As we make the transition from Wintertime to Summertime and the days grow longer, I hope, over the next few months to be spending more time outside painting and less in the
studio. This seems like a good opportunity therefore to look back over the winter months and the many happy hours spent in a friends studio with a small group of fellow artists while the wind and rain rattled on the window-pane outside.

Some of the work done during these sessions has already been published but I have noticed recently that as we (the artists) have become more comfortable painting together we are more inclined to experiment with our painting style. For me it began with the series of quick sketches (1 minute, 2 minute and 5 minute) which normally precludes the main painting. I had been reluctant to do these, considering them a waste of time but one week I decided to treat them as a painting and filled a half sheet of watercolour paper.
I was so intrigued by what came out I returned the following week with a full sheet of paper pasted to a board and the image, second from top is what happened. The whole thing is less than an hours work.
I then took some blue coloured paper and, applying the same technique, added a little white body colour to the watercolour paint, see above. The images on the sheet vary from between one minute and five minutes. It is such a short span of time there is no time to think and the result is a surprise. The image below of Christina is what followed for the main session. The painting of Catherine (third down from the top) is an oil on canvas which I pre prepared with a strong, dark, tinted background to enable me to focus on the model.    
The last image is another composite done on coloured paper (stone) but this time using gouache paint and, as with the previous composites, very short poses. The image at the top of this post (The Figure Painting Session) is what followed as the main painting of the evening. This also was done on coloured paper (blue) using gouache paint.
I think it is important to experiment, it gets you out of your comfort zone, forces one to look at the subject in a different way and face all the challenges that come with that.
From the Top Down:
The Figure Painting Session, Gouache on blue coloured paper. Model: Marge.
Christina, watercolour composite on white paper.
Catherine, Oil on canvas.
Christina, Watercolour with white body colour on blue paper.
Christina, Oil on Canvas.
Marge, Gouache on stone coloured paper. 
Post published by Tomas King 13 - 04 - 2014        


In the morning the weather was terrible but the sun burst through in the afternoon and I managed to get this 12"x16" oil on canvas-board down of Carrigfoyle Quarry.
Post published by Tomas King 8 - 04 - 2014 


These two images, both watercolour, were painted several years ago but like so many things in my life they had found their way to the bottom of a drawer and disappeared from sight. They emerged when I was looking for something else a few weeks ago and it was like meeting two old friends. 'Tumbling Waters' above was painted in Devon in the UK and 'The Forest of Gresigne below was painted in France.
 Post published by Tomas King 2 April 2014