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!! 

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.

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

Tuesday 14 August 2018

#362 'Sandymouth Beach 10x12"

Last painting in Cornwall. I really enjoyed this part of the world, it helped to have amazing weather, light and skies!
This is a wet sand and sky painting. I worked on the tones - the sand was surprisingly dark and the sea even darker. I tired to paint the waves over the top of the dark sea colour it didn't work so I wiped out wave shapes with kitchen towel and was able to get a better purchase and make the waves light enough.
The wet sand puddles were quite dark too, reflecting the sky in colours. People went into the sea as I was painting which helped with scale and interest.

I did some sketching through the trip so hope to do more paintings of Cornwall in the studio...

Sunday 12 August 2018

#361 'Crackington Haven' 11x14"

A large imposing cliff the locals call Sleeping Dragon. A great paintable subject...with low tide and the water on the sand reflecting the cliff and sky. People to give scale and interest plus the colourful life guard flags. The sky I'd taken time to put in the sweepy clouds and then some fluffy dark clouds came over the top so I took a risk and painted fluffies over the top, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
It was quite a big board but works well with the huge cliff.
I was lucky as I was just finishing up and then the rain fell...
Rain clouds approaching!

Saturday 11 August 2018

#360 'Widemouth Bay' 20x50cm

The North Cornwall surf was so much fun to paint! 
Looking the other way the beach was busy with people, life guards and surfers, it looked interesting but this way attracted me more because of the colours. - Looking into the sun creates strong tonal shapes and less colour, looking away from the sun i.e the light shining directly onto the subject makes the colours strong and less about tonal values.

Although I still worked on the tones I compare what is a similar tone within the subject:
sky and the sand are similar 
The distant sea and the rocks 
Wet sand & foreground sea - squint your eyes and have a go!

The sky was changing with lots going on in it. The foreground rocks helped with composition, the tide was high so only the tops of them stuck out it was good to have the water around them - low tide it's just a mass of rocks.

Spot the ring of sandcastles, they were making them as I was painting, I decided not to include in my painting.
This is one of the those paintings that did it itself. Hardly any wiping off and quite quick to get it all in.They dont all happen like that! 

Friday 10 August 2018

#359 'Sandymouth Surf' 8x10"

A quickie in the early evening light. I put the marks down and left them, an impression of the moment. 
The people walking into the shallow sea with their boogie boards. The light on the water so strong almost to much to look at it. See pic below...

Beginning stages, rough silhouette of people and waves, yellow base colour before the white light.

I stood right next to the water line but the tide zoomed out so fast it was miles away by the end of the paint.

Thursday 9 August 2018

#358 'Morning Light, Kingsand' 8x10"

I walked for miles trying to get a view with the Cornish houses and sea behind but nothing looked right and then I saw this simple but lovely subject, with old looking boats and amazing light. 
Unusual yellow sky, contra jour sea sparkles, it was a quick painting to capture the moment.

I enjoyed watching the children jump into the water next to me, lots of squeals and laughter especially when a jelly fish got in the way!
Spot the kids behind my easel.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

#357 'Rocks at Kingsand' 8x10"

I have spent a few days in Cornwall with my husband. We have been visiting family and friends but I have managed to fit some painting too! 
I haven't painted plein air in this area before, I want to go back and do more, so beautiful and paintable.

Before this one I had started a painting looking the other way it wasn't going well and I was looking around and saw this view, I turned the easel and it took only 50mins start to finish, I liked the distant haze of the cliffs contrasting the strong rocks in the foreground. Also the lovely colours in the water.
Broad brush strokes and no fussing got it down quickly.
Next painting posted tomorrow....