Made at Morley

 

I recently started going to evening life drawing sessions. Although I draw and paint all the time, working directly from a life model was something I hadn't really done since studying illustration at Middlesex.

The below picture is selected for an upcoming exhibition of work at Morley Gallery entitled 'MADE' - the exhibition is open to the public from February 26th to 21st March.

Funnily enough, I used to draw the model - Clive - at Middlesex . I thought his pose here along with the backdrop made him seem a bit like a snoozing king on a throne.

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Fife, Scotland

 
The Bass Rock and Berwick Law in the distance from Elie, Fife.

The Bass Rock and Berwick Law in the distance from Elie, Fife.

In late October I stayed in Fife for a family get together. It was a great time, and I also got the chance to do a few paintings.  These experiment more with iridescent oil pastels and wax. I really like the possibilities these both give when used with watercolour - the wax rejects the paint which makes interesting shapes, and the oil pastel has a rough texture which is really helpful for describing certain things.

Harbour at Crail, Fife.

Harbour at Crail, Fife.

I really enjoyed painting the fishing villages on the East Neuk of Fife - Crail and Pittenweem. There's just something appealing about drawing boats!

Pittenweem, Fife.

Pittenweem, Fife.

Art materials and much needed flask of tea!

Art materials and much needed flask of tea!

Elie, Fife.

Elie, Fife.

 

180 The Strand

 
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I took a trip to the last day of the 'Everything at Once' art exhibition at 180 The Strand over the weekend. I brought my painting things as a friend had told me there was a great view from the 2nd floor.

After seeing someone being told off for attempting to do an impromptu fashion shoot in one of the rooms downstairs, I somewhat slowly got my art things out and waited to be told to stop whatever it was I was hoping to do. Fortunately no one seemed to mind.

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It was an unusual angle featuring the Southbank on the Thames, and a view looking straight down into an adjacent building site. I was a bit strapped for daylight (the gallery opened in the afternoon) so I had to work quite quickly and narrow my focus as to a view.

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I painted the abstract shapes of the building site first, the sleet and rain during the day had made many surfaces reflective so I worked with iridescent pastels to try and bring this out.

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As it started getting darker I changed my focus to the Thames - using gouache to light up the windows of the buildings and the neon sign of the OXO Tower.

 

Illustrating London's oldest botanic garden

 
A close up from the map.  The design features elements of the Garden which I sketched first on location and then worked into the finished art.

A close up from the map.

The design features elements of the Garden which I sketched first on location and then worked into the finished art.

Recently I was commissioned by the Chelsea Physic Garden to illustrate a pen and ink map featuring my sketches. I was thrilled to be asked as the Garden is somewhere I've enjoyed painting and sketching in the past. As someone who loves drawing interesting places in London, the Garden also has a lot of history.

The Pond Rockery at the Garden - one of the oldest in Europe.

The Pond Rockery at the Garden - one of the oldest in Europe.

Established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the Garden has long been about the growth and study of medicinal and useful plants. This is still very much apparent today - the volunteers give free tours explaining the many different types of plants on site and their uses.

Chelsea Physic Garden - Sloane statue.  A picture I painted on location last year.  One of the volunteers at the Garden very kindly bought the original artwork after seeing me drawing by the Sloane statue. A print is available  here .

Chelsea Physic Garden - Sloane statue.

A picture I painted on location last year.  One of the volunteers at the Garden very kindly bought the original artwork after seeing me drawing by the Sloane statue. A print is available here.

Sketchbook drawings I made on site. This was helpful in gathering reference material for the map, and gave me ideas as to what to include in the final artwork.

   Initial draft sketch in pencil.

 

Initial draft sketch in pencil.

A pencil rough based on sketches. The gardening gloves for the entrance/exit signs was an idea I included in the last stages before getting the OK for the final artwork.

The finished dip pen and ink drawing.

The finished dip pen and ink drawing.

The lettering was particularly fun to do, although I did end up doing a lot of spell checks with some of the longer names before inking... Looking at you 'Monocotyledon Order Beds'.

It was nice to see these available in the Garden shop recently - one of the uses of the map was for a set of high quality bone china mugs. Its really satisfying to see these are now hopefully going to be filled with tea and coffee! Two designs are available and both feature a section of the map and a motif on the inside - the wheelbarrow from my sketchbook ended up being one of the inside pictures.

Atlantic Islands Glasshouse.

Atlantic Islands Glasshouse.

A painting I did at the Garden's Xmas Fair recently. I decided to focus on one of their Foster & Pearson designed glasshouses which date back over 100 years.

 

Greenwich Park

 
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Painting of Greenwich Park I finished the other day featuring Canary Wharf and the University of Greenwich.

I'm in Scotland next week but the picture is available now as a signed print if you would like one. Any orders will be shipped asap from the 28th: https://www.etsy.com/…/greenwich-park-a2-limited-edition-si…

Also, the original picture is for sale. Just get in touch with me at mail@jamesoses.co.uk if you are interested!

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