© Peter Dorey 2022

Peter Dorey

Art Studio

Frequently Asked Questions

The Process

What inspires you?

I gain influences from a lot of different sources.They tend to be from walking in the local landscape or places I have visited. Sometimes a place captures my interest due to some thing memorable. Its hard to say who I particularly feel inspired by, as I take inspiration from many different people and I’m interested to see what they have painted. However, I think some of my key influencers would be:

Henri Matisse - for his use of shape, flow, colour and philosophy of abstract artworks can be there just for beauty.

Patrick Caulfield - the thick black lines and strong colours. The simple clean designs allowing space for the painting to breathe.

Vincent Van Gogh - his use of colour is very good. A skilled artist who is sometimes overshadowed by his story.

Edward Hopper - his paintings have a feeling of calm and reflection which can be nice to include in paintings.

John Constable - a skilled painter with a knack for composition. They seem to be new areas to discover in his paintings with a conservative balance.

Why painting?

 I think it’s my preferred medium because I find it quick and easy. If I have an idea, I can grab a brush and put it on the canvas. Painting, especially in acrylics, can be quite easy to modify and quick to dry. Its a medium which captures expression, through the brushstrokes and texture. This is especially important in the abstract expressionism works.  

How long does it take to paint a painting?

It is hard to say because it depends on the style, size and if the painting “works” ( that it feels right). I don’t like to finish a painting without feeling that I’ve done my best work and that it feels right.

What is your favourite painting you’ve painted?

Again, its hard to say. Some have been fun to paint and some have been markers as they have opened up other areas of painting to me or I have learned more about the medium.

Do you do commissions?

Yes, please use my email to contact me and discuss what you are looking for.

If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me at pd@peterdorey.co.uk

My process depends a lot on the style, subject and idea. I don’t use sketchbooks as I find that I never look at them again once I’ve closed them. They also can be difficult when using them for ideas due to the nature of the book format. So, you’ll tend to find me working on a lot of sheets of paper. However, when sketching outdoors, I tend to use sketchbooks, mainly due to the wind. I find this works best for my process as you will discover below.

Realist Style Paintings Process

This generally starts with a photography trip. I visit a place which I find interesting and work from there. Once back in the studio, I search through the photos to find which ones work the best. These are whittled down until I find one that I think would make a good composition and interesting painting.

On many of these paintings the background is put in first. A wash applied with a mix of water and paint. The fade is created by carefully combining the two colours. This can be difficult at times as the colours then mix and you get a secondary unintended colour. If this happens normally the canvas needs to be reprimed and I have to start again.

Next, I pencil in the outline, either using a watercolour pencil (which can be erased) or using paint. Sometimes its easier to just use paint as this creates a stronger outline.

Once the main drawing is in, copying from the photo, I then start to paint in blocks of colour. This is a process which gets more refined as it goes on. The more detail the painting has the more edits and adjustments the painting there are. It’s a process of constantly putting on layers, as acrylics generally are quite opaque which allows for easy covering of mistakes. This is the longest part of the process. I find that I like to add my own twist to the original photos than copying them directly seems pointless and uncreative. I aim in my paintings to add a bit of  personality, which I believe is normally shown through my natural style.

As we get towards the end of the painting, it is normally left for a bit before completion as I find that the eye gets used to the painting. When you come back to it after a couple of weeks, you notice what needs changing and what doesn’t quite work. These are then adjusted.

Finally, the painting is signed and documented. I keep a log of all the paintings I’ve done.

Inspiration  photo

Blocking in and adding detail

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