I am trying to remember how to paint - for paint I must. I need to produce four toy paintings for The Green Gallery Christmas show. I haven't painted like this for nearly two years. Although I spent most of the summer painting for the Book, it was a totally different kettle of fish - in fact, many of the techniques I use to get the old-fashioned, melancholic feel in my toy paintings have to be actively ditched when I am working for a publisher. It's a bit like being pulled two ways.
It takes a few days of umming and urring to finish a small piece such as this. I don't do preliminary work, just the basic sketch and then straight in. I do all the colour planning in my head, so I will put some light washes down and leave it for half a day or overnight, going through the options. Most of the time is spent thinking and mentally visualising it. And the rest is spent with hours of pencil work, smudging and layering. When I started 'Satsuma' I felt so rusty I honestly thought I was going to bodge it up. But it all came back, gradually. One down, three to go.
Thank you everyone for your comments and observations about our little 'to-do' last week. I've written to the fire station enclosing this blog address, so with any luck they will see your appreciation.