Thursday 29 November 2018

#420 'Early Winter Light, Meon Valley' 30x40cm

A sky painting on a textured linen board. I was driving around looking for a subject and a saw a truck in a field and this view, so I turned around and hoped the farmer would be friendly. He was and allowed me to park and paint in his field. 
I made a low horizon and made it about the sky, light and clouds, the receding hills also were great!

#419 'South Parade Pier, Sand Reflections' 20x50cm

When I arrived I was initially disappointed as there wasn't much to the scene, the tide was still in and the sun wasn't up so no colour, quite dull. But the tide soon went out and the colours appeared in the wet sand. Beautiful! 

Monday 26 November 2018

#418 'Sunset Campo Barnaba, Venice' 40x50cm

A studio painting of a small plein air study from my recent Venice trip.

This is the plein air painting and the starting point for the bigger painting above...

1.Drawing made on location, helps to really see the subject.
2. Studio shot to give an idea of scale and palette.
3. My sky colours! and part of the water.

I enjoyed painting bigger, wanting to keep it still fresh and lively but more finished and 'special' looking. 
I saw this view every day as it was right next to our house, I would look at it and think I want to paint that, so pleased I have!

Monday 19 November 2018

#417 'Autumn Colours, Waggoners Wells,' & Reflections Tips

An area close to me with 3 pools of water. It's quite a challenge as there a lot of trees and a little bit late for Autumn but still wonderful rusts and lemon yellow on the Silver Birch.
I wanted water to reflect the colours which is why I went there.

Tips for painting reflections: 

  • Turn the board/canvas 90 degrees so you can mirror the shapes of the subject into the water as sometimes doing upside down is a challenge! 
  • Vertical brush strokes first and then some horizontal cutting across for water movement.
  • Stronger colours and shapes closer to the subject. Softer tones, colours and shapes as it moves away - see my painting bottom line is quite 'wooly' compare dot the reflection close to the trees.
  • Observe whats there don't paint what you think it looks like but what is there!

The underpainting in Burnt Sienna & a little Ultramarine

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