Saturday, 15 September 2018

#384 'Venice, Early Evening' x2 paintings


I wanted to get some movement in the water and variation in the sky.

I did a very quick one while the sun was going down.

#383 'Early Mist St Marks Basilica' 9x12"


Very misty at some points the Basilica almost disappeared! The tonal values were so close together, I had to make sure the darkest darks were quite light. Also not putting into much definition or hard lines - a suggestion of shapes.
I couldn't resist putting the white Nun in scurrying across the square!

Friday, 14 September 2018

#382 'Mist St Marks Square' 20x50cm


An atmospheric morning, I wanted to capture a bigger area of it so tried this shape board.
Very quiet but a lot of brides having their photo taken this morning!!

#381 '10am Maria Della Salute' 8x10"

Painted without drawing out first as I know the shape now.
Risked painting in the day hoping I wouldn't be moved on by the police!
Not too many colours to keep it harmonious. Painted the sparkle first before it moved out of my painting view.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

#380 'Late Afternoon, The Grand Canal' x2


I painted the one below first as it was above the San Giorgio Maggiore and a huge sparkle 
on the water. 

and then as the sun went around it was above Maria Della Salute which is the main picture.
I had started this one the other way up see pic. But thought the composition would be stronger if I turned the board to portrait!

#379 'Sunrise, San Giorgio Maggiore' 20x50cm


I did this one straight after the previous painting. The sun just popping up over the horizon.
A longer format to get the sun and building in.
Soft misty light not so much colour as pre dawn.

#378 'Early Morning, San Giorgio Maggiore' 6x12"



Early morning rich colours strong silhouetted shape
Iridescent water
Before the sun came up.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

#377 'Hazy Light, Maria Della Salute' 8x10"


The scene got better as the light came around the buildings and sparkles on the water!

#376 Time Lapse Video - 'Dawn, San Giorgio Maggiore' 8x10"


I faffed with the set up for the video getting it all my easel in and the subject behind it.

The painting took 40mins the video is 37 seconds...

I was there first at 6am and then there were  5 photographers, a meditation sitter, tourist with selfie stick and a flying drone all in a very small space!

I used a platte knife to apply the paint but it broke half through the sky, back to a brush but at least I got lots of paint on the board.

Once the sun is up above the horizon line you cant continue to paint its way too bright!

So pleased the time lapse video worked and on such a location!!

Monday, 10 September 2018

#375 'Maria Della Saluete 7am' 9x14"


Another gorgeous dawn paint plus a quick painting thrown in too!
I spoke to artist ken Howard as he was on the bridge he saw my finished painting and made a positive remark about it. (I went home smiling!) He also said the Italian police are now being kind to artists after the bad press they got a couple of weeks ago. (big yay!)

It was nice to try a different format other than the trusty 8x10" I had been working on.


#374 'Morning Light, San Giorgio Maggiore' 8x10"


I took a risk and included the foreground wooden structure, I wasn't sure whether it would work until I had done it. 
Using a limited colour palette of warm and cools and limited tones too.

Bringing colour sin from the sky and the building into the water also allowing the brush marks to be visible.
I put in the sparkles on the sea quite quickly as they disappear out of view. Also how the light effects the buildings where it hits and if they are very silhouetted.
Making sure the closest structure was darkest in tone.
Remnant sparkles on the bottom right corner.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

#373 'Venice Nocturne' no.1 10x10"


Two paintings in a day and then do a nocturne I was exhausted! But making the most of having artistic company and so it was a loose, lively interpretation.

Before I left the house I mixed my palette of colours, yellows, oranges violets and a black. Because even with a light its difficult to see the colours when in the dark. As its hard to see the colours. Also to make sure I had a good range of tone from very light to very dark. 

The light I used was a orchestra style double pronged head one lit the painting the other the palette. Unfortunately the oil paint sheen was lit and I couldn't see the surface very well. So you couldn't paint tight even if you wanted to!

I want to do more as this is a warm up and good start... :-)



#372 'Venetian Alleyway' 6x12"


I felt inspired to try a sky-hole painting and this alley is right on our doorstep in the Dorsoduro area. It's afternoon light on a very narrow long alley leading to the Grand Canal at the end. The light at the end was so bright you couldn't see any details. 
Incredibly difficult to get the drawing right as the perspective tricks your eye and you put the distant buildings in bigger than they are! 
Artist, Maria Rose was painting in front of me and our front door is just on the right!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

#371 'Painting St Marks Square, Venice' no.2


The second quick painting I did in St Marks Square with wonderful apricot light. 

