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! ☼ 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″)

I’ve finally completed My Original Artwork ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) acrylic on canvas painting.  I modeled the mountain backdrop after Austria’s Sonnenspitze mountain, and created an imaginary, idyllic Alpine Hamlet for the foreground.  I really do enjoy painting wintertime scenes, especially fir trees covered in snow ~ and this painting was fun and challenging for me to do!

With each new painting I try to branch out and explore new scenes and techniques, trying things I haven’t attempted before ~ and I’m having fun doing it ~ enjoy! 🙂

My Original Artwork ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″)

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

My Original Artwork-in-Progress (Update 5) ~ Alpine Hamlet

This is the fifth update of my Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) acrylic on canvas painting.  I’ve now finished the intermediate forest between the Sonnenspitze mountain and the Alpine Hamlet in the foreground, which I’ll work on next.  I enjoy painting wintertime scenes, especially fir trees covered in snow ~ and this painting’s kept me busy so far! 🙂

As the scene unfolds in front of me, I find it reveals details I’d never considered in my imagination at the beginning of the process.  My first idea, was the intermediate forest would be solid trees between the Sonnenspitze and the hamlet.  As it turned out, there’s a frozen stream down in the valley, and the trees share an open space that I hope gives a sense of depth between the hamlet and the Alpine Peaks ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″)

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

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11" x 14") ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

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

This is the fourth update of my Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) acrylic on canvas painting.  I’ve now finished the forest of fir trees at the base of the Alpine mountain ‘Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze’ in Tyrol, Austria, in my painting.  The next step is to add an intermediate forest between the Sonnenspitze mountain and the Alpine Hamlet I’ll later detail in the foreground.  I like to work from the top of a canvas to the bottom, as it’s cleaner and avoids messing up what’s already been finished.

After the intermediate forest, I’ll turn my attention to the Alpine Hamlet scene in the foreground.  It’s always an adventure for me to create a painting, as it exists only in my imagination at the start, and is slowly revealed to me the same as it’s revealed to you ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″)

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

Alpine Hamlet (11" x 14") ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

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

This is my latest update on my Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) acrylic on canvas painting.  Painting is always about layering for me, and I’ve finished my first few rounds of snow and rock on my interpretation of the Alpine mountain ‘Ehrwalder Sonnenspitze’ found in Tyrol, Austria.  The next step is to add a forest of fir trees climbing the lower slopes of the Sonnenspitze, followed by more layering of snow over everything ~ and then I hope it looks like an idyllic Alpine backdrop! 🙂

Once I finish the Sonnenspitze mountain landscape, I’ll turn my attention to the Alpine Hamlet scene in the foreground.  I’ll probably add in a few additional details as the painting develops ~ like a central Christmas tree, wreaths and whatever else comes to mind in the process ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Artwork-in-Progress ~ Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″)

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

Alpine Hamlet (11" x 14") ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Alpine Hamlet (11″ x 14″) ~ (Copyright 2016, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)