Sunday 30 October 2016

#138 'Lake Windermere' 8x10"

We are back now from our vist to the Lakes & Staithes. Really enjoable trip painting such amazing places and so it was a very productive 8 days! Lots to post on here... It was difficult to post while I was away as we were out for long days in the Lakes making the most of it!

Sometimes paintings are a real struggle and whatever you do they just don't work. I was working on a panoramic format of hills and lake, it was the composition I was fighting with. So I turned around and was dazzled by this contra jour scene, loved the drama and simplicity of it.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

#137 'Sunrise, Staithes Beach' 9.5x12"

This is the last sunrise from Staithes, I have enjoyed painting at this quiet time of the day and capturing the beautiful colours which are so quick to disappear. 
I have been experimenting with thicker paint, and not doing an under painting to start, just doing it in one thick go. Which is working well unless I'm being indecisive or unsure about an area and then the paint gets too thick, so I scrape off and start again! I like the thick lucsious quality of the oils although it's harder to control when there is loads of it on the board.
The early light really influences the whole scene, so to harmonise the palette, every colour mix I add a dab of peach colour from the sky. 
I painted this Monday morning we drove to the Lake District straight after. Lake paintings to follow :-)

Sunday 23 October 2016

#136 Sunrise The Beck, Staithes 9.5x12"

Another windy morning but lucky with the rain and had some great fluffy clouds. I really enjoyed painting the sky, a real test of observation under limited time.
I had to strap my pochard to the railings as the wind would blow it over and difficult to do any detail as it buffeted my arm.
But I still enjoyed it! A' large' painting with lots going on, I used a connected palette of colour, linking my mixes so the painting is harmonised.
As I painted the sky the clouds and colours just kept improving. which is frustrating when you have committed to certain cloud formation and colours. I did add a light orange glow on the horizon but to have added anymore I would have needed to scrub it off and start again. It's getting the balance in changing to improve but not obliteration what you have. 
It feels as though these paintings are at the limit of my comfort, pushing with size, application of paint - making it thicker, challenging subjects, composition, and the elements! I hope it will help my skills in the long run :-)
You can see the same little fishing boats I painted in yesterdays sunrise painting.
I now have another two other paintings on the go which I have started here (both tricky!) I will complete them soon. I wanted to get them started here as there's so many areas I'm itching to paint, and we leave tomorrow morning for the Lake district.... 

Saturday 22 October 2016

#135 'Sunrise, Staithes Harbour' 8x10"

Haven't posted in a few days as I was prepping for an eight day painting trip we are now on. My husband and I are away in North Yorkshire Staithes, a small fishing village I previously visited in the summer. It's a really inspiring place and everywhere you look is another painting opportunity.
We started this morning and I did this one at the top of the village looking down on the harbour. It was bitingly cold with the wind in my face and my fingers slowly seizing up with cold.

There were so many options for compositions I choose this view as it had all the elements I like! 
I put the sky in as it was changing colour fast. getting the tone light enough and a good intensity of colour, the sea came next as it mirrored a lot of the colour in the sky, with sweeping strokes for the breaking waves. Putting the cliffs in was a bit of a shock with the tonal contrast but with it helps make the sky look pastely and soft, I kept the cliffs fairly translucent and dark. Then to tackle the roof tops! I focused on the sky line as that was the interesting bit with getting the angles of the roofs and chimney pots, also changing the tone and colours of the red slate. The miniature boats were just a suggestion with hardly any detail.
It took 2.5 hours, a long time whens it's cold, but I felt happy for being there and the painting at the end.
I did another one in the afternoon but it needs more work so will go back tomorrow and finish it.

Sunday 16 October 2016

#134 'Gladioli' 12x24"

Having made a detailed study drawing of gladioli in charcoal (posted Sept 28th)   I wanted to have a bash in paint. Couldn't get the same colour which was deep pink but these orange-red were still very vibrant and lovely to paint. I put in the dark tones first and then lifted the tones in stages to the lightest on the petals. Plus the vase, really looking to see how the water distorts the size of the stems. 
I had prepared the canvas with a coat of acrylic primer but it was still very toothy and rough so I used a fine sandpaper to smooth it down, which worked well. Working big was fun and different to my smaller pieces and will try more. Although it's not possible to do the painting in one day as it's too big, this one was at least two.

Saturday 15 October 2016

#133 'Lyme Regis Harbour' 9.5x12"

This was the final painting I did in Lyme. Absolutely loved painting the fishing boat, and emphasised it in the composition and the detail which I included. I spent 3 hours on site painting and was exhausted afterwards, a really complex subject but the sort of thing I want to paint more of. 75% finished it and then did the rest in the studio. I have included my palette below from the studio as it shows how many colour mixes I had to, not including my outside palette! 

