



Whatever you attempt, you'll get there quicker if you appreciate the larger dimensions of oil painting techniques, and continually study the work of other practitioners, both the old and contemporary masters.

This sound advice and more along with instructional DVD's are available from http://www.oil-painting-techniques.com/ a site that is well worth a visit.

Hebrides Landscape Painting by Rob Miller


An improved Hebrides and Portobella Road on their way to London.
acrylic on canvas
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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Londons Maida vale in Spring a Painting by Rob Miller


Maida Vale work in progress cherry blosom in springtime work in progress.

Maida Vale is a residential district in West London between St John's Wood and Kilburn. It is part of City of Westminster. The area is mostly residential, and mainly affluent, consisting of many large Edwardian blocks of mansion flats, though it is also home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios. In Maida Hill in the south, the Paddington Basin, a junction of three canals with many houseboats, is known as Little Venice.

It starts off the Edgware Road (or A5) from Kilburn, near Kilburn High Road station running south-east, past Maida Vale tube station, through the district known as Maida Vale. Just to the east of Maida Vale is St John's Wood and Lord's Cricket Ground. Where it meets St. John's Wood Road, Maida Vale reverts to the name Edgware Road.
Maida Vale acrylics 70 x70 cm

History. The area was developed by the Church Commissioners in the early 1800s as middle class housing. The district acquired its name from the Hero of Maida, a public house which opened on the Edgware Road soon after the Battle of Maida, 1806.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Maida Vale was a predominantly Jewish district, and the area contains the 1896 Spanish & amp; Portuguese Synagogue (a Grade II listed building) and headquarters of the British Sephardi community. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, lived within sight of this synagogue on Warrington Crescent. The pioneer of modern computing, Alan Turing was born a few hundred yards further down this same road.

Formosa Street Maida Vale 

Maida Vale tube station was opened on June 6, 1915, on the Bakerloo Line.#

So how interesting was all that? I like the bit about the Maida Battle and respect the housing some of which is quite beautiful in the spring. 

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Le artelier de Rob Miller est maintenant travailler. (The Rob Miller studio is now working)

The new studio is now open and in use; though a final coat of emulsion was needed I looked across the space at my easel and decided that she was not getting enough attention and needed an outing and you know what its like; next thing the oil paint  was also romancing me with its creamy texture and velvety sheen; and with a primed canvas doing a full on white Monty there was definitely a state of no no  no to the large roller and the 15 litre tub of Delux mat emulsion. Instead a colourfully brushed riot took place all over Portabello Road 3 as I got into the zone...verily I say t'was most satisfying.

Comment puis-je dire, le chevalet, elle était si beau et au moment où a été au-delà de mes rêves, irrésistible de la peinture chevalet et pinceau plus fous, si elle n'était pas tellement fickle nous aurait parler de mariage peut-être? (How can I say it, the easel, she was so beautiful and the moment was beyond my wildest dreams, irresistible paint, easel and brush, if she wasn’t so fickle we would talk of marriage perhaps?)

As you can see from the picture above, even in a state of semi-completion and using the old pasting table and a chair that I found from the old cafe as furniture it still looks okay. The windows at the rear are all north facing so the light is consistent, to the front the light is strong from the large full width and floor to ceiling shop window but doesn't interfere with the work space nor the hanging areas.

As for the atelier, its a spacious place,  measuring 14 metres by 8 metres with good wall space for hanging work. The energy is good in the place, in its past it was a doctors surgery and family house. The surrounding shops are all excellent,  featuring a hand built kitchens showroom, some architects studios and an array of up market places.

After the next week or two is over, and after the  Chelsea show, I'll be focusing on the gallery space which incidentally is in good decorative order downstairs, the  large entrance foyer/ display area needs a bit of work but everything should be done by July. So when the bronze's are in place along with the modern furnishing in the foyer artisan contemporary will I believe start to look the business.

Friday, 21 May 2010

artisan contemporay gallery is beginning to take shape.


The new artisan contemporary gallery white emulsion is gradually taking over the coffee coloured walls and the space is beginning to look quite large and bright. The wall space is excellent and will hold a serious number of images. The viewing distance is as good as the larger gallery's and yet clients will also be able to view work in a similar intimate way to that of  their own space at home, the building is a large and Victorian.  More decorating tomorrow in the studios space, in the showcase area and in the main gallery. After that I need to clean up the workshop space and complete the storage areas. I'm saving the reception entrance foyer until last because by then I will have a pretty firm idea on signage and a colourway. Its all really exciting.

See more images in the artisan contemporary gallery page.