Joanna is a fine art oil painter born in England and is inspired by the rugged romanticism of the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside where she grew up.   Her inspiration also comes from English Literature and her degree in Classical Art and Literature.  Her current portfolio is a new work in progress painted in oils and following styles of the Old Masters with an archival approach in preparing the materials to preserve her paintings. She is largely self taught and develops skills learnt from other artists.  She has shown her work in exhibitions and has sold work.

She currently lives in Sydney where she paints portraits, landscapes and figurative works of art.  In particular paintings of characters and scenes set in historical England will soon form a book, the narrative of which Joanna has written. Her works aim to stir emotion, present rare beauty and offers technical skill. 

'I am particularly inspired by history, its natural beauty and I aim to recapture an unspoilt landscape in a more innocent age.  I feel these subjects evoke emotion.  I like to include natural light, weather, temperature and illustrate sensuousness, rigidity, softness and texture, particularly in the execution of the costume and variety of fabrics.  I also enjoy painting reflections, transparency, and water.  I am hugely inspired by the works of the Pre Raphalite artists Dante Rossetti, William Holeman Hunt, John Evert Millais, John William Waterhouse and more.  I strive to pay attention to detail in nature and plan the painting to do more for the eye than is at first obvious.'

Old Masters Technique

'I follow the traditional Old Masters techniques and most of their rules, painting fat oil layers of paint over lean, considering composition, colour, texture and experimenting with brush control and techniques.  I complete the work with a final varnish which enhances the depth of colour'.

'I paint largely on wooden panels and favour larger scale landscape and portrait boards up to 120cmx150cm. Working at this scale allows more detail to be accurately rendered, particularly for the figurative work and also the majesty of the landscapes are provided a generous stage.'

'My work starts as a humble charcoal sketch onto a handmade 'ground' (a calcite powder and acrylic paint mix).  When dry this ground provides a beautiful, smooth surface on which to paint.'  

The Green Lake Draft.jpg

Preparation and Layering is Key

For portraiture, over a charcoal sketch, I apply a thin layer of burnt sienna acrylic or oil paint which provides underlying warmth below the subsequent monochrome grey scale, a grisaille creates more form in the face. Next, blocking in the hair involves using burnt sienna, raw umber and yellow ochre light oil paints with a very thin medium. 

Several glazes of colour are applied over the grisaille face.   A range of suitable tones for forehead, cheeks, chin and shadow are mixed from the Zorn palette, and then applied thinly to ensure that the shadows and form of the face structure  remain evident underneath the colour glaze.  The hair also receives more glazing and some detail using brush techniques.



The costumes' silken fabric texture, light reflections, fit, folds and subsequent colour variations are created using a wide paintbrush and a variety of oil paints and medium.

The ingenuity of a portrait and it's lifelike qualities depend on the optical illusion which the transparent layers of oils provide as they build up. 

Sparingly applied titanium white glazes highlight the face further. Final details and touches to the entire composition are then addressed for example the detailed jewellery and ruffs.


Landscape and Nature

'For landscapes and backgrounds I use a large variety of colours enabling an impression of long distance to be achieved, particularly Cerulean Blue as a light hue for far away, along with light Sap Green and light Permanent Green. Landscape closer to the subject requires that the colour begin to appear more saturated,  Viridian Green, darker Sap Green and greens mixed with a touch of Cadmium Yellow light achieve this. Titanium White provides final touches which offer dazzle in the sunlight.'