About ianpriceart

Ian, an RWA, Mall Galleries and Holburne Portrait Prize exhibited artist also paints the Portishead coastline.

A great cake eating final push from all my #artsweek visitors raised £194.64 for the lighthouse. Burp.

The meagre cake leftovers… really that was it. Cue belly rumble.

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For the mathematically minded that’s 0.46 large cakes per visitor. Well done all, especially Helen and the kids for cooking, icing and slicing efforts.

Oh yes and thanks for all the painting and card sales too as well as commission enquiries!

A massive thank you to all of the visitors to my #artsweek open studio,

We’ve raised £94.30 for the lighthouse so far and we all enjoyed the cakes too, thanks Helen. Thank you to Bill Shier for organising so much to support the lighthouse. I got some fantastically helpful feedback on my work and between Richard and I we got three red dots too! Can’t wait until next weekend and good luck to the other venues that are open in the week and I hope the sun brings you plenty more visitors.

Fantastic, positive response from NSAW #artsweek visitors

I’ve had some really great feedback from visitors so do come along tomorrow if you’re thinking about it; between my eclectic mix and Richard’s imagination there’s something for everyone.

Plenty of cake sales too and people enjoying the sun, views from the garden and wandering down to the lighthouse which we are raising money to maintain.

I got out before the start to paint this view from green 7 (I think) on the golf course before the sun came out. Here’s hoping for plenty more sun tomorrow, I enjoyed my mid-afternoon cider in the garden after having 11 in the house at once! Clarification! That’s 11 visitors not ciders.

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Go large at NSAW…

Here’s a four foot wide painting of Kilkenny bay in Portishead I’ve recently completed for NSAW (only 12 days to go). I’ve spent the evening framing it in a sea weathered garden gate frame I beachcombed, complete with a rusty bolt, it’s been in the basement with this in mind for at least four years, it makes it a whopping 5 feet wide. I think it suits it though, you’ll have to come and visit to judge for yourself.
In the bottom left is a misty little cargo ship I painted on a small board too. The large painting was certainly more fun, lots of splashing turps around outside and chasing dribbles. Hopefully I’ll get time to do another, I’ll need a wet paint sign.

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Flood of brochures for North Som. Arts Week have arrived #artsweek

Only a month to go. Here’s Richard and my entry right at the start.

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Slightly lazy opening hours (well work as well) will allow us to see other fab venues though.

Just laid out my pictures today. Really happy with how they look all grouped and framed. I’ve got thirtyish framed works, mostly landscapes of the local area. Quite a few portraits and plenty of unframed life studies and sketches too. When I totted them up I realised that all but 6 have been painted in the last 18 months. I didn’t realise I’d been so prolific.

Will have tea and homemade cake there too! Hopefully I’ll see lots of you here.

Some landscape sketching inspiration from Paris #painting #landscape

Here are some great landscapes that I saw on my break in Paris last week.

If you go, get a Museum Pass as you can skip some hilariously massive queues as well as saving money.

Plenty of inspiration for the final few landscapes I need to complete for the North Som Arts Week open studio the first two weekends in May!

Excuse the laughably bad photos, you get the gist and life’s too short for all that cropping and skewing.

Here are some landscape sketches from the Louvre. Here’s Daubigny who’s death caused VanGogh to grieve.
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Corot, amazingly loose and modern looking, if you ignore the windmill.
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And some great sketches by someone I’d never heard of that obviously painted plein air well before the writers of art history claim the impressionists invented it, Pierre Henri de Valenciennes, d.1819!
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Here’s a more well known Caiballote from the Musee D’Orsay.
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And finally some more Toits from the Nicolas de Stael in the Pompidou Centre.
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Portrait drawing with Laurence Kell

I spent last weekend at the RWA doing portrait drawings at the Laurence Kell course.

It started off fairly conventionally, although I think it was the first time I’ve drawn someone sat in front of me with a pencil since I was fourteen when I dropped art and took physics at school.

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We moved onto cartoons to draw out the unique features of people. I think this was the most fun I’ve had while pretending to take art seriously. I think I may have taken the exercise too far?!

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Then some tonal drawings, altogether more LaurenceKell-like. Would have loved more time to get them to that Florence art school finish.

An unexpected bonus was that the selection for the RWA Drawn exhibition was the same day so could peep at some of it. It was a pretty brutal and rapid process, the final selection looked great in the gallery though so it’ll be worth a visit. It made me feel better about not getting into the RP exhibition this week!

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Some rapid life class oil paintings

I’ve had a stab at doing some real full(ish) palette oil paintings in the life classes recently here are the results with varying degrees of looseness and accompanying turps dribbles.

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This one was a 1 hour study on Arches Huile paper at the Bristol Grammar Life (Ashley Down locn), size about 14 by 12 inch.

