Alla Prima



I often sketch in oils, (as above) and always alla prima, since I regard it as a form of drawing. As friends often point out, there is in them a freshness of colour and gesture not present in my finished paintings. I agree, but that is not all there is to painting, and I am not good enough to get all I want in one go.

However, the point nags me, and occasionally I try to make a painting that has no underpainting, hoping to get a finished work with some of the feel of spontaneity I admire in others. here is a record of one such attempt.

From a sketch and a drawing;

AP 2

I mark roughly the image in the canvas, then a sienna wash to warm everything and to give the paint a bit of slick and then paint as directly as I can;


IMG_1292 a

A closer view;


The rest is working your way through to completion with all the attendant inventions and uncertainties of working like this;

IMG_1302 a


The end of the first day finished like this;


The next day carried on;

IMG_1307 b


IMG_1310 a

Ending the process with this;

IMG_1316 a


But after a couple of weeks it looked thin, so I became a recidivist, went over the whole thing strengthening and altering, and ended up with this, I hope you can see the difference.

IMG_1412 a

Now, a few weeks later, i’m still not happy with it, and think I may start again, and do it properly.









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