Tuesday, 11 December 2018

#424 'Early Winter Light, Camber Docks, Portsmouth' 30x40cm

First layer of burnt sienna and the all over thin layer of colour/tonal shapes was done on location and the next day I did a fat layer of lush paint! So fun to do. 
The big blue/black boat difficult shape as it was strong blocky, so I used thick and thin paint and a greener reflection.
I suggested the silhouetted shapes of the buildings not too much detail.
Made sure the yellow struts of the fishing boat stood out against the darker background.
The water in the foreground gradually got darker. Little pinkie flecks of colour from the sky I put in before the green blue water and blended the edges a little.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

#423 'First Light, Langstone Harbour' 30x40cm

A wintery day, and lucky to have a break in the weather as it didn't look hopeful when I arrived - solid cloud and raining! I'm pleased I didn't drive home, waited in the car and some beautiful light and cloud formations appeared, just my sort of subject!

Decided to include the cars on Hayling Island bridge to help the composition and I used quite thin paint in place to let the linen coloured canvas show through.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

#422 'Christmas Lights, Irving St, London' 30x30cm

On Saturday I took part in The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) Paint Live day. 60 artists met up in the Mall Galleries to have a paint off in London - 1/2 mile radius of the galleries in central London. 
It was raining and grey but I decided to embrace this! I took 2 umbrellas incase it was gusty and one broke one!
Not easy as it was a Saturday and run up to Christmas shopping, so busy could barely see my subject! Loved the reflections and lights, it makes up for the grey day! 
It was my first time taking part and I found it quite nerve wracking as the paintings were judged at the end of that day in the Mall Galleries. I am pleased I did a painting I'm happy with and didn't mind showing to others!
I will do it again next year :-)

Monday, 3 December 2018

#421 'Summer Hay Bales' 30x40cm

Painted from a sketch I made in July, spotted from the car as we drove into Patchings Art Centre, near Nottingham. Hay bales, tree lined and shadows/light what a fab combo! I didn't have my painting gear with me so thought I get the warmth of summer back in the studio after all this rain!

I can recommend Patchings Art Festival if your a keep painter in the UK, with loads of art equipment to buy, and demos and workshops....

Thursday, 29 November 2018

#420 'Early Winter Light, Meon Valley' 30x40cm

A sky painting on a textured linen board. I was driving around looking for a subject and a saw a truck in a field and this view, so I turned around and hoped the farmer would be friendly. He was and allowed me to park and paint in his field. 
I made a low horizon and made it about the sky, light and clouds, the receding hills also were great!

#419 'South Parade Pier, Sand Reflections' 20x50cm

When I arrived I was initially disappointed as there wasn't much to the scene, the tide was still in and the sun wasn't up so no colour, quite dull. But the tide soon went out and the colours appeared in the wet sand. Beautiful! 

Monday, 26 November 2018

#418 'Sunset Campo Barnaba, Venice' 40x50cm

A studio painting of a small plein air study from my recent Venice trip.

This is the plein air painting and the starting point for the bigger painting above...

1.Drawing made on location, helps to really see the subject.
2. Studio shot to give an idea of scale and palette.
3. My sky colours! and part of the water.

I enjoyed painting bigger, wanting to keep it still fresh and lively but more finished and 'special' looking. 
I saw this view every day as it was right next to our house, I would look at it and think I want to paint that, so pleased I have!

Monday, 19 November 2018

#417 'Autumn Colours, Waggoners Wells,' & Reflections Tips

An area close to me with 3 pools of water. It's quite a challenge as there a lot of trees and a little bit late for Autumn but still wonderful rusts and lemon yellow on the Silver Birch.
I wanted water to reflect the colours which is why I went there.

Tips for painting reflections: 

  • Turn the board/canvas 90 degrees so you can mirror the shapes of the subject into the water as sometimes doing upside down is a challenge! 
  • Vertical brush strokes first and then some horizontal cutting across for water movement.
  • Stronger colours and shapes closer to the subject. Softer tones, colours and shapes as it moves away - see my painting bottom line is quite 'wooly' compare dot the reflection close to the trees.
  • Observe whats there don't paint what you think it looks like but what is there!

