Golden browns against the misty blue/green of the deep woods was the inspiration for this morning scene. A lack of rainfall and wind has left the foliage on many of the trees but this is set to change, the storms are coming in from the west.
The background is painted dry and thin. The only solvent was in the initial raw blue. Yellow and white were added to produce a thin transparent gradient. The distant trees were the same 2 colours, just thicker paint and less white. In fact, the only white was what was left on the brush from the previous mix (I’m using a single brush for the entire painting). These trees had shape and definition which was lost in the blending but I think was necessary for a natural effect.
The blending of colours at this stage will make the later fine lines easier to apply. The distant leaves are brushed into the background and the white in this background colour, changes the rich browns to a softer tone. How different this is to the same colour placed on top of the background as in the foliage in the left foreground.
All paint in the later stages had quite a lot of solvent. It has to be ‘wetter’ than the layer onto which its applied, otherwise the under layer is lifted off the canvas on the brush.
As usual I used just 3 colours, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue, plus black and white. I used a single flat filbert bristle and a fine ‘liner’ for the thin lines of trees and branches. The 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. See you soon.
Slieve Bloom Stream
This exceptional spell of dry weather is taking its toll on the rivers and streams. The Slieve Bloom Mountains, to the west of where I live, is the source of many waterways which pass this way. With a blue sky overhead and clouds hugging the mountains the reflected blue was a nice balance to the distant mountains. The higher viewpoint, something I don’t normally do, was responsible for this odd reflection and also the sparking white pinpoints.
This painting uses only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Indian Red, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The red is ever-present to contrast and emphasise the blue in the foreground. This blue is transparent and is painted directly and pure onto the white canvas. This rich transparent colour did not look like much until the ‘milky’ opaque colour of the pebbles are placed nearby.
The painting is 12″ x 9″ and was painted in a single session of about an hour and a half with a single round bristle (No. 12) and a sign painters liner for details.
Here’s the painting process. See you soon.
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.