My Original Artwork-In-Progress (Update 4) ~ A Medieval Fair

This is the fourth update of my Original Artwork-In-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and all that’s left to finish now are the jousting knights and horses! 🙂 I’ve added in all the townspeople and villagers, finding it quite a challenge to paint such little figures ~ but at the same time the process encouraged me to explore painting portraits some time in the future.

My next update will complete this current painting, and I’m pondering what subject to explore in my next painting.  At the moment, I’m considering painting a field of wildflowers using an acrylic watercolor technique ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

'A Medieval Fair' (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

‘A Medieval Fair’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-In-Progress (Update 3) ~ A Medieval Fair

This is the third update of my Original Artwork-In-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and I’m pleased with the progress so far. My next challenge is to paint in the townspeople and villagers watching the jousting tournament, and then complete the painting by finishing the knights and horses.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final result, and pondering what direction to take on my next painting once this one’s finished ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

'A Medieval Fair' (18

‘A Medieval Fair’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 2) ~ A Medieval Fair

This is my second update about my Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and I’m happy with how it’s unfolding so far.  I continued the theme of trying to create a softer distance impression in the background from the sky down through the mountains and forests, allowing them to fade into a fog shrouded dreamscape.  My plan is to make the castle and foreground the primary focus of the painting, while letting the background fade into the distance.

I enjoy the fact that paintings take on a life of their own during the process of painting them, as I have little idea at the start as to how the painting will unfold ~ even after sketching it out at the beginning. A good example of this, are the castle’s three giant doors or gates, as they each lead into a different level of the fortress.  In the beginning, I hadn’t even considered creating two visible upper gates, thinking the space was simply part of an elaborate main gate construct.  Now I think of each gate individually as a magic door.

The outer castle gate and door represents ‘earth’ and has the outline of mountains inscribed upon it.  The middle door represents ‘nature’ and has the silhouette of a tree outlined on it.  The upper door represents the ‘sky’ with ornate hinges, tying into the castle’s stained glass windows in the upper level.  In addition, the three castle walls grow lighter in shade with each level, with the white walls of the upper level of the castle representing the Medieval chivalrous notion of ‘truth, purity and light.’  So in essence, each painting develops a story during the process of painting it, never imagined by the artist at the beginning of the process.

Next I turn my attention to the Medieval Fair, with the jousting tournament, colorful tents and people in the foreground ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

'A Medieval Fair' (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

‘A Medieval Fair’ (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2017, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair

This is my first update on my Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ A Medieval Fair (18″ x 24″), and this piece is a new technique and direction for me.  I like to serialize my paintings, as it makes me focus on what I’m doing in my paintings in order to be able to explain it to you.

Up until now, I only painted with vibrant, full-strength acrylic paints, and on my last painting for the first time I tried an acrylic watercolor wash to ‘set’ my pencil sketch over a base coat of white paint, which otherwise was subject to smudging.  The watercolor wash worked so well, that I decided to experiment using a ‘layered wash’ approach on this painting, using an assorted mix of thinned down acrylic paints in painting A Medieval Fair, and so far I’m happy with the softer and more muted result.

While I don’t think this technique is one I’ll always use, it does allow me to paint with a variety of options, from watercolor washes to full strength paints, and as I fill in the details I may end up using them all.  The interesting aspect about this work is, that I can’t tell if the Medieval Fair is being conducted in daylight or under moonlight, as the sky seems to work in both directions, and adds a dreamy quality to the setting.

These are my thoughts about A Medieval Fair at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if I feel the same way once it’s finished ~ stay tuned! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Castle Hamlet

Yesterday I finished My Original Artwork ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″) before the year was over, as this was my final painting for 2016.  I’m pleased with the results and the process of learning new techniques along the way during the course of painting this piece.  It’s also another addition to my Cottage Series of paintings ~ one of my favorite subject areas, along with castles.

