Mark Taylor couldn’t be happier. Having spent years working in London sat at a computer screen, he is now freelance and loving it.
The ability to manage his workload and work hours means he can fit in time at his easel doing what he loves best, painting.
“I was a post production texture artist, working on computer games and most recently at visual effects company Framestore where I would typically work with green screen footage on a 3-D computer model using graphic art photrealism so literally I would create something in the moving image that isn’t there!”
Now Mark spends a lot of time recreating something that is definitely there using paint, and his eye for detail and patience has helped him gain recognition already
“ I was commissioned to paint the River Chess and I got the painting it into the Royal Institute of Oil Painters annual exhibition last year at the Mall Galleries and then I was hooked! There’s nothing better than being outside layering raw oils on canvas, it’s much better than copying from photographs. I really like painting light on moving water and the Chess is stunning, especially at 7am. I enjoy coastal scenes for the same reason – water has become an obsession!”
But Mark’s favourite subject of all to paint is the old oak tree on the Common near Shepherd’s Bridge.
“The tree is a focal point and one people recognise. I sit at the top of the hill overlooking the path and up towards the mini hills in the distance. I have painted it so many times and each is different. The best time is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is interesting. Recently I have started to add in people, they are great for setting the scale and reinforcing the light effect. I enjoy using light.. I run a ray of light around the figures’ hair or use a backlit effect (it’s called contre jour) where the subject is in front of a bright sky and goes into silhouette so the colours are softened and details disappear. I don’t paint buildings often but I have done some London sketches in Sanguine ( blood red ) pencil and have painted a cottage in Artichoke Dell near the Black Horse mainly because there was a cloche in the garden and I could play with the light effect o the glass – it was a great exercise!”
“ I like to get up early and paint, it’s a challenge to get it done while the light is still interesting which give me about an hour and a half, then if I don’t finish I have to go back same time of day soon afterwards. After being in an office, it’s a real treat to be outside. ‘ It takes me five minutes to walk from my house the Common.. who needs a green screen when there is so much natural green ! ”