#370 'Painting St Marks Square, Venice' no.1


We were a little worried about being moved on by the police - as there was a big whoha about it recently with artist Ken Howard being moved on, so we went at sunrise and did two quick paintings of the Basilica and The Square.

Beautiful light and worth getting there early. No police or tourists just pigeons! Although it did feel reassuring to have four of us painting together, safety in numbers! 
This gives an idea of the scale of the square - HUGE!

Not easy subject ornate and close tonal values as it was in low light. But also lovely sunrise colours. The red brick tower I decided not to include as the base of it is ugly!!

Friday, 7 September 2018

#369 'Afternoon Light, Maria Della Salute' 8x10"


I am finding it difficult to keep up this blog and do the intensive painting! As some times I'm managing to do 4 paintings in a day.

So I will still keep posting but write less as the writing part takes so long to do! Better that than not posting at all....

Monet & the famous Ken Howard paint this view.  Not an easy subject and I wanted it loose, brushy and rich colours..... 

I painted with the artist Julia Hawkins always good to see how someone else tackles it!

Julia & my easel, what a setting!

#368 'First Light, Maria Della Salute' 8x10"


Did painting no.367 then immediately wanted to paint the scene again as the light was gorgeous! I moved off the bridge but just next to it in a cafe space. 

I'd just started mapping in when the guy said you have 30 minutes until you need to move...So I painted like billio and this is the result! It shows it can be done a painting in half an hour. It's sketchy but spontaneous and hopefully has the essence of the moment. 
Fairly limited palette and checking the tones - the sky was darker than the water ...

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

#367 'Pre-Dawn Maria Della Salute' 8x10"


This was so fun to paint!! Although a little daunting too as many artists over the years have painted this subject standing on Academia Bridge from Monet to Ken Howard...

We are very lucky as this bridge is a few minutes walk from our house. It's a dream subject for me, wonderful shapes within sky and water setting, and it changes every day and hour! So I hope you can bear with me for painting it several times while I'm here :-)

The buildings make such a great skyline shape but the actual body of the buildings its deciding how much detail to put in. The low light means you can't see much and it's quite far away. But I felt it needed some suggestion of windows and things. As I paint this scene more I think I will experiment with how much to include.


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

#366 'First Oil Sketch of Venice 2018' 8x10"


When I arrive in a new location I just want to get the first painting under my belt! Start it off and get into the flow, I also just feel itchy to do it!

So this was it, feeling my way with the colours, shapes and the strong bouncing light of Venice. 
Decided to do a limited palette of Red (Scarlet Lake with a little white & Yellow Ochre), White (Titanium) & Black (mixed with Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine) helps create a more harmonious painting and easier to start with. 


Painted at about 4pm in very strong afternoon light, it's off the Campo Barnaba, just a few minutes from where we are staying in the Dorsoduro area.

Also did some sketching...The bridge right outside the house we are staying in!

Friday, 31 August 2018

'Flying with Oil paints & Art Equipment


FLYING WITH OIL PAINTS & art equipment. Thought you might want to see what I'm taking to Venice - I am very lucky to be going for the whole month of September! 🎨 

It's the longest and biggest painting trip so far.... 
Last year we came back from Venice in October after a 6 day trip, I was just getting into it painting wise and then we left. I said on the boat back to the airport I want to come back and paint here for a month!  
So I found a house in the Dorsoduro area (near the Academia Bridge.)
For the first 2 weeks I have got other plein air painters coming to share and help with the cost of renting the house, it will be good to paint with them.  
On the 3rd week my Mum and sister - who lives in Africa and her partner are coming their first visit to Venice so very exciting to share it with them. 
The final week other artists again and back to intensive painting... 

It's been quite a build up I have never prepared so throughly for a painting trip! I really want it to work, so I have paid close attention to details! I closed my 2 cases yesterday and my weight allowance is 23Kg per case, I am over the limit! I need to put some into my husbands case! 
So its just last minute things today it still feels quite unreal, we leave tomorrow morning. 
I hope you will follow and support me on this exciting journey...

Also if anyone has any suggestions on areas to paint! Or tips for Venice gratefully received 👩‍🎨Please make a comment.

