Shorter days and a low lying sun herald the coming of winter.
This painting uses only 3 colours (Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The painting size is 12″ x 9″ and was painted in a single session of about an hour and a half.
Here’s the video of the painting process.
Away from the frenzy of the harvesting, all is quiet here in the marginal land. To see some traditional Autumn colour I will have to go to the woods. Here all is wet and green still, with the darkening days the only reminder that summer is over.
In this painting I used a round bristle instead of my usual filbert. As I am now using a single bristle brush and a liner for details I wanted to see how this single brush technique would work for me. I found the round shape less versatile than the filbert, which, if you don’t already know is a flat with a domed shape. It does have the advantages of a flat for blending and covering large areas fast and also the domed shape allows details to be added. I thought the round would be better for lines, like the trees on the left.
This would have been the case with traditional painting, where the under coat is allowed to dry. No so in this ‘all prima’ method. The bristle picked up more paint than it put down so I finished off this section with the liner. In ‘alla prima’ the applied paint must contain more solvent than the under layer. This works well with the liner (liner = sign painters brush for applying long unbroken lines). The large bristle brim full of solvent might put down paint but not as fine lines.
So for the time being, I will stick with the filbert for the bulk of the painting and the liner for details and fine lines.
This painting is 12″ x 9″ and was painted in under 2 hours. As usual I used 3 colours, Winsor Lemon, Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits as I need the solvent to evaporate to make the later layer sit on top without too much interference from the under layers.
Here’ the painting process, see you soon.
Colours of Autumn are here
The 3 colours, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, used here are transparent. The initial colouring of the canvas with thin washes was not completely covered with later opaque layers. Alizarin and Ultramarine are dark colours but as thin layers produce colours not normally associated with the oil painting technique. More like watercolour.
Some of the oil paint I use is Alkyd colour. This is a quick drying paint. The lighter colours, as in the sky, were thin layers of mostly white. This Alkyd was sufficiently ‘set’ to allow Ultramarine Blue to sit on top, again taking advantage of its transparent qualities. I mention this because its the reverse of my normal method of placing the cloud colour on top of the blue. The overall effect is bright glowing colour overall. The traditional oil painting method is to use transparent ‘dark’ colour in shadows with highlights painted with opaque bright colours.
These 3 colours (Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) produce the most subtle secondaries. The greens, oranges and especially the purples. I used only these 3 colours and I don’t think these beautiful shades would have survived in mixes with a larger range of colours.
Here’s the video, see you soon.
With the days shortening the landscape is taking on the colours of Autumn. Greens are now dull and red is everywhere, even in the sky.
I used Cadmium Red. Like all the Cadmium colours this is strong and vibrant. In the sky its mixed with white only, toned down with what remained of the blue/grey on the brush. I’m still using the single brush technique allowing the colours to evolve into the next so the Cadmium mix is not completely 100% with white, which is good. Diagonally opposite is the blue (Prussian) of the water. Again ‘almost’ pure Prussian with a little ‘contamination’ from the Cadmium on the brush.
As usual I used only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. The painting is 12″x9″.
Here’s the video of the painting process. Remember YouTube settings can be changed to view at 720HD and at a slower speed than uploaded.
The glowing yellows of high summer have passed and the ‘brownness’ of autumn is upon us. as yet, there are no typical autumn colours, just a hint of things to come.
The colours used, and there are only 3, are Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue. Yellow Ochre and Cadmium produce a range of subtle greens which don’t need the addition of red to give a ‘natural’ green colour. I suppose its the orange in the ochre which is responsible for this nice effect. The addition of the Cadmium Red moves the colour quickly into the autumn colour range.
As usual the process involves using the 3 colours for each and every part of the mid and foreground areas, varying the proportions of each colour to move the colours between purples (Cadmium and Cobalt with a little Ochre) to orange (Cadmium and Ochre and a little Cobalt). I try and avoid equal proportions, as you probably know, this is a formula for shades of grey, OK in the sky but not for closeup foreground colours.
The painting is 16″x10″.
Here’s the video of the painting process. See you soon.
While the rest of Europe is suffering temperatures in the high 30’s we have a more relaxed 16 to 20. Our visitors from Germany were glad to leave 38 degrees and enjoy our balmy 18. Its little wonder the countryside is a shimmering green and its always a challenge for the painter of landscapes to convey this lushness without saturating the canvas in a monotony of green.
The green shades here are a product of Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber and Prussian Blue (the only colours used in the entire painting). The Cadmium and Prussian do produce a vibrant green but need a touch of red – in this case Burnt Umber, to appear more natural. Burnt Umber is a weak red so its affect is less dramatic than other reds I’ve used like Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson. Its also introducing hints of Autumn now appearing in the drier corners of the woodlands.
I’m still using the single bristle brush technique to paint the bulk of the painting. This requires a bit of planning in the way colour mixes merge from one to the next. I think its possible because of the limited number of colours used. The movement from blue through green and finally yellows and oranges is easy enough, but white in the later stages of the sky colours has to be worked out of the brush in the distant areas building up to the rich dark shadows of the foreground. At this point there is very little white left in the brush so mid tones are very strong before white is again introduced for the warm highlights.
The painting is (16″x10″).
Here’s the video, see you soon.
‘Variable’ weather has postponed the onset of harvest. The forecast is not great for the coming days and the current strong winds have made the landscape look a little ‘shredded’. This is not a sunny summer scene but I must be careful not to loose the look of a typical Irish summer.
This painting has only 3 colours; Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue, plus black and white. I used no medium, only the solvent, White Spirits. The colours may not be a strong vibrant range but they are warm, even the Cerulean Blue has a warmth, if that is possible for a blue.
I’m still using the single brush technique, allowing the colour mixes to evolve one into the next with the minimum of brush cleaning. Remember this will only work with no more than 3 colours – any more and the colours turn ‘muddy’. Its also important that the 3 colours chosen are capable of producing the required colours.
Here’s the video of the process, see you soon.