Thursday, 19 October 2017

Bookstore Alley

6x8" oil on canvas board. On sale, $25! Available here

I don't know what this alley is called, but I do remember that there were several bookstores along it! Including one second-hand one I could have spent hours browsing. I'm trying to do more urban landscapes recently, they're an excellent challenge; in this case the hardest part was getting those bicycles right, leaning against the railings. A small detail, but it doesn't look like Cambridge without them!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Gourd Gang

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale, $22! Available here

I'm having a much better time painting gourds than I did last year! The variety of colours, shapes and textures had me quite overwhelmed last time, but this year I'm feeling more confident. Here's a painting of a few of my favourites, posing nicely.


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Autumn in High-Key

6x6" acrylic on canvas board. On sale- $22! Available here

Following on from the last painting I posted, here's the high-key study! I really struggled with the leaves while painting this, they seemed to be changing position. I realised as I was deconstructing the arrangement they'd been curling up as I painted... no wonder I was confused!


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Autumn in Low-Key

6x6" acrylic on canvas board. On sale- $22! Available here

After reading a new book on painting, I decided that I need to dedicate some time to studying tonal keys. I tend to paint tone exactly as I see it, and have never really 'taken control' of it; learning to tweak values to create a particular mood will really help me to progress to a new level.

I decided to do two studies of an arrangement, one low key and the other high, to see if I understood the concept properly. Here's the low key, with dominant darks. I love the dramatic feeling this has, the way that the light shines off the leaves, and the dark background accentuating the rich, saturated colour.

Friday, 13 October 2017

October Orange

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale- $22! Available here

If there's one colour I associate with autumn, it's that rich orange of pumpkins and leaves... I'm having great fun painting with it! Here's a little arrangement I put together as an exercise in low-key painting; I love the way the dark background really accentuates the vibrant colours.




Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Froggy Friend

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale; $22! Available here

This was one of those occasions where I saw something and just couldn't resist painting it, even though it's not my usual fare and I have no idea what other people will think of it! This little toy frog seems so cute to me; I was drawn in by the interesting curved shape and the bright, bright green colour- I do love a vibrant green.

The biggest challenge here was trying to capture how the shadow is tinted green by the bouncing light; it was difficult not to totally lose the bottom edge of the frog while remaining true to that effect.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Munchkin Pumpkin

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale; $22! Available here

Autumn is really here, and it's pumpkin season! Here's a mini one, which the supermarket labelled a "munchkin pumpkin." I kept the background fairly simple- I'm still experimenting with back-lighting in my still lives, and I feel it really worked here.


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Cambridge Architecture II

5x7" oil on canvas board. On sale, $22! Available here

Another study of architectural detail from my trip to Cambridge! While walking along a street I looked up to see this stone carving underneath a window; I thought it was worth a painting all on its own. I believe it's part of Trinity College. Incredible to think how much time, effort and craftsmanship went into these great buildings... One of the best bits of being an artist is that you're naturally tuned in to your surroundings, looking for subjects, and you spot all these little details!


Friday, 6 October 2017

The Phone Box

6x8" acrylic on canvas board. On sale, $25! Available here

A little study of Highgate, based on a photo I took there recently. I really liked the lighting! And I quite enjoy painting phone boxes; it must be the bright colour and the interesting patterns of light and dark seen through the windows. The parked cars were the biggest challenge here; figuring out how to simplify the reflections of trees in their windscreens took me ages.




Thursday, 5 October 2017

Wonky Marrow III

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale, $22! Available here

And here's the wonky marrow under blue-filtered light! I tried to keep the composition very similar to the first painting so you can see the difference between them. I really like the almost underwater-like feeling in this painting. I particularly liked capturing how the light shines under the marrow in places.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Wonky Marrow II

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale, $22! Available here

Wonky marrow study for the Different Light challenge. I did Daylight, then moved to a different part of the house to play with stronger lighting.

I had to improvise a bit here, as I only have one light and it's very specific about the bulbs it'll take. I stuck two rulers to the side of my desk, suspended a sheet of orange coloured paper between them, and shone my spotlight through it so that the paper acted as a filter. It was like working in a darkroom under red light as I was painting, which I found strangely calming, I quite enjoyed it. I'm happy with the result too! I've added a comparison to III so you can see the different lights in action.


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Wonky Marrow I

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. On sale- $22! Available here

The other day while walking the dog, we came across a box of marrows outside a neigbour's house, under a sign saying "help yourself" so... why turn down a free painting subject! It's the wonkiest marrow I've ever seen and that just makes me all the more fond of it. I decided to do a little series of paintings of it under different lights for the DPW challenge... here it is under afternoon light from a window.


