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 :-)

#400 'Morning Boat Ride' 10x12"

I experimented with putting the glow around the building next to the sun to give a sense of strong sunlight. There's not much water activity early on but I managed to paint the Vaporetto water bus as it was moving across the Grand Canal! By around 8-9am its teaming with boats, nice early as you still get water reflections and light.

The Maria Della Salute (dome building) is white where the 'window' is but painting it white in this light wouldn't work so I put a warmer colour in than the dome and slightly lighter in tone to differentiated the two.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

#399 '4pm, Maria Della Salute Venice' 8x10"

Braved the afternoon crowds on the Academia Bridge, it can be so hectic on there, I had been put off doing it the whole trip, also the risk of being moved on by the police, they have been known to move artists on from prominent tourists spots.

Anyway I love the afternoon colours on the Grand Canal, so rich and vibrant. The water was tricky with lots of different shades and tones with the strong shadows and the light from the sky.
Decided to keep the buildings loose and not overworked - hard to do this as you want to make them just right and 'perfect!' 
You can see more in your subject when the sun is behind you and lights your subject, instead of contra jour when the sun is in your face and its behind the subject. So knowing how much detail to include is key, being a small panel I didn't put much in, looked wrong when I tried, I put more interest in the foreground left. 
I hope to do a bigger studio painting from the subject.

#398 'Nocturn, Maria Della Salute' 8x10"

An impulse paint! As I hadn't planned to do a nocturne, I usually arrive early get myself set up and draw in and wait until the light hits the sky and water and then scrabble to get it down! This time I really noticed the lights on the water and intense orange strip of sky, I couldn't resist it!
Difficult painting in the dark, luckily a lamp on the Academia Bridge was over my head but it's still a little bit of guess work, I'm pleased with the result though.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

#397 'Gondola Ride, The Grand Canal' 8x14"

We went back to this spot to do it again! With a wider format board and looked at the aerial perspective, there is a lot of sky colour put in the distant buildings.  The colours of the sparkle are tricky to see, but they start warmer yellow/warm colour and go to a lighter whiter colour in the middle.
Perched on the end of a jetty, Sally my painting buddy had a one paint brush casualty over the edge!

#396 'Ospedale, Venice' 9x12"

It's hard to believe this lovely old white building was used as a hospital, such grandeur in Venice! 
I focused on getting the colours vibrant as they were sunlit and the strong shadows on the building and the water. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

#395 'Evening Sparkle, The Grand Canal' 8x10"

A great spot at the end of a jetty close to the Maria Della Salute for a wonderful sky line and also near the gondola action! The sparkle was a so bright on the eyes!

#394 'Campo Ognissanti, Venice' 9x12"

I've not painted this before, canals are always a challenge this one was in contra jour which helped to simplify the tonal shapes. With morning light so the sky is a warm yellow, the sparkle moved across the canal and was gone within the hour. The boat in the foreground helps with composition a larger shape against the smaller houses. The skyline is the fun bit to paint the lovely dome and chimneys!

Painting with artist Sally Balick on a quiet locals area in Dosoduro.

Friday, 28 September 2018

#393 Monet's Spot no.2 8x10"

9am softer more diffused light than the 8am painting with rapidly moving water sparkle. Not putting in too much detail like windows, just suggesting them.

#392 'Morning Sun, Monet's Spot no.1' 10x12"

8am - Strong tonal contrast with the sun peeping over the building. Warm sky and cool water colours.
Blocking in and simplifying the tonal shapes with a yellow glowing sky.
beginning stages with water sparkle

See next post for 9am....

Thursday, 27 September 2018

#391 'Afternoon Reflections, Venice' 10x12"

I see this view every day I leave the house and always stop to have a look! I have 4 paintings on the go of this subject and just this one finished! I'm planning a series on it.

I studied the shadow colours and I wanted to make the light colours pop.
I painted the windows in first and the colour in around them.