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This is a two hour study on a little 8 by 6 inch board, it was at an RWA long pose day a few weekends ago. I thought I’d do a little board to warm up and ended up fiddling about painting tighter and tighter but I kept at it as I quite liked the composition. I was also using Cremnitz Lead white painting the sheets so was really having a go at being a Freud clone.

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This is the one I’m most pleased with I think. I like the turps dribbles so much I briefly considered switching back to watercolours! It’s on a sized piece of cardboard, 10 inch by 10 inch. Also 1 hour.

Watch this space, more turps dribbles coming in the future I think…

P.S. not an oil painting I know, but I enjoyed the following Quink ink study too. I was pleased with the initial outline drawing in fountain pen but took a deep breath and dived in with the watered down inky brush.

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More Portishead Seascapes ready for arts week #art #painting #landscape

Been painting a few more plein-air landscapes on the beach in Portishead. I went down a few weeks ago wondering what to paint and thought I’d base a picture around the two fishermen I could see.

I decided to pack in when I couldn’t feel my fingers any more, which only took about 45 minutes, luckily this was the same time the fisherman left. They’d spotted me painting and were enthusiastic about taking a look leaving the beach and were keen enough to take take the site details from me. So, as promised, here it is following a small about of remedial work to make the sea horizontal!

Two fishermen, Black Nore

Two fishermen, Black Nore

Here are a couple more painted a few weeks earlier during the snow.

Snow on Black Nore


Snow over channel

Snow over channel

Anybody know the name of the factory featured?


2hr Oil sketch portrait on Arches Huile paper #art #painting

I completed this oil sketch yesterday morning. Thanks to Derek for being such a good model. I didn’t do any preliminary sketches this time and was pleased how far I got in the 1st hour leaving time for judging small marks in the 2nd hour. This was another Zorn palette sketch but I was sorely tempted to get more blues and greens in this time, it’s been a good exercise to learn to push red, ochre and black though.

It was the first time I’ve painted on Arches Huile paper. It’s similar to their watercolour paper but sized to support oil paint. My initial sketch marks were a bit of a shock; I couldn’t paint more than an inch without all of the solvent being sucked out of the brush. I had to revert to a more scrubbing dry-brush style to build up the under drawing tonally instead of a more linear sketch. I’ve got a whole sheet to use up though so I’ll be trying again.

I was pleased with the result though and particularly happy that the model thought it was a good effort.

Following the session I tidied up the hat to remove a satin look it had but decided to leave the background unpainted and un-tidied up, bare paper with the odd sketchy mark. I like the sketchy feel especially the turps dribble, not sure about the background, hard to sketch a swift loose background on this paper though. What do you think?

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Today’s portrait from untutored workshop with Deb Pearson #portrait #art #painting

We had 2 hours before and 2 hours after lunch in workshop at the RWA without any breaks, how does she manage to stay so still? Slight downside to having no breaks – less chance to chat to fellow painters and nose at their work. After a bit of sketching I decided to spend the rest of the time on a single study. Zorn palette again, red,black,ochre,white. I was using flats for the portrait and was maybe slightly thinking of the Simon Davis portraits I’d seen in the week.

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A real bonus was free entry to the current Reigning Cats and Dogs exhibition Pretty much 50% of the dogs featured were whippets, greyhounds or lurchers so I’ve absolutely no excuse for creating work based on the dogs. Fantastic to see the bronze greyhound sculptures that I admired a few years ago too. Still can’t afford them though!

A chance to paint with Andrew James Vice Pres RP

I was lucky enough to get to see the London exhibition http://www.facebook.com/pages/Contemptible-Subjects-and-Other-Things-of-Interest/267994289951911 this week at the Menier Gallery. Sadly it’s now over. It was run by the three exhibiting artists and I was lucky enough to meet Simon Davis and Andrew James who were there at the time. I hadn’t realised I was so familiar with so much of Simon Davis’ work until I saw it in the gallery.

I was particularly happy to be able to talk to Andrew James as I’m in the middle of watching his Expressive Portraits DVD. I was lucky enough to have a long talk to him and he’d be happy to come to the Bristol area to run a weekend workshop if enough people are interested, so get in touch if you are.

Take a look at the incredibly powerful Ivy III portrait if you are in two minds.


Showing at the Cornucopia Exhibition at the Grant Bradley Bedminster in Feb

I’m really looking forward to showing with some other people from the Bristol Grammar Life Class next month from Feb 9th. I’ll be exhibiting portraits as well as life class sketches. There’s some great talent in the class and I’m looking forward to seeing their other work, it’s a mixed exhibition hence the name, here’s a preview page. Details of the gallery here.

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What have Bristol Drawing Club, Adebanji Alade, Zorn, me and Kate Middleton got in common? #painting #portrait #palette #kate

I was lucky enough to get to see the ROI exhibition in the Mall Galleries last month, the painting that stood out for me was a painting of a homeless person by Adebanji Alade. The most remarkable thing about the portrait was that it used the Zorn palette only Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, White and Black!