The underpainting in Burnt Sienna & a little Ultramarine

Thursday, 15 November 2018

#416 'Autumn on Bramshott Common' 12x12"

This scene is about a 15-20 minute walk from our house. Autumn colours really improve this subject and I couldn't wait to paint it! 
I liked the track leading in to the orangey oak tree. The sky was a bonus with fluffies. I put them in straight away as I knew it would change. By mixing a neutral colour from the 3 primaries - red yellow blue and made sure it was light enough in tone.

Quite often I will take a photo during the painting and change it into black and white on my phone to check the tonal values, make sure they read and work as a whole and compare them to the subject. 

My palette, subject & painting nearly finished

Sunday, 11 November 2018

#415 'Venice Reflections 2' 20x50cm

The second in this series. I started en plein air but mainly painted in the studio. 

I liked the rich blues and oranges complementaries really pop! Strong brush marks and thick paint again, seems to lend itself to this subject.

An artist friend I painted with in Venice she calls this type a sky hole painting. You can see why! Not easy to get the composition right, helped to study it while I was on location.
This is how I started....
Getting the big surface areas in first.

#414 'Venice Reflections' 20x50cm

I drew this one out in Burnt Sienna plus another while in Venice but decided to paint them both in my studio so I could take more time do it in layers. 

Was aiming for vibrant colours, thick paint, strong shapes and unusual composition.
I did do a plein air painting in full no #391 while in Venice which I used as reference for this one.
The initial blocking in of colour:

Once I had covered most of the board I put it to one side and work on the next one - see following post. Being similar in colours I could learn from one as I moved to the next and back again.

The next day I put on a thick layer of paint. At this point I wasn't particularly happy with it which allowed me to attack it and not be worried about ruining it. It does help a painting to taking risks and push to se how far you can take it.

It's not a usual composition you see for a Venice canal. It was the view we saw every time we left or house, I am happy Ive managed to capture it!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

#413 'Sheep on the South Downs' 30x40cm

Looking out for subjects driving is always a little hazardous!
Saw these sheep and a bonus place to pull in and park near by. They were sleepy and laying down until at least an hour into painting them. I worked quietly trying not to scare them. In the end they were very close and I could hear them pulling at the grass! Such a soothing place to paint. 

I thought the road was a bonus as it sweeps through to add an extra element of composition. I used a medium grain linen canvas which definitely has a different look I think I like it!
I painted the sheep as they were grazing and took some out when I got home to make a better composition.
By the end the sheep had all moved down hill

Saturday, 3 November 2018

#412 'Albert Bridge, Reflections' 12x12"

I used a home made linen board....
METHOD for making one: I roughly cut out some preprimed canvas stuck it to a MDF board so it overhung on the sides. I used Neutral PH PVA glue (so it wont rot in the future.) Once dry I cut it butt up to the board with a scalpel knife = linen covered board ready to use!

And this was the first painting I tried on it. I have had this canvas for years and I'm not sure whether it's too course. The subject may have called for a finer weave but it made me apply the paint loosely yet put in details like the boat. Its always a fine balance of enough information to it being overworked.

Here are the stages of my painting

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

#411 'Autumn Light, Albert Bridge' 24x30cm

Arriving in London I had a plan to paint the same scene as I did this time last year:

Including a bit more of the river bank and boats on a bigger board.

The tide was very low, which helped the composition anchoring it on the side. Also the space between the pink part of the bridge and water was huge which allowed there to be more room for boats and water.

The light was beautiful and it got better and better! (as we were leaving!) I goal I was aiming for painterly but well observed...

I was in London collecting work from the Chelsea Art Society Open exhibition I was really pleased to have a painting hung and it sold :-)

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

#410 'Rain Cloud, The South Downs' 9x12"

This is about a 25 minute drive form me and during the whole car journey is rained hard! I thought I'll have to sit int he car when I get there and wait.

But upon arrival this is what I saw! A huge beautiful cloud covering a lot of the view I wanted to paint. The cloud shape was quite stable and it didn't move off for at least 30 minutes so was able to study and paint it plus the rain falling in the distance.

The light on the water on the horizon line I emphasised with thicker paint and strong marks. I made sure the tonal values got stronger coming into the foreground.