My Equipment List - all put in plane hold luggage:
See above photo
  • Oil paint put in:  'Lock & Lock' airtight container with my label (see pic) - don't say oil paint!
  • Sennelier Green for oil thinner & gel medium - plant based, safe for plane travel
  • Palette knife
  • Seawhite A5 Sketch book & Tombow pens
  • Viewfinder 
  • Masking Tape
  • Headless matchsticks - for stacking wet oil paintings together
  • Pva glue for matchsticks
  • Business Cards
  • Glass pots & jars to clean brushes
  • Paint Tube Squeezer
  • Apron missing from pic!
PIC 2 
  • Raymar wet painting carriers sizes 8x10", 10x12" 11x14" 
  • Open Box M easel palette
  • Manfrotto Be Free Tripod 
  • Palette Garage - holds paint, no need to carry tubes when out plein air 
  • Bamboo Brush Roll - all from Rosemary and Co
  • Solvent brush dipper & cleaner 
PIC 3 
Painting boards 2,3mm MDF
Wrapped in tissue, to keep them together in my case with sizes:
8x10" 10x10" 6x12" 9x12" 10x12" 8x14" 11x14" 20x50cm
This lots coming with me then the same again coming with my mum half way through September 😊You can't have enough boards!! 

PIC 4
Safety travel sheet for oil paint, 'Flash point' above 60 degrees this is the number that how easily something catches fire.  So anything above 60 is safe to fly with but some airlines differ, you should check. I will by solvent to clean brushes in Venice in a hardware shop. Oil paint is allowed on board - in the hold, not in hand luggage.



PIC 5
My painting of Venice from last year's trip.

To end something I found useful is a blog post by Katherine Tyrrell 'Making a Mark'- called Top tips for travelling artists' worth a look if you are travelling with art equipment.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

#365 'The Swan Inn, Haslemere' 8x10"


This weekend I painted with Haslemere Art Society on the high street on Haslemere. It's to promote the annual exhibition at the Museum 8-15th September. 
A fun morning with the members and a few passers by taking an interest and a subject I wouldn't have usually tackled! Enjoyed it though.


I also tired recording it on my sports action camera - I wore it on my chest with a harness - see pic above.
I recorded the whole duration of the painting and then it took me longer to make it into a video than to do the painting! 
I didn't realise how much I move when I paint back and forth, I couldn't watch the end result it made me feel sick! So I'm trying another method... as I thought it would be good to show my painting process, once I have made it work I will post it on here.

Monday, 20 August 2018

#364 `Underway' 8x10" - Palette Knife Painting


This was a wonderful boat in Cornwall but sadly I didn't have my painting gear with me - we were about to see my Aunt. So I did 4-5 sketches of it and this painting is from one of them. 
I'd been saving this linen covered board for years, wanting to use it but unsure of how to tackle such a rough surface, I knew it needed a different approach to a smooth board. I thought this subject would lend itself to it. I decided to try loading thick paint onto it with a palette knife. I blocked most of it only taking 30 minutes. 
Would have been quicker but I was getting through my mixed paint so quickly - I must have used at least 3 times more than I normally painting with! 

This is the first stage, with colour swatches on the sails.

I then used the brush to refine some areas but I wanted to keep the feel of it loose and fresh. The subject worked with not putting in too much information.
I think this boats called a 'Cornish Lugger'?

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

#363 'Early Morning, South Parade Pier' 11x14"



I started this a couple of weeks ago but didn't have time to finish it en plein air so I've just completed in my studio.
Its a familiar subject as I used to live near by, although I haven't painted it up close before and with a radical cropping! When I was looking at it a little sail boat came into view it looked great framed with the strutts of the Pier. So I thought to focus in on this part instead of trying to capture the whole thing.

Quite a complex beast!  I wanted enough information without it looking stayed and stiff, so I didn't finish everything off - I'd leave bits for the eye to fill in. 

The beach was empty being 8am, just an occasional dog walker I decided to put him near the pier so his lighter blue top stood out next to the darker areas. Also not so obvious in the composition.

The sky was a darker blue than the usual milky skies we can get, quite tricky to get it dark without it looking too heavy. I had painted it on once and scraped off and then brushed on with less paint & more medium the second go.

I was drawn to the white building next to the blue sky. I used a very subtle mix of whites, tinted with grey/violet and warmed with yellow. Also combining Titanium White and Michael Hardings Warm White

My Mum who lives near this Pier said they have put flags on the poles and it looks really good. Tempted to add them in for a bit of colour and more interest?
Initial tonal underpainting