Monday, 2 October 2017

Feeling Crabby?

5x7" acrylic on canvas. On Sale, $22! Available here

Here's a fun little painting! We bought this whole Cromer crab for dinner one night, and I snapped a bunch of photos before we ate it. The shapes and colours are fascinating- in fact, I kept the shell to sketch from. I wanted to try and give this guy a little personality and I hope I've succeeded!


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Pepper and Leaves

4x4" acrylic on watercolour paper. ON SALE, $15! Available here

Here's a pepper study, with a patterned fabric in the background. I do love this fabric, and really ought to use it more! It's tough, but very rewarding to capture. Peppers are always a good challenge too; they're quite bumpy and strangely shaped, which can throw up some funny shading and really do my head in. But they taste great, so that makes them worth painting, doesn't it!


October Sale is NOW ON!

Yep! Many paintings at my DPW gallery are now half-price! Do come and check it out. The sale will last until the end of the month.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/j-m-needham-6400/artwork

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Bonfire

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. SOLD

A study of a bonfire at a family get-together from early September. Night scenes are so much fun to paint! And I'm slowly growing more confident with adding figures in to my works as well.



Friday, 29 September 2017

Golden Autumn

6x8" acrylic on canvas board. $45 Available here

It's almost October and the trees are starting to turn golden! I can't wait to get out and paint them. It's my favourite time of year for plein air...


Get Ready for the October Sale!

As October's my favourite month of the year, I'll be holding a big sale at Daily Paintworks from the 1st to the 31st, with original art on offer at fantastic prices!

Here's a preview, and a link to my gallery, so that you can get a better idea of what will be on offer...


Friday, 22 September 2017

Cherries in Bowl

10x12" acrylic on canvas. $95 Available here

I was in the mood to challenge myself, so I set up this deceptively simple arrangement. The metal throws up all kinds of reflections; you have to look closely and place your strokes carefully to ensure accuracy. I had a great time painting and it was very satisfying to watch it come together!


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Surrounded Glass

8x10" acrylic on canvas. $80 Available here

I did this piece for an exhibition back in spring, and promptly forgot to upload it to my DPW gallery once the show finished. Well, here you are! Featuring orange slices and glass, two of my favourite still-life subjects. I really enjoyed pushing the contrast of vibrant colours and dark background here.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Summer, The Solent

10x12" oil on canvas board. $75 Available here

A view from the Round Tower in Portsmouth, looking out over the Solent. I really enjoyed capturing the subtle shifts of blue and green in the water, and trying to depict the way the light dances across the waves.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Cambridge Architecture I

5x7" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

First in a series of little oils I'm doing based on the architecture of Cambridge. There is so much intricate detail and I wanted to focus in on some favourite elements. This is from one of the many old churches- I loved the windows and had great fun trying to capture them.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Lost in Thought

21x15cm, Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. Available here 

This is painted from a photo I snapped in London back in June. I was struck by how the light was catching the young woman, illuminating her. I used a bit of artistic license to simplify the background and make sure she is the sole focus. This was a challenging painting to work on- the pose, the skin tones, and the angle of her head- but you don't learn unless you push yourself! And I definitely learned a lot through working on it.




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Watching Over The Garden

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. $40. Available here 

 My uncle's garden is pretty amazing- full of statues and carvings he's created over the years, watching you from unexpected places. I couldn't resist taking some photos of a few spots and painting them. I really love the way the pale shells in the flowerbed are catching the light here!


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

September Nocturne

7x5" acrylic on canvas board. $40. Available to buy here 

The other night while sitting at a bonfire (and getting facefuls of smoke every time the wind changed!) I looked up to see the moon emerging from behind the clouds. The view was so striking, but though I had my kit with me, it was very late and there wasn't enough light to paint by. I managed to get a blurry photo of it, but much of this is from memory, my impression of the scene.




Thursday, 24 August 2017

Market Day, Cambridge

5x7" acrylic on watercolour paper- currently NFS.
View it in more detail on Daily Paintworks! 

For the weekly challenge, the theme of "people in motion." I have been trying to be more adventurous and do more figurative work lately, so this was a well-timed one! I had a few ideas I wanted to try painting, and hopefully I'll have time to work through them all. This is from the market in Cambridge, which was quite busy; funny enough, the hardest part was figuring out how to handle the background rather than the people!

(Aaaand Blogger is not loading the "add image" interface, so you'll have to click the link above to see the painting! *sigh* I'll add it in another day when the computer feels like cooperating...)


Monday, 21 August 2017

Vases and Bottles

6x6" acrylic on watercolour paper. $35. Buy now with Paypal 

...and a sneaky orange slice! I went digging in my still life objects crate and found this bunch of things, they've featured in my paintings in the past, but not all at once. I really enjoy seeing them together, the different shapes and colours.




Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Mateus Bottle

5x5" acrylic on watercolour paper. $30. Available here 

 A little painting that was initially for the DPW weekly challenge, though I ended up leaving the brand name off so I won't be submitting it. Though it's not as recognisable as Ketchup, I have an old Mateus bottle I rescued from the recycling bin a few years back, and I love its shape! It's quite distinctive. And the colour is just beautiful, especially in the light.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Patchy Cloud In Places

6x6" acrylic on watercolour paper. $35. Available here

I've been busy the last few weeks finishing up college work, hence my lack of daily painting- but I'm hoping to get into the swing of it again soon. Here's a sky painting in anticipation of a little visit to the fens in early September- the views of the sky there are to die for! I'm really excited to go back.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

St Pancras Hospital Water Tower

6x8" acrylic on canvas paper. $45 Available here

I was struck by this view of the water tower from outside Camley Street Co-op, on the other side of the canal, and had to paint it. I really enjoy the browns and greys of the buildings set against the green foliage and blue sky! This was a real challenge to paint and I almost gave up on it at one point, but I'm glad I stuck with it.


Loose Apple

8x8" acrylic on paper. NFS at this time

View it on Daily Paintworks here! 

Second of yesterday's attempts at this challenge! I used an apple this time, and a slightly larger paper. 1 is a little too tight for my tastes, though I do quite like the yellowing "eaten" bit. 2 is pretty nice, I really like the shadow in this one and the brushwork is quite satisfying. There's a big jump between 2 and 3, you might notice! That's because I hated my original third attempt and scrubbed it out, repainting it later on. Maybe I should have numbered them 1-2-4-5! I'm quite happy with how bold the bottom two are, though I think the style I'd like to have would be somewhere between 2 and 3.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Loose Lemon

6x6" acrylic on paper. Currently NFS

This is for a weekly challenge- the idea was to paint the same object four times, starting out neat and tight, and using looser brush work each time. I've written a bit more about this one on DPW and you can read my thoughts here

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Meadow, June

10x12" oil on canvas board. $75. Available here

Another view of the meadow- I really enjoy this spot! Here, some of the grasses looked almost purple against the bright yellow buttercups, and the sun brought out the intense greens of the trees. It was a really hot day, and I ended up wishing I'd chosen a shady spot to sit in, but I'm pretty happy with how the painting came out so I'm glad I stayed where I did.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Greenhouse at the Allotments

10x12" oil on canvas board. $75. Available here

Time to post a few plein air paintings that I haven't had time to share yet- this one's of a greenhouse at our local allotments. I walk past quite a lot and have always wanted to paint it. Sadly when I arrived on this day, I realised the perfect view became obscured by fence if I sat, so I had to stand, painting while holding my pochade box up in the air- I usually just rest it in my lap. By the end of the painting my wrists were really sore, but I feel like it was worth it!


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Regent's Canal, London

7x10" acrylic on paper. $50. Available here

On our most recent trip to London we walked along Regent's Canal- it was a gorgeous sunny day and the light was fantastic! I really loved this particular view, with the curving tree trunks along the wall, and the light hitting the boat in just the right spots. This painting gave me the opportunity to paint a few things I've wanted to work on- dappled light, and a brick wall. I'm quite pleased with how it came out!


Summer Colours Still Life

Forgot to post this one!

7x10" acrylic on paper, $50. Available here

Summer is well and truly here and I'm enjoying all the bright colours- so here's a vibrant still life! I had a lot of fun with this one, painting in each element and watching it all come together.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Cantaloupe

5x7" acrylic on watercolour paper. $40. Available here

I love the warm orange colour of the cantaloupe, contrasting with the cool but bright backdrop. I had a lot of fun playing with the colours here!




Summer Path Study

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Another plein air- this one of a path I've painted many times. At the moment, it's lined by the soft purples and blues of the comfrey, which I'm falling in love with painting! Still trying to learn how to paint dappled light- but there's no better teacher than nature, so I'll continue getting out there as much as possible!


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Dappled Light, The Fallen Tree

10x12" oil on canvas board. $75 Available here 
(plus there's a pic of it on location at the link above!)

This tree blew down quite a few years ago now. It lies across a small stream, the trunk forming a little bridge (most often used by dogs) and the branches hanging low over the path. I've wanted to paint it for a long time, but couldn't find a composition I liked- but on this particular day, with the strong light creating a beautiful pattern on the ground, it was easy! I loved painting this and I hope it's as enjoyable to look at as it was to create. This might be one of my favourite plein airs to date!


