I was a dull, damp day when I took this photo, this time last year. I didn’t have a subject in my head to paint so I had a look in my photo collection for something to do. Although the photo looks OK as a photo, the ruins would have dominated the scene in a painting. If it was possible to move much further back and use a telephoto lens, the ruins would have appeared smaller, relative to the background. In reality this was not possible so in the composition of the painting I did this and also elevated the viewpoint to include more detail in the middle distance and see more of the lake.
Glendalough is in County Wicklow, a few miles east of where I live. It was the site of a monastic settlement founded in the 6th century. Its a magical place with ruins everywhere. Saint Laurence O’Toole, born a mile from where I live, in 1128 ad, was Abbot of Glendalough until 1162 ad. Coincidently, he died in Eu in Normandy in 1180 ad, as the Normans (recent invaders) were building Kilkea Castle (mentioned in previous post), almost on top of his ancestral birthplace in the fortress of Mullacreelan.
The colours used were: Burnt Sienna & Raw Umber (red), Yellow Ochre (yellow) and Cobalt Blue (blue). I also used Viridian Green, black and white. I needed the ‘tube’ green to get the colour of the spring grass in the foreground. I never liked Viridian. Its a very strong ‘unnatural’ colour. The grass colour was got by adding the green, a little at a time, to Yellow Ochre. The under colour of Burnt Sienna mixed a little with this green to neutralise it and make it more natural.
I will have the video of the painting process for the next post. See you then.