Trial for 'Kate' (7" x 10") by John D Moulton
Archive Gallery - EARLY LEARNING ... 
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Just by way of a little background ...
These items are here to give a little background to my journey so far. Many of these pieces date back over thirty years to a time when my art was an amusement, a pass-time, a release from daily routines. I am offering them mostly for the benefit of other artists, particularly those beginning their own journey, to show that with persistence and a great deal of work, you can hone your skills and get better over time ...
Early Pencil Drawings ...
I’m starting with pencil drawings because that’s where I started, doodling on photo-copy paper and any old scraps that came to hand.
"Charles Bronson" by John D Moulton (1979) "Robert Powell" by John D Moulton (1979) "Debbie Harry" by John D Moulton (c. 1976) "Jean Shrimpton" by John D Moulton (c. 1970) "Kate Bush" by John D Moulton (1982) "Suzi" by John D Moulton (1979) "Tanya Roberts" by John D Moulton (c. 1982) "Vivien Neves" by John D Moulton (1979) "Vivien Neves" by John D Moulton (c.1979) "Dark Tower" by John D Moulton
Early “Moonlight Cameos” in Inks ...
WAY-back-when I first began create these little black & white images I had no idea what I was doing or trying to achieve. They began with tracings through grease-proof paper stolen from my mother’s kitchen cabinet. I wanted to map out all the colour changes in a face, but through this dense ‘tracing paper’ I could only see the most prominent - so I traced those. Then I began to block in the mass of dark areas with black ball-point pen and black felt markers. What remained white was the untouched paper that became the pure highlights. The ones shown here were created much further down the line - 10-20 years or so later. They are still very crude but show promise. If you click to enlarge them you will see the pen strokes on many of them. These days I try hard to avoid any detail lines at all, such as the ‘inner outline of hair or an eye-lid that you will see on some of these examples. Of late I have learned to achieve excellent results without all the scribbled ink by using - yes, you guessed it - PhotoShop! It’s still a long process - usually 4-6 hours - but the results are cleaner and can by resized much more efficiently. My digital Moonlight Gallery page is HERE  
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A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton A Moonlight Cameo Trial by John D Moulton "silhouette " by John D Moulton "silhouette" Perspective (by John D Moulton)
This little silhouette fascinates me ...
When I first created this little lady I didn’t realise that she can be viewed from two different perspectives. The image on the left is the original and the two on the right show how it can be ‘perceived’ differently by the viewer.
"Sketch for Gypsy" by John D Moulton My Three Daughters, Jay, Karen & Kerry (1978)
Early Water Colour Paintings ...
When I was presented with a set of water colour paints and some nice quality water colour paper for Christmas 1983, dread was my first response! I didn’t do ‘colour’. Pencils were my passion and anything I had ever tried to paint at school - I ruined in the process - NOT a good experience. But then ‘art’ at school never was for me - “OK children, here’s some poster paints and free paper - go to it!” PATHETIC! But with these paints came a ‘teach yourself” book and so I gave it a go. A lot of nice quality paper went in the trash during the days that followed and so I decided to paint on the cheap stuff. Well maybe it was because I was then able to relax, I don’t know, but virtually the first thing I ever did on that paper - kinda worked! Confidence grew and in the days that followed so did most of these little paintings that follow ...
"Light & Shadow" by John D Moulton (c. 1984) "Beach Bound" by John D Moulton (c. 1984) "Morning Light" by John D Moulton (c. 1984) "Red Beret" by John D Moulton (c. 1984) "Perfect Pose" by John D Moulton (c. 1984) "Mischa" (16" x 12") by John D Moulton "Waterfall" by John D Moulton (c. 1984)
Three things took me away from pressing on with my water colour paintings: my continued lack of confidence with this medium and work-a-day life, being two, the other was discovering the airbrush (see below) The good news? I did pick up my water colours again recently and though I tore up several attempts (again!) I do claim a few successes, including “Mischa” (left).
