Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Now a Naval painting

Those who are familiar with my oil and acrylic painting will know that I usually confine myself to landscapes and land based historical scenes. However, I like to break out and challenge myself to do something different occasionally. This one is big - 6 feet by 2 feet, and is of an imaginary naval engagement. I call it "Running the Blockade, 1812".
Click to enlarge.

Here is a detail of the main engagement
The most prominent vessel and the two to its left are American merchantmen heading at full speed with the wind towards an unseen port, maybe somewhere on the Eastern seaboard of the USA. In the centre one of the smaller American frigates of about 22 guns  has intervened to protect their passage from interception by a Royal Navy brig, possibly not much smaller in weight of gunnery than itself. The brig has just tacked  to bring its broadside to bear, so the wind is about to give out from its bow sails ("in irons", as my local naval expert informs me).

For those who care about the technicalities it is painted on a deep edge box canvas so doesn't need a frame. I started the under-painting and planning out the vessels before Christmas. The sea was rendered in a base coat of acrylics bulked out with structure gel to give the waves a 3D effect (when viewing the original up close). Oil colours were then applied to sky and sea (in a thick impasto on the sea) and allowed to dry thoroughly for a couple of weeks. I resumed in the New Year and steadily worked on the main vessels in detail in oil, each one took about 2 days to complete. The rigging and other rope work is rather demanding - far worse than painting a 50 man battalion of model soldiers with cross straps! When I was happy with the ships I worked up the sky and sea again to give me the overall emphasis I wanted. And if you look closely you can  see my trademark birds just hovering behind the escaping merchant ship on the left - maybe they are searching for a tasty(!) snack of ship's biscuit.     I hope you like it.

This large painting would make a lovely addition to that big expanse of spare wall in your wargames room, lounge or hallway. Or it would look pretty impressive in corporate premises such as an office boardroom, hotel foyer or a pub/restaurant with a nautical theme. It is for sale at £550 plus carriage.  Please feel free to comment on this blog, or if you are interested in possible purchase please email me at , I can send more information and photographs.

For those who haven't looked at my art web pages for some time they have been reorganised. The main landscapes and a couple of fairly cheeky paintings from "Tales of the Golden Head" can be seen here
Chris Gregg art main page
and the military paintings at
Chris Gregg Military paintings


  1. Now that is very good Chris, most atmospheric and would make for a good naval scenario on the games table.
    The result is well worth the work you put into it - congratulations.

    all the best


  2. Hey Chris, It is unusual to see the Americans and Brits taking 'pot-shots' at each other.
    We weren't always friendly then.?

    Your superb painting shows what an 'old Master' you really are.
    Well done.
    Brother Peter.

  3. Chris.
    What an interesting diversion for you. Not easy to paint a convincing naval battles, all that detail to take into account, not to mention accuracy in creating convincing ships on a convincing sea. A stirling effort on your part. I like it.

    Well done.


  4. Wow - pretty impressive at 6ft long! A bargain at £550 I say - shame I don't have a massive empty wall to fill! Keep up the impressive work.

  5. Amazing Chris! This painting is stunning, I love the swirling waves and the sense of action - reckon you should at least double that price.

  6. Brilliant Chris. A masterpiece.

  7. Thanks to everyone for your great comments, particularly Peter, Julia and Trudi who wouldn't normally comment on a wargamer's blog! Regarding the price tip Trudi, if I don't sell it beforehand I should just be able to get it on my screen at Art in the Park, who knows at what price then?
    Peter....I can't pretend to understand why we fought the Americans from 1812-15 when we had Napoleon to worry about, but of course the real war was the American "Revolution" of 1775-81. And that reminds me that I owe my readers an account of the full wargame of Chatterton Hill/White Plains to follow up this posting
    Ian - I'm sure we will enjoy hearing more of your wargame version of my little naval scenario

  8. Update - Probably should have written this earlier but this painting was sold for the asking price in 2014. Also my email has changed from that given in the post to