Please find below several demonstrations showing the stages an oil painting goes through to reach completion, with commentary by Peter.

Harbour Lights Mousehole, Oil on board, 12 x 17ins

One of my favourite places in Britain - Mousehole, on the Cornish coast. This was actually on November 5th, about an hour before the fireworks festival. The harbour is beautiful in the daytime, but in the evening it was lit by the pubs and buildings and street lamps reflected in the water - a magical scene which I just had to paint!

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Stage 1

I used a board stained with a very turpsy wash of Ultramarine, Raw Sienna and Light Red and plenty of White Spirit, left it to dry. I then draw in the main elements of the composition with charcoal, then wipe out the lightest lights on the board.

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Stage 2

Now I establish the rough tones of the painting with thin paint which dries pretty quickly.

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Stage 3

Here I paint in the complicated patchwork of buildings above the sea wall, paying attention to the subtle shifts of tone and colour, continuing down onto the wall and water below.

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Stage 4

More work is done on the water, making sure the reflections marry up to the lights and buildings above.

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Stage 5

Here I paint in the foreshore and the foreground boat, again being careful to get the tones and colours right. Now I continue to work all over the painting, correcting tones and putting in a lot of the ropes and other structures throughout until the whole piece is resolved to my satisfaction. A complicated scene and a painting which was really hard graft - an awful lot of drawing, but a pleasing result in the end!

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