‘May Chills’ – another 2 part painting

‘May Chills’

The last painting (here) was in 2 parts. The first part included sky and horizon and was allowed to dry before finishing. For a beginner this makes the task a little easier if trees and foliage are to be painted onto the sky. Painting delicate branches and leaves onto a wet sky does not allow for mistakes and corrections usually requiring scraping off, repainting the sky and trying again. A little solvent on a tissue or cloth will completely remove wet paint from a dry layer allowing multiple attempts or corrections.

This painting was completely covered in the first stage and allowed to dry – easier still. Remember using Alkyd Fast Drying Oils by Winsor & Newton in the initial stage means you can paint the second stage the following day – faster in warmer weather. If you feel the need to use a medium (I don’t) use Liquin which is also fast drying. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the brush when finished.

Because the first stage contained some dark colours these, as usual, dried matt and consequently a little lighter in tone. Before proceeding in the second stage I ‘oiled out’ the surface by rubbing a very light coating of W&N oil painting medium into the surface with a cloth. This gives the dry painting the appearance of a freshly painted surface. This wetting of the surface will also help the application of the fresh paint. As a rule I don’t use Liquin to ‘oil out’ as it dries very fast and could seal and retard from drying, paint which was not fully dry in the under layer.

Here is a video of the process. To view in realtime change setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD. This painting uses 4 colours (Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Sap Green, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used in the first stage, only White Spirits (Petroleum spirits). W&N painting medium was used in the second stage. 2 brushes used – No. 12 Filbert bristle & a Nylon liner. Ground is Fredrix Canvas Pad 10″x8″.

A two part painting

‘A Quiet Place’ – A two part painting

My ‘time lapse painting’ videos usually feature a single session work completed in 1 or 2 hours. This is more to facilitate the video process than preferring this method. This single session painting method (sometimes referred to as ‘All Prima’) has several limitations and can be frustrating for a beginner.

If you use these YouTube videos as a guide to your own painting, remember there are several settings in YouTube which can make the video more helpful, eg changing the speed – slower or faster, pausing, or turning off the background sound (YouTube supplied ambient soundtrack). Also, developing your painting over several days, allowing the painting to dry between sessions makes it easier, and of course more relaxing.

The sky and horizon in this painting were allowed to dry completely before the mid and fore ground were overpainted. Some of the paints I use are Alkyd Fast Drying Oils. These are the same pigments as standard oils but formulated with a medium like ‘Liquin’ and not the usual Linseed/Poppy oils. They can be mixed with standard oils but painting in layers can cause issues – Alkyds dry very fast so should not be painted on top of slow drying standard oils.

Alkyd colours gives me the fast drying time without using a fast drying medium. Not using a medium is a personal preference, I just don’t like the ‘slushy’ effect it produces. When I want the paint to flow (as in thin lines over a wet layer) I use a solvent which then evaporates quickly. Trying to apply fine details with an oily paint on an oily wet under layer is a pain. Allowing the under layer to dry eliminates all this grief.

Titanium White is a notorious slow dryer. I would say most of the paint used in my sky mixes is Titanium White and I always overpaint the sky with foreground items like trees and foliage. So my Titanium White is Alkyd. Even after an hour the Alkyd is beginning to get ‘tacky’ which means overpainting is manageable. Allowing the sky to completely dry will only take a day or two as opposed to a week or two with standard oils.

I paint a complete sky, regardless of what I plan to put on top in later stages. This allows endless possibilities in the final stages of painting. The paint applied over this dry layer can be wiped off if needed – great if you are a beginner. And also remember, wiping off can be as creative as applying paint (see the videos of Stuart Davies – https://www.youtube.com/user/stuartdaviesart).

I hope you are all well and keeping safe in this crazy time. If you have any questions or queries while creating you’re own ‘Quiet Place’ please comment below. I have plenty of time to answer you at the moment 🙂

Here is the YouTube video of the painting.

To view in realtime change setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD. This painting uses 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. 2 brushes used – No. 12 Filbert bristle & a Nylon liner. Ground is Fredrix Canvas Pad 16″x10″.