“Waterfall” is available for sale, here
My First Two Oil Paintings ...
Early Airbrush Art ...
Sorry ... none of the images below are for sale unless specifically stated.
Artworks from Way Back When ...
"Pompeii" by John D Moulton (c.1975) "Ye Olde Thatch Cottage" by John D Moulton "Elvis" by John D Moulton (1979)
“Ye Olde Thatch Cottage”
This pencil drawing was quite a project and took well over 40 hours to complete. The original is around 22” x 15” I was really quite happy with the textures achieved in the stonework, etc.
"Full House" by John D Moulton
The image on the left was my first ever ‘proper’ painting using an airbrush - BUT ... and it’s a HUGE - BUT ... I bought the kit and two or three books on airbrush technique. It turned out to be quite a learning curve! Just getting control of the airflow and paint mix was a challenge and so I would guess that something more than twenty hours of actually squirting paint onto paper will have preceded this simple, little 6” x 8” image and for all its many flaws, I was very pleased with it. To view my mini airbrush tutorial - CLICK HERE
A First Attempt at Airbrush by John D Moulton
THIS, you have to read ... My mother bought me a Daler Rowney oil colour painting kit for my 21st birthday. back in 1968, Fact is - the gift frightened the life out of me! These were the tools of REAL artists after all! I put the box in a draw and it has migrated from one draw to another for just under FORTY YEARS!
Then, in 2006 I dared open the box again. Remarkably (to me) the paints were still in perfect condition. I took out the 7” x 10” art board that was included and dared open paints. There was a little instruction book in there too, so I gave it a quick read, then started pushing the paint around. WOW! is the only way to describe the experience - The highly flawed painting of Kate Winslett (above left) on it’s horribly heavily toothed ground was the result and despite its many short- comings it  left me wondering how come I could have been SO foolish as to leave the moment so long. The Painting  now call “Full House” (above right) came next and I was on my way to a love affair I sincerely hope lasts the rest of my days! See my OIL COLOUR GALLERY and “Laetitia”, who was number three and then maybe you will see why I would encourage every artist to give oils a try - they’re really NOT a scary as they may seem!
"Contemplation" by John D Moulton
Attempt number two became “Contemplation” (left).  
Still learning ...
When I first completed the figure on this painting and it was lying there on its pure white background, I simply could not believe I had created it. I proudly asked my wife what she thought of it and her answer was a quite  dismissive, “It’ll be nice.” Turned out she thought she was looking at a photo I had cut out and laid down on my drawing board! I then became so afraid of ruining it, That I covered her in Frisk (see my Airbrush Tutorial) and painted in the monolithic backdrop using only an old ruler as a mask.
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“Full House” is available for sale, here
"Beauty and the Beast" a near miss by John D Moulton
Further down the line, “Beauty and The Beast” (left) was a near-miss.
I really must re-visit this concept one day. I tried it twice. The other version has ‘Beauty’ dressed in blue and the building was a deep mauve. “The Beast was red and so I think offered something closer to a satanic figure than I really intended. I just love the story here. The subtle ball and chain denies Beauty her freedom of choice, the rose on the floor, a rejected gift, and the rounded shoulders of the Beast as he slinks away goes to his lack of understanding that, well - this ain’t no way to treat a lady!
A Derbyshire Scene by John D Moulton "Woodland Walk" by John D Moulton
The two scenes below both have a little place in my personal history. The Derbyshire scene was one of a never-completed set of six. An aborted commission for a calendar, but my heart simply wasn’t in it and I relinquished the project. “Woodland Walk” was just me playing with light and shadow. It was a scene purely from my imagination and it shows, though it does have elements that please me. Mostly though, the memory comes from the comment my daughter, Karen made when speaking of it with a friend: “My dad can paint anything - as long as it’s got a woman in it!” Mmm ... there’s a truth in there somewhere!