July Woodland

July Woodland

July Woodland

Dappled sunlight in the woods, as a painting subject, responds well to the ‘Impressionist’ treatment.

In my recent paintings I have been using a technique which produces an ‘Impressionist style’ end result. As I use only 3 colours ‘Impressionism’, in its traditional form, is difficult to achieve with such a limited palette. Remember this movement in art is characterised by strong, opposite colours applied in alternating strokes to produce a vibrant painting. Although I like ‘Impressionism’ I don’t like the ‘mechanical’ application of the principal with regard to the paint strokes. I sometimes think it was a reaction to the previous dull, flat paint layers and ended up being a distraction.

To make the most of the 3 colours used in this painting I use a method similar to the watercolour technique of applying transparent under layers and allowing some of this colour to show through in the final painting. I can get the vibrant colours but I can also apply the paint in a more graphical representative way.

The painting is approx. 16″ x 12″ and was painted in a single ‘wet on wet’ session in under 2 hours. I used a single filbert bristle No. 12 (1″ wide) and a ‘liner’ for fine lines. The colours are Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits (solvent).

Here’s the painting method. See you soon.

Low Water

Low Water

Low Water

Lakeside debris, dried and bleached. A nice contrast to the cool blue of the lake.

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

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

What a burst of colour. The wildflowers in this old meadow have really come alive in the recent dry weather.

I am using transparent colours to give the effect of wild flower randomly scattered in the lush grass. This is, of course, a watercolour technique, applying under colour and allowing little bits to show through the final layers of the green grass.

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

Here’s the video of the painting process.

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

The colours of Summer, chlorophyll in all its variations competing for sunlight.

To emphasise the Summer green and produce a glow of colour, you will need plenty of shadow areas. At a certain point in this painting, it looked like a disastrous black smudge.

With a limited palette of 3 colours, the lighter colours painted on top of the wet shadow colour were essentially the same colours with white added. This gives a vibrant range of sun-lit colours. Remember, the fewer the number of colours in a mix, the higher the chroma. My current palette limits this to 3.

The less highlight colour added the more dramatic the effect. Generally less is better. Painting highlights and sun-lit areas of an oil painting landscape is difficult as it goes against our instinctive inclination to draw shadows and leave lit areas untouched, as with watercolours.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

Early May

Early May

Early May

Summer is late this year. This scene is how I presume the landscape will be in a few weeks.

There are different ranges of colours I use for different moods or conditions in the landscape. My ranges are composed of 3 primary colours with the occasional addition of a secondary. This secondary is usually green, as this colour is the most used in landscape and sometimes the yellow and blue do not produce a good green. For example, in winter landscapes I will often use Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue. The resultant green from this mix is OK in dull winter paintings (here). Using these colours and also having the colours of spring or summer would require a ‘tube’ green to be added to the mix.

In this painting I used a combination of nice primary colours – Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose & Ultramarine Blue. The resultant mixes produced ‘Constable’ colours, deep rich purple shadows and strong greens which keep their vibrance when lightened with white. In my current painting method, when I use these 3 colours I try and include each of the colours in every mix. So the green made from the blue and yellow, will have a little red included or the purple made from the red and blue, will have a little yellow added. Sometimes the addition of the third colour is from the under layer as in the sky in this painting (yellow). Or if I plan the succession of colour mixes, what remains on the brush of the previous colour is enough to add to the new mix. That is why I use so few brushes and don’t have to clean them too often.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.