Monday, 5 June 2017

The Red Shed, June

 6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

I painted this view in August last year, and loved it, so of course I had to go back and do another plein air painting of it at some point! It's fun to return to the same location and see the way it changes through the seasons. At the moment this spot is full of colour- purple (comfrey) yellow (buttercups) and white (chervil) as well as the vibrant green grass.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

A Row Of Shadows

6x8" Oil on Canvas Board. $45 Available here

The weather's been so pleasant this last week or so I've been out a lot, painting en plein air. This one was done on the main path through our local nature reserve- an open, grassy area bordered by woodland. I really enjoyed how the late afternoon sun was creating long shadows across the grass. As I was painting, I spotted several rabbits and a muntjac deer- sadly the deer moved on before I could add it in. Ah well- maybe another time!



Dog Walking In The Meadow

10x12" oil on canvas board. $75. Available here

Finally posting this plein air from a week or two ago- I walked to the meadow down the road and found a mass of buttercups growing there. Plenty of people were out enjoying the good weather and walking their dogs as I painted, so I decided to add one in. It was really enjoyable watching the pups bouncing through the flowers. Dog-watching is always a highlight of working in this spot!


Friday, 2 June 2017

Hi Viz- Street Corner Gathering

15x21cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

Following on from my previous painting, I gave green hi-viz a shot. I had a bit of a struggle with the background, but found working on the figures very satisfying- they more or less painted themselves.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hi-Viz: A Quick Break

15x21cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

Each time we go to London, I find my attention drawn to all the workers in Hi-Viz. The fluorescent oranges and greens are so striking. I've been putting off painting them because I kept thinking "will everyone else just think I'm crazy?" And then I realised I should be painting what I want, and not worrying so much about what others think. Sometimes it's hard, when a painting gets next to no views, or people ask you what the point of it is. After all, you find your own artistic voice by experimenting and following your own intuition, not by chasing the expectations of others.

That said, I do hope you don't think I'm crazy... I just like mixing bright colours haha




The Lunch Date

15x21cm (A5) Acrylic on watercolour paper. $45. Available here

Another for the "People Eating" challenge- my trips to London provide plenty of reference! Here's a couple sitting outside of a cafe, enjoying lunch in the sun. I fought with this piece a lot- it felt like there were a lot of elements to pull together, and I was quite surprised to finish it, let alone be satisfied with it. I'm really enjoying this foray into figurative work, a largely unexplored genre for me- I feel quite excited to get stuck into it and see where it leads me...


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Lunch Break

21x15cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

For the Weekly Challenge- "People Eating" and wow, was this a challenge! I'm still getting the hang of painting figures. I used a photo I took in London back in March- funny enough the hardest part of this was figuring out what to do with the background, which was a mess of intricate architectural detail and overlapping signs.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Cherries and Scallions

21x15cm (A5) Acrylic on Canvas Board. $45. Available here

I had a lot of fun building a composition around these scallions- and adding touches of yellow and pink into the greens to keep them interesting.


Seeing Red

15x21cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

More cherries! I really like how their shadows became an important part of the composition here.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Daisies and Buttercups

5x7" acrylic on canvas board. $40. Available here

The taller daisies that I collected were the perfect height to sit in my favourite little tapered glass. I'd also found some little buttercups, which were too short to sit in any vase I could find. Instead I laid them in a saucer with some water. I'd like to collect a few more for painting- a trip to the meadow down the road may be in order... Their rich yellow colour is fantastic to mix.



Saturday, 27 May 2017

Daisies

4x4" acrylic on canvas board. $25. Available here

Another for the DPW Weekly Challenge. Hundreds of these little daisies grow on the verges all the way up our street, and I've always thought they were pretty. Today on the way home from the shops I picked a handful to paint. I arranged the shoter ones in this little dark green glass that I picked up in a charity shop last year- finally, a chance to use it again! My favourite part is the soft blue-purple of the shadows under my slightly yellow lighting.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cherries and Glass Jar

12x15cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

I finally remembered to paint the cherries that have been in the fridge for a couple of days- they're great fun to work with, so dark and glossy, with a really rich red-purple colour. I'm really enjoying trying to capture it.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

In Bloom

21x15cm (A5) Acrylic on Watercolour Paper. $45. Available here

In response to this week's Daily Paintworks challenge, I took a look around my garden and found this little flower- some type of rose? At the time it was the only one that was open. I didn't want to pick it, so I just took some photos (it was too hot to be sitting outside, by my standards at least!) I checked again today and there are a whole bunch more in bloom now. It feels like it's been a while since I did a floral painting, and this was a really nice change of pace from some other projects I've been working on!