There was a pile of fishing nets that I squeezed behind (see below) thinking I'd be out the way and in a quiet spot. It turned out the Harbour Master was doing some stuff and I was right in the way, but it meant I got talking with some of the fisherman who were really friendly and one said his relative owned the boat in my painting and that the boats name was rude and best not to have that as the painting title! I can't say what it is but I didn't paint it on :-)

I put a lot of extras in like the windsurf boards, people, flags as I thought it gives life to the scene, I'm really happy with the overall result.

Wednesday 12 October 2016

#132 'Charmouth Beach, Dorset' 6x15.5"

Charmouth is just a couple of miles from Lyme Regis, the cliff in the middle distance is called Golden Cap and is the highest point on the South Coast, it's completely flat on the top.
I watched an inspiring plein air painting DVD by Richard Pikesley and he was painting on this very same spot! 
Love this sort of coastline and could paint here every day. Just the changing weathers, light and tides :-)
P.s. My painting is photographed on the easel because a narrow panoramic format doesn't work so well on the blog - it's too small.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

#131 'Sunrise, Lyme Regis' 8x10"

This weekend Husband and I had a whistle stop trip to Lyme Regis on the Dorset Coast. We only spent 26 hours there but enough to explore and do 3 paintings :-)
This was actually the second painting, I want to revisit the first tomorrow and then post it.

Gorgeous, calm sunny morning, although very chilly! Sunrises tend to be more fleeting than sunsets, so you have to paint like billio to capture the sky and light. I enjoy the challenge! Most of the painting is a variation of blues and browns/oranges and then it's getting the tones right and working together.
I didn't now how I was going to tackle the little bit of town showing as it was a mass of buildings. Simplify! I put a sweep of dark and then painted over the top with lighter shapes, picking out the roofs and taking care to paint the skyline carefully.

Thursday 6 October 2016

#130 'Rainy Day, Victoria Embankment' 9.5x12"

This was the painting I started last weekend outside in London.  It was a complex subject and good size painting to tackle en plein air and in the rain! See pic below.

I used my 'Best Brella' for the first time and it was a boon! I couldn't have painted otherwise as it was raining too hard. Didn't stop me getting cold and wet but my palette and painting was dry! You can buy the pochade umbrellas from America, same people as the Palette Garage.
I experimented with colour themes I wanted to emphasis the rainy grey day but when I got the painting home it looked very grey and washed out. So I left it to dry and re worked it, I'm happy with the result, especially the composition.

Sadly I didn't get into the Royal Institue of Oil Painters Exhibtion. (ROI) But I'm really pleased to have got 2 paintings through the first round, it shows I'm on the right track and will keep trying with the London shows :-) Some stats for the ROI all approximate: 1000 people entered online 300 got through the first round 95 through into the final exhibition. 

Monday 3 October 2016

#129 'The Bridge, Waggoners Wells' 9.5x12"

A beautiful sunny day and great to be out painting again for the 3rd day in a row! I previously painted this bridge and trees from the other side on the 18th September no.124. The leaves are just turning and the ones one the ground are orange, which I made full use of :-)
I put the struts of the bridge in before painting the water, plus the dark tones of the tree trunks - see pic.

I painted the background trees and their reflection at the same time, lightening a little for the water. Putting in all the dark areas under the bridge, which then showed up the light in tone of the little waterfall. Fun to paint moving water! Quite a big painting for me and plein but satisfying to do. Will go back to Waggoners when the leaves colour up.

Sunday 2 October 2016

#128 'Surrey Hills' 6x15.5"

Lovely light on the morning hills, really blue and pale. I used a new wood panel by Gerstaeker called Tintoretto, I had prepared it with three layers of acrylic gesso, and it was really nice to work on, the paint glided but didn't sink into it. No need to frame either as its a box style.
I was careful to get the tone right of the hills as they weren't much darker than the sky. I used a new colour - Cadmiun Orange. Quite potent use very little of it, mixed with Lemon yellow for the sky line plus I then used the mixed orange into most of the other colours this helps with the harmony and giving it a warm feel. It was fun to paint on the panoramic style I recommend having ago if you haven't tried it.

I went to London yesterday and did a plein air next to the Thames, it was raining and I choose a tricky subject, it needs work so will post soon.

Thankfully my dog Matte has turned the corner and is better although his sight hasn't come back yet. But he's well enough for me to get out painting again :-) and thank you for your good wishes for him.