#409 'First Light, Langstone' 12x12"

I used a textured linen coloured board by Loxley. Not tried this type before, its quite rough and I think the subject work well with this style. 
Thinned the paint with Distilled Turps  - experimenting to see if it's any better than Winsor & Newton Sansodour which I usually use. Strong smell but I think I prefer the consistency. I added thick paint especially around the skyline of the trees - the important bit! Paying close attention tot he silhouetted shape of the boats not needing much details just get the shapes of them right.
3/4 of the way through, tide coming in, sun just up!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

#408 'Sunflowers series of 3'

 33x35cm oil on linen

16x18" oil on linen

40x40cm oil on cotton canvas
All from the same bunch of flowers. Experimenting on linen canvas - with clear gesso, so its still buff canvas coloured.
Composition - just the heads and a hint of the vase no.1
Old style 'masters' colours with a goldie background no.2 
Provence French blues and yellows, square more contemporary feel no.3 

Thursday, 18 October 2018

#407 'Emsworth Moorings' 10x12"

I tried painting this boat about 2 years ago when I first started plein air. I drew it out onsite but didn't really know how to tackle it so it was left unfinished. A tricky boat subject!

This time a bigger board and lucky with the refections. Although I had very little time to get them in as the wind picked up as the tide rolled in. So I finished in the studio which is sometimes helpful when a subject is harder there is more time and less panic that the subject is changing!

The side of the boat (hull) in shadow getting the tonal value not too dark and still warm as well, The top of the boat was quite blue - in shadow but also reflecting the sky. I'm pleased with how it turned out. 

#406 'Sunflower & Berries' 8x14"

Oil on muslin covered board which I'd made myself.
Thicker paint and experimenting with medium - GAMBLIN : GALKYD GEL OIL PAINTING MEDIUM. Speeds the drying time and adds a glossy thickness.
Purple to compliment the yellow.
Colours from the painting put into the pattern on the jug!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

#405 'Sunrise, Langstone Harbour' 18x24cm

The second painting of a morning (see previous post) 

A small sunrise oil sketch, very enjoyable subject, hope to go back before the boats disappear for winter!

Slightly textured linen board gives a different finish.

The tide was coming in so made the most of it with the light reflecting on the water. (previous painting the tide was out)

#404 'Dawn, Langstone Harbour' 10x12"

I arrive early when it is still dark so I can faff with where I'm positioned & composition, board size and format. Mixing some colours and being as ready as I can be before the sun comes up!

Those inky clouds where there when I arrived and dispersed fairly quickly so put them in before the light really came - using my double head lamp:

I don't bother with details of the boats until the end, it's more about the light and colour. I simplified the muddy area and how many boats to put in and choose where to position them too.

I did another small painting straight after see next post....

Thursday, 11 October 2018

#403 'St James's Park' 9x12"

Painted yesterday on a very sunny October day at St James Park with 80 or so other plein air painters! It was fun being part of this gathering and enjoyed chatting with lots of artists, it was hard to focus on the painting! 

This was not any easy subject with so many greens - bit of a shock after Venice colours, I felt rusty with mixing them and 'seeing' them. But I'm pleased with the outcome, the fountain was especially fun to paint. 

#402 'Early Light, Bosham Channel' 8x14"

An oil sketch before the tide swallowed the grasses up. I was pleased the sun direction was directly in front of me so great light on the water. 
Nice to paint something natural after the architecture of Venice.

This area is a haven for Swans there must of been over 30 cleaning and preparing for the day...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Venice Summary!

Home from Venice and my studio line up, I can't fit them all in! 
I do feel pleased and proud with what I achieved in a month. 

I felt sad leaving such a wonderful & inspiring place. I am already planning a trip to go back next year! I enjoyed painting with the other artists and having my family to stay. 
What an amazing trip!!

I am planning a solo show in London next year 
with many of these Venice paintings and the title is:
'London, Venice, Coast & Country'
Watch this space!!

'Maria Della Salute'
My favourite subject while in Venice I must have painted it over 15 times! 
Here are 9 of them in chronological order bottom right to top left...

A short video of my studio and Venice paintings!

Monday, 8 October 2018

#401 'My Last Sunrise in Venice!' 10x12"

The morning we left Venice I got up at 5am and did one more paint, and it was this.
A fleeting sunrise where the sun just peeped until it went behind the cloud. I used a slightly bigger board in portrait format to capture the light and movement on the water. 
My next Venice post I will do tomorrow and will show a summary of all my work :-)