My Limited Palette

In response to Roberts comment in the previous post.

Here is a list of colors, by season, that you have painted. I mentioned this topic in a YT comment. Do you agree that these colors work for you by season are do you keep a different list? I am getting back into painting with oils again and am deciding what colors to use.

Late Harvest: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cobalt Blue
Golden Pond: Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue
Shortcut: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue

Winter Blue: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue
Winter Marsh: Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Winter Woodland: Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue (4 colors)

Sprint Light: Winsor Lemon, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue
Spring Sunshine: Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue
Spring Grazing: Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue

Summer in April: Cadmium Yellow, Indian Red, Cobalt Blue
Early Summer: Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue
Summer Afternoon: Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue

IMG_0725The above is one of a series of experiments I conducted to see the effects produced by different primary colours with regard to an overall colour flavour. Three primaries (red, yellow, blue) were placed in a circle and spread and mixed. After many such tests the differences were not telling me much. The secondary and tertiary colours are where the differences are most significant especially when mixed with white. Even with as few as three colours the variations are enormous.

One of the advantages of a limited palette is it allows me to remember the colours produced by a particular set of primaries. Another significant factor is how pigments interact. For example, two similar blues each mixed with a yellow will produce very different greens. Also you get results which are not expected such as mixing a yellow, such as Yellow Ochre, with Ivory Black will produce a series of subtle greens. In this case black is behaving like a blue but not all blacks produce this effect. In Photoshop (a digital image computer programme) adding black to a colour similar to Yellow Ochre will produce a darkened version of this yellow – not a green colour. Remember you are mixing ground earth (Yellow Ochre) with ground charred bones (Ivory Black) when dealing with paint.

Occasionally I will add another colour to the basic three primaries. This is when a particular secondary, such as a green, is not produced by the primary yellow and blue. A similar case can be seen in the painting below. Here the primaries Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna (red) and Cobalt Blue are used. The muted greens are an essential part of this scene but I also wanted a particular shade of purple which Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue would not produce. I remember this from previous paintings. So Dioxazine Purple was added as a fourth colour. Here is the painting:

In the painting below the colours are: Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue. Vibrant greens and purples – no need for an additional secondary – green or purple.

So to answer Robert, I don’t have a particular set of colours based on seasonal colours. The selected colours are based on what I am trying to achieve in a particular painting. I am aware of paintings which are very different and from different seasons, painted with the same colours. I cannot recollect them at the moment but they are there somewhere (try searching my  YouTube Channel if you are interested).

Any further questions I will be happy to answer.

To view the above videos in realtime change speed setting in YouTube to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.

Summer Afternoon

Summer Afternoon

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

The size is 16.5″ x 12″.

To view in realtime change setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.

Corn Thieves

Corn Thieves

This painting has kept me occupied over the last few days. It was painted in the traditional way, i.e. layers allowed to dry before the next are applied. I usually paint in a single session in 1 to 2 hours and the painting is small (12″ x 16″ approx). This large size (30″ x 24″) needed several hours, so it was completed in 3 sessions of about 3 hours each. The under layers are painted with Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colours. The final layers were applied with traditional oils and Liquin medium. The colours used were Cadmium Yellow, Indian Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson plus black and white.

Sorry I could not video the process due to time and size restrictions. The method is basically the same as my usual. Loads of transparent under colour applied unmixed with loads of solvent. The entire canvas was covered with colour and while still wet the first stage of the sky and distance were painted. The following day this had dried (because of the Alkyd Colour + Solvent) and the sky and distance were painted to completion. The foreground initially was painted very dark greens and browns over the dry under colours of crimson and ultramarine blue.

I used Liquin to speed up the drying process and to add a bit of substance and flexibility to my paint layer. This is important as this is a stretched canvas which is a very flexible substrate. I normally use ‘solvent only’ on loose canvas which I later laminate onto a rigid board. This is a very stable surface with very little flexing, quite different from the stretched canvas.

See you soon.

Summer Woodland

Summer Woodland

This painting is16.5″ x 10″. Only 3 colours are used (Cadmium Yellow, Bright Red, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

This is a video of the painting process. To view in realtime change setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.