I had wanted to add villagers to this painting, but once I took a good look it wasn’t suitable for the composition, so I’ll work townspeople into my next painting from the very beginning.  Speaking of castles, villagers and townspeople, I’ve started researching my next painting which I’ll call ‘A Medieval Fair’ ~ so stay tuned! 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Castle Hamlet (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 4) ~ Castle Hamlet

This is my fourth update of my current Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), and I’m starting to work the details as I described in my last post.  After all, everything’s in the details.  I figure that if I’m going to paint a fantasy hamlet, it might as well be fun, so that’s what I’m attempting to do with plenty of climbing vines and flowers! 🙂

Since taking this photo earlier today, I’ve added an orchard in the distance, and next I’ll turn my attention towards adding trees and gardens in the foreground.  My aim is to add villagers to finish the painting, and as painting people isn’t my strong suit, it’s a good reason to tackle my weakest area ~ so stay tuned! 🙂

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 3) ~ Castle Hamlet

This is the third update on my Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), as I’ve completed much of the background and now it’s time to fill in the details.  Everything’s always in the details…

Much of what I’ve finished to date only serves as backdrop to the details that follow.  The issue at this point is that I don’t know what many of the details are, so they will be as new to me as they are to you once the painting’s done.  I sort of make it up as I go along, which is why I like serializing my paintings, because it allows me to try to grasp the big picture and figure out what will follow.

I considered placing a Medieval Fair in the distant green space in front of the forest, but realized I didn’t have enough room and the details would be too small, so I think that will be the subject of my next painting that I’ll call ‘A Medieval Fair.’  Much of life seems to happen that way, by coincidence, circumstance, and accident ~ as opposed to planning ~ because life’s too complicated to have all the details sorted out ahead of time.

My next goal is to finish the bridge and the fronts of the cottages, and then see how everything develops from there ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18" x 24") ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 2) ~ Castle Hamlet

This is the second update on my latest Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), and I’ve made some progress along the way.  I enjoy serializing my paintings, as it helps me understand both the process and the painting as I describe it, plus I can look back and see the painting’s development over time.

After my initial sketch on the canvas over a coat of white paint, I used an acrylic watercolor wash for the first time to set the sketch, and it worked out very well.  Without setting the sketch, the graphite pencil lines smudge easily, and while on earlier paintings I lightly painted over the lines with white paint, it made the lines difficult to see clearly.  So this watercolor wash is a new technique I’ve developed that seems to work very well for me.  Perspective and architectural lines don’t come naturally for me, so I need to at least have a rough sketch to follow to paint from.  I rarely stick precisely to the guide though, but it’s a crutch that helps me quite a bit! 🙂

You can see the difference in the watercolor wash in the middle of the painting, and especially in the last photo where only the sky and mountains are finished.  My next challenge is to fill in the front details of the cottages, as well as the stones of the bridge and bridge cottage, then I’ll fill in the space between the mountains and the Castle Hamlet with a forest, and flower gardens along the river! 🙂

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet

I completed this sketch yesterday of my latest Artwork-in-Progress ~ Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″), and started painting it in last night.  This painting is different for me in a number of ways as it’s a larger canvas than I’d been using before, and the perspective is unique as well.   I’m using a new technique to ‘set’ the sketch with a watercolor wash, to use as a guide for painting it in afterwards, so we’ll see how well it works as I make progress. I’m also trying to speed up the overall painting process, and not take weeks to finish a painting, as I had done with my smaller paintings.

I enjoy creating and painting Old World fantasy scenes, and this one follows the same pattern ~ an idyllic hamlet alongside the protective walls of a castle ~ let the adventure begin! 🙂

Castle Hamlet (18″ x 24″)

(Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

My Original Artwork ~ A Photo Series

The other night I decided to photograph my artwork in my study, and liked the effect the light had in bringing out each of my painting’s details.  It’s been a fun artistic adventure for me over the last two years ~ along with the early beginnings of my painting aspirations, some 37 years ago.  My photo efforts fall short of the clarity I’d like to see in many of these snapshots, and someday I aim to have professional photographs taken of my work to sell as prints ~ but for now, it’s another step down the road towards my artistic dreams ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