Winter Grey

Winter Grey

Winter Grey

Bright days but grey.

I’m using a longer bristled filbert. A classic filbert Size 10 produced by ‘Rosemary and Co Artists Brushes’. My previous filbert is a standard brush and after years of use the bristles have worn too short to produce the blends of colours I need in skies and water. The new longer bristled brush produces smoother blends, the ‘spring’ in the bristles makes it easier, less scraping and lifting of paint.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost

One of the rare frosty days this winter.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

The painting process is here:

Corner Field

Corner Field

Corner Field

Frosty weather at last. The recent mild weather with heavy rain has left flood water in the most unusual places, as in this corner. The colours in the landscape will change. The icy dew on the grass, now a silver sheen, will start the sepia colouring process.

I’m still using the same 3 colours I used in the previous painting (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue). Some of the paints I use are Alkyd colours. They are quick drying oils and are mixable with standard oils. In traditional oil painting, that is painting in layers and allowing the layer to dry before applying the next, they are good as base layers. As final layers over standard oils they can lead to problems as they dry quickly sealing off the slower paint and retarding the drying.

I don’t paint in layers and the standard oils and Alkyd paints are thoroughly mixed or blended in a single layer so, hopefully, I won’t have problems with flaking after a few years. The use of Alkyd paint allows me to paint fine lines ‘wet on wet’, difficult with standard oil colours.

I’m often asked how I manage to do those fine lines onto a wet underpainting and this is part of how its done. I also do not use a medium, only solvent and this evaporates quickly leaving the underpainting, with its Alkyd content, almost ‘tacky’.

The painting is 12″ x 9″. I used 3 colours (plus black and white), 3 brushes (a large filbert, a medium flat, and an fine liner) and solvent only.

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

 

Flooded Canal

Flooded Canal

Flooded Canal

The ordered lines and shapes of the canal are lost in the floods from the nearby river.

I used the same 3 colours as in the previous painting (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue). The sky is mostly grey. However, I did not mix my 3 colours and apply a flat layer of paint. This is so dull the entire scene would look sterile. The 3 colours are there. But by applying layers and blending with flat ‘cross hatching’ swipes while still wet, an infinite range of subtle greys are produced. The above photo does not reproduce the true variety of colours – a rainbow of tinted greys.

The painting is 12″ x 9″.

Here’s the video of the process, see you soon.

Cold Front

Cold Front

Cold Front

Cold Front is a term used by the weathermen. Its the interface between high and low atmospheric pressure. For us in Ireland, a Cold Front means nasty weather. Sometimes the change can be seen sweeping across the sky.

At the moment, the UK and Ireland are suffering from record breaking rainfall. In residential areas the floods have caused devastation – not a nice way to spend Christmas, and according to the weathermen, there’s more on the way – today. This little pasture in a normal year can provide grazing for 10 or 11 months. No so this year.

The colours I used were Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue (plus black and white). These 3 are the most versatile I use and can produce the most ‘natural’ landscapes. Here are a few I’ve painted over the last few years.

October Colour

October Colour

Summer Shelter

Summer Shelter

Wicklow Storm

Wicklow Storm

Daybreak, Dollardstown Wood

Daybreak, Dollardstown Wood

These are the subjects of previous posts and can be found using the search box.

I use only 3 colours so the resultant mixes have to be good. Each colour I apply will have the other 2 colours present to a greater or lesser extent. Sometimes its only the remnants of the previous mix on the brush which alters the colours.

Note the behaviour of the blue in the skies here. Its all the same Cobalt Blue. Yet tiny amounts of the other 2 colours will not ‘kill’ the chroma of the sky blue but changes it in the most subtle way. This is more difficult with the other blues like Ultramarine, Cerulean or Prussian. I think the pigments in Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue are just a good combination.

The size is 16″ x 10″. I used only solvent – no medium. For a time I was using a single bristle brush –  a large filbert. I found this OK especially progressing from one mix into the next. But a brush shape can put a pattern into a painting which I had to disguise at times so I am now using a medium sized round as well as the filbert. I also use a fine nylon ‘liner’ for thin lines and occasionally a knife for really thin lines.

Heres the video of the painting process.

 

Christmas Wood

Christmas Wood

Christmas Wood

Unseasonal weather has fooled the snowdrops and daffodils into the first stages of blooming. This is a month too early. The outlook is not good for a colourful spring unless the extreme mildness lasts for another few weeks and this is unlikely.

Red and green, the traditional colours of Christmas, permeate this scene. The colours uses are Yellow Ochre, Indian Red and Cobalt Blue plus black and white. I normally use these for Summer landscapes. By leaving the green colours until the end of the painting and applying this green as I would white in a typical ‘snow scene’ I avoided a summery look.

As usual I did not use a medium, only White Spirits solvent. The size is 12″ x 9″.

Here is the painting process. See you soon.

November Stream

November Stream

November Stream

What was a pathway in Summer is now a stream. Excessive rainfall has changed the landscape. The blue of the sky penetrates into this dark corner carried by the recently exposed limestones.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cerulean Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16″ x 10″.

Here’s the video of the painting process, see you soon.