John Cleveland College art students:

Thanks for your e-mail - sorry I couldn't reply as it was sent from an "intranet" and an unroutable domain (according to my mail server!).

Anyway, Trust me, they're paintings - oil on a medium cotton canvas. If you want to see some close-ups of a small area to see the brush strokes and grain, just let me know and I'll post them to this page



David Stribbling.

28/6/01 Got your message. I've never done a fish, sorry. The nearest I got were some killer whales a few years back, but I didn't keep a photo of it. I'll put some close-ups on this page either later on today or tomorrow. My basic technique is this:

The only medium I use is the cheapest white spirit or turps substitute I can find from the local DIY. I basically complete a painting in 2 sessions (I'm by-passing the drawing stage for now. That's another story). I first start applying the paint (thinned with the white spirit) quite diluted, almost in a watercolour type way. If you use a medium or heavy grain of canvas it will seem to absorb the paint similarly to watercolour on paper. Then I just block the colour in with not too much detail. In the case of fur and grass/ trees etc I put in the darkest shades first and don't put in the lighter tones or highlights at all. If you examine a piece of fur, the light is hitting the uppermost hairs and highlighting them - the hairs deeper down aren't catching the light and so remain a darker shade. This is why fur looks as it does. You can carry this though to the painting - do the dark tones first, then build up the lighter ones on top - but not yet. When I've covered the canvas I'll leave it for around 4/5 days to dry . Then start building up the detail with the lighter tones and quite thin brushes. Once you get going it really doesn't take that long. Once you 've got everything in place you can start messing around plastering the paint on as thick as you like within the constraints of whatever detail you want. With grass, trees, logs and particularly rocks I use quite a bit of palette knife. You can produce quite a presentable rock by just painting it black, let it dry, then scrape the edge of a palette knife with lighter shades across the top.

Laura - thanks, and good luck!