Frank Bingley Art


Artist with painting of Toby
Artist with "Toby"
 While most mediums require the artist to follow certain rules when producing works of art, the best work is often achieved by stretching those rules, bending and moulding them to create new types and styles of work that make painting so exciting.
  This has meant that the way I now work with watercolour is very different to how I would have done years ago, even though the medium may have changed very little. I've also experimented with medium that is new to me like for example, acrylic. The difference between these two types of paint is quite significant.

 Watercolour is a lovely fresh and often translucent paint which is at its best when applied gently and loosely. Other than applying it in layers or lifting out to some extent with water, once you have made your mark, you are pretty well stuck with it and can't go over your work if you've made a mistake.

 Acrylic on the other hand, is much more forgiving, lets you change your mind if you need to. The colours can be a little strong, gaudy even till you get used to using them and when thickly applied are mostly opaque.

 In 2015, I took up oil painting again - something I hadn't done since the mid 1970's! The only thing that had stopped me from using this medium, is the memory of all the mess and smell involved with it. Nowadays though, things are a lot different: gone is the smelly turps, messy palette and dirty rags. Now I use low-odour white spirit for brush cleaning, tear-off palettes for convenience and throw-away kitchen towels.

 Work in Progress example: oils

Toby - source photo
Toby: source photo
 This is Toby, an English Springer Spaniel who belongs to a friend of mine in the US. I've painted him purely for pleasure, because he looks absolutely beautiful and has gorgeous eyes!
I chose a 40x40cm stretched canvas and started with a pencil sketch. This was followed by a thin wash of Winsor & Newton red acrylic. The acrylic dried quickly and allowed me to use oils almost straight away. The red helps to stop annoying white specks of canvas showing through the finished work and also adds unity to the finished painting, especially as I leave tiny bits unpainted with oil. The colour of this base layer affects all colours that are subsequently applied to the work.

 Fig1. Shows the painting at the end of the first session (about two hours). Here I've laid down broad strokes of colour using a wide chisel edged brush. I would have continued in this manner for all of Toby's face, but I was out of time because I usually paint with artist friends, which is also something of a social event.

 Fig2. The second session was spent mostly on Toby's eyes, which were added in detail, followed by broad strokes again on his face and addition of the nose.

 Fig3. The finished painting. Here I added Toby's left ear, collar and lastly the cream background. I like to leave plain backgrounds such as this, with an unfinished feel to the paint with wide, thick and thin strokes. Finishing touches were the finer hairs and facial details, mostly done with a rigger.

Fig 1
Fig 1.
Fig 2
Fig 2.
Fig 3
Fig 3. Finished work:40x40cm


 I am happy to take on commissions. This is usually in the form of painting from a photograph. I can usually produce a good likeness in a portrait painting even if your photo is small.
If you are interested in commissioning a work, just email me an image (under no obligation) and I will contact you about the suitability of the image/size etc., and advise on best medium to use. I can work in the medium of your choice from watercolour, acrylic or oil.

 Prices start from £49 for a mini oil portrait painted on 6x6inch MDF board (see below for an example), which would make an inexpensive present for a loved one. Watercolour paintings start at £49 for an A4.

Payment is usually requested on completion, but there is no compulsion to purchase if you are not absolutely satisfied with the finished work. For more information on commissions, please see my Sales Page.

Source photo
Source photo
Source photo
Portrait from source in oils


Example Commission

In this example, I've shown how it is often possible to get a good portrait from a relatively small area of a photo. The mini portrait here is in oils and measures 6x6 inches on 6mm MDF board, though I can do them bigger if desired.
 Framing a picture is a personal choice and is often carried out with regard to decor of the room where the work will be sited. For this reason, any work listed as framed will have a plain white frame.
 All work includes insurance and shipping charges where applicable.


©Frank Bingley 2017