Sunday 30 April 2017

#172 'Southsea Promanade' 9x12"

I have been out painting over the past 3 days. The first day at Queen Elizabeth Country Park nr Petersfield. Being early morning there was no sunlight and the tones were very close together and a bit dull on the wooded subject I chose. After an hour and half of painting I wiped it off. I don't often do that at such a late stage in the painting. Someone recently asked me what is your 'success' rate for paintings? About one in five I scrap. I'm not sure if this is acurate - typical I scrapped the next one I did! But all was not lost I moved 20 feet to the early sun shining on a pond it was Monetesque and I will finish it in the studio soon....

This painting of Southsea Promanade is a familiar scene to me, as I walked my dog and ran along here for 11 years. Yesterday was a bright, sunny day, packed with people, it had a lovely English seaside feel to it, with people eating fish and chips and seagulls hovering above.

I spent quite a while getting the compostion right I changed board sizes from an 8x10" after drawing it too small. I didn't want too much promanade but enough to get a feel of it. Contra Jour again with the sun directly opposite me. I really checked the tones, comparing each area with the next. Saying to myself is this part lighter or darker? Like the promanade would have been easy to paint too dark.
The people I sketched in with the brush as they were walking by, adding some light and darks (and the dog!) in the studio today.

I enjoyed painting this one, so many people stopped to say hello and take a look, good to be out there painting again....

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Sketches of South Africa

Arrived back home yesterday from South Africa, a wonderful trip visiting my sister.
Pen & Ink, Table Mountain. We saw the sunrise over Table Mountain twice - It was so good we had to go back and see it again! Beautiful colours and I was itching to paint them.

We went on safari in Madikwe Game Reserve (up near the Botswana boarder). We stayed in an eco bush camp called Mosetlha, the stars at night were unbelievable! These group of African pots were outside in the couryard next to our cabins. Really strong shdaows because of the blazing African sun - I fried when I did the drawing! 
This was the same water soluble pen I used in the Table Mountain drawing but with out a wash on top.
Drawing lions

Really loved the game drives, saw so many animals up close (the safari trucks were able to go off road.) I took photos but I also wanted to try drawing the animal. Not reasy! As you usually had only seconds to complete it buy getting the general form down before they moved again. It was fun to do and I'm sure helped my observational skills.

I did the same thing at Boulders Beach in Cape Town where the wild African Penguins hang out. You can't help smile at them especially when they waddle about. It was blowing a gale when we were there and being sand blasted while I drew added an extra challenge!

Thursday 13 April 2017

#171 'The Red Boat' 8x10"

This was taken from a photo a took last year in Harridge, Essex. Contra jour with the flags lit in the sun. I didn't feel confident enough to paint it then. So I had a go yesterday in the Museum, not easy when the subject is nearly all in shadow. I painted the boat too red to begin with - as I liked the red boat! but darkened it and it sat in the painting better. 

Sometimes I need input from others like my husband (a photographer) or my Mum who has a great eye she helped with this one saying the jetty/pier behind wasnt right - it had been straight across the painting, she suggested I cut it off. I don't usualy change what's actually there but sometimes it's needed! And it does help the compsition :-)

I have found occasionally it's good to practise a subject or type of light in the studio from a photo so you can learn from it which is harder to do en plein air as the elements are often against you and getting the painting down at speed, with no time to think too much!

Yesterday was our last day in the Musem for our exhitbion. (It continues without us till next Tuesday) It was sad to finish as I had enjoyed painting and showing there and chatting to people and lots of children! We are thinking of doing another show at the Museum in two years time.

Today we are off to South Africa to visit my sister. I'm not taking my painting gear just sketch book as I want to spend time with her.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

#170 'La Plagne, The Alps' 9x12"

This was taken from a drawing I made while in the French Alps. (see below)
It really helpd to have drawn it as the tones are quite close together and having studied it in person helped with the painting. (didn't make it easy though!)
The light source was very subtle, being sunset and the light just catching the tops of the mountains. The roofs of the chalets were a lighter tone even without direct light on them.
This was a real study of tonal observation. Fun to paint though and so different from a green landscape!
Last of my snowy paintings till next season... onto spring.

Sunday 9 April 2017

#169 'Morning Light, Devils Punch Bowl' 8x10"

This is the second of the snow paintings in this area. I really enjoyed putting the light in - once all the darks and mids were in place. 

I'm starting a painting by mixing the main colour and then using that paint if I can as a starting point to mix other main colours and then mixing a range of light and dark tones. So I end up with piles of paint all connected with each other and therefore hamornising well. Starting like this means, it feels you are on top of it before you begin and having a lot of paint so you dont scrimp with it - I wanted a thicker look.

Just two days left for our exhibition. Here was a photo from Saturday at the Museum....

Thursday 6 April 2017

#168 'Morning Shadows, Devils Punch Bowl' 8x10"

I made a sketch of this scene back in February when it was snowing, see pic below.

I liked the feathery tree with the dark behind and the wonderful blues. I worked on using thicker paint to create a more shimmery light.

I enjoyed painting it so much I have done another snow scene of the same area and will post it tomorrow. 

I am doing these paintings while we get visitors to our ongoing exhibition at the Haslemere Museum, it's going well! :-)

Monday 3 April 2017

Haslemere Museum Exhibition & no. 167 Langstone Study

We had our Private View last Thursday. It went well, had a good turn out, lovely feedback and some sales! You can see some daily still life paintings and my plen air land and seascape. I hung 44 and had 10 left over, I didn't want to crowd the wall. Everyone said it worked well in that room and together with Nick on the opposite side. 

I am manning the show every day (till March 12th), so it's a great opportunity to paint while I'm there. I have missed painting as I've been so busy getting this show ready (framing 55 paintings!) It's also nice that I can greet people when they come and have a chat :-)

I painted this scene outside a couple of weeks ago and didn't like the result, but from it I painted this a small 8x8" a study of tone and contra jour (sun shining towards you.) Painting the sky a slightly darker tone than the dazzle on the water, which is true to what was there but also really shows up the water sparkle.
The boats on the left were a tricky because they were mainly in shadow, just a shape no light or dark. Happier with this painting.