The link shows a demo of him making the painting. I was impressed by the range of colours from such a limited palette.
This palette is name after the Swedish artist Zorn who specialised in paintings of Scandinavian ladies on the way to have a bit of a goosepimply wash in a fjord, brrr.


This spurred me on to have a go and find a subject to try out the Zorn palette on. I’m a big fan of Bristol Drawing Club (http://bristoldrawingclub.blogspot.co.uk) where pub and sketching people meet seamlessly. What’s not to like? At one of these get togethers I sat opposite Jim for 60 seconds, sketching each other before we shuffled along to the next person, a bit like speed dating with pencils.
I ended up with this sketch, thank you Jim!


 I thought I’d captured Jim as far as I could tell from our 60 second meeting, so I thought it was a good candidate to work up into a little painting.

First thing I did was to see what range of colours I could get out of this palette so started mixing. This is what I got…
I thought that was plenty of colours and set about painting using the sketch and some imagination to fill in the blanks in the sketch. I wanted to keep the colours separate and patchy and after an hour or two ended up with this…


OK, not a BP portrait award winner but a useful lesson For me on how useful and harmonised a limited palette can be and also a good reason to ignore anyone that is dogmatic about not using black in paintings, black and yellow ochre gave some beautiful olive greens.
Encouraged by this I had another crack, this time with a model called Ella who was darker skinned, I think the palette worked here too. Thanks Ella. It’s also pleasingly different to the Jim one.
When I was looking into limited palettes and in particular using black I stumbled across this article. http://willkempartschool.com/the-3-myths-of-black-in-mixing-paint-colours/  I was staggered to find a painter I was familiar with that painted large portraits using only Mars Violet (a dull red with a purple twinge), Blue-black and a bit of white.
 Here’s one of his works…


Pretty amazing for such a limited palette eh? It shows that accurate tone trumps hue every time. I must have a go with this palette next time out.

The artist is Paul Elmsley, he’s considerably better known today than he was when I first thought about writing this a few days ago, now what else is he famous for?
Oh yes…


I think he admitted himself that he was more cautious than he would have been with any other commission. Understandable I think and a pity if his career suffers. Thought this was a bit harsh ….



Plein air work from Portishead

I went out with only a little amount of light left and had to stop after 30 minutes painting when I could just about distinguish light from dark. Quite pleased and hopeful that I can put on a a reasonable show of plein air work for the arts week.

Hopefully it’ll snow between now an then there seem to be so many snow paintings that look fab don’t there.

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Glo Williams demo – paint in your own way and let your character come through

Last night I went to a painting demo at Clevedon Art Club from Glo Williams (rwa page) last night. She’s a fine example of working in your own way, she had a very small sketch and 3 sad looking sunflowers and produced this lovely piece. She loses interest in working for more than one day on a piece but did recently finish at 4 am. She reckoned it was worth it. She said she would finish this demo off tomorrow though and I hope she remembers to circulate the finished product.


Spent last weekend at West Dean, Sussex Portrait painting with @adelewagstaff

Adele trained under Euan Uglow and that comes through in her rigorous approach. I learnt loads and you can see a photo of the back of my head on her blog http://www.adelewagstaff.co.uk/ no grey showing, great photo.
I was unsure about the charges for a the course but was blown away by the standard of everything ,food, grounds, more food, a ridiculously appointed arts library, building, teaching, welcome and did I mention the food?
I’ll post a pic of the complete work, once I’ve worked out the likeness corrections (using brushes on iPad, is this cheating?).

Progress of landscape from abstracted inspiration to figurative end point in 3 steps

1. I thought these sand dunes made an interesting pattern when turned upside down. Try it yourself and compare it to the picture below.

2. I had a stab at turning it into an abstracted landscape with the aid of acrylics and masking tape.

3. I thought this could be improved and I had another attempt with oils. In the process I played with vertical strokes and enjoyed the rainstorm effect of the top half.

I’ve submitted the end result to the Clifton Arts Club Summer exhibition today, I’ll let you know how I got on.

Sunday afternoon painting of a Sunday afternoon scene

Decided to have a paint of my lounge on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. I’ve not attempted an interior scene like this before. Pleased with the colour mixing and the dog. Interestingly it looks really disappointing online. Usually the most shockingly bad picture looks presentable online, i can’t work out why the opposite is true in this case.



I entered some pictures into a Nailsea Arts Week festival exhibition this weekend. It was at the Tythe Barn which is a great building. Thanks to Bee and Anne for organising it. I took a picture from the bedroom wall of some Sunflowers which was a bit of an exercise in oil pastels and someone bought it. It took me by surprise as I realised I hadn’t taken a photo of it when I found it was gone. There’s a lesson there.