August Wood

August Wood

August Wood

As we progress through Autumn the colours are rich but the light is reducing in intensity. There is a feeling of over ripe fruit in the landscape.

As you have noticed in recent paintings, I’m using a single ‘largish’ bristle brush for the bulk of the painting. This is not self imposed hardship but part of the 3 colour method I’m working in at the moment. Not too long ago I would have used 6 or 8 brushes and more colours. In a way, more colours necessitated more brushes. Having particular brushes loaded with certain colours and not letting these brushes get ‘contaminated’ by other colours was how I managed to keep colours clean and not descend into a muddy mess.

With 3 colours (a red, yellow and blue – primary colours) I deliberately let all colours come together and only vary the different proportions in the mixes. The colours evolve on the brush blending one into the next without any cleaning of the brush. The brush for fine lines (liner) doesn’t affect this arrangement as it does not hold a significant amount of paint. As you watch the video note the colour changes on the bristle brush.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. The medium is a very small amount of Liquin in White Spirits (petroleum spirits) and White Spirits neat in separate containers. The painting size is 16″x12″ and was completed in a single session of about 2 hours.

Here’s the video. See you soon.

Wexford Coast

Wexford Coast

Wexford Coast

Ireland’s East coast, particularly Wexford, does not have the spectacular mountains or cliffs you find in the West. More of a sunny, sandy, almost Continental flavour and only 40 miles from where I live.

The soft texture in the sky was produced by blending the paint with the wide filbert brush. The brush is drawn lightly in opposite directions, like cross hatching, to produce a ‘misty’ cloud effect. This paint has a ‘dry’ consistency, i.e. very little medium or solvent.

There is another ‘misty’ effect in this painting, the distant coastline. Painted with a liquid paint, mostly solvent with a little Liquin added. It was the paint left on the brush from the painting of the sky, diluted with the medium solution and placed with very little brushing on the horizon. This liquid paint was transparent and allowed the red under-colour to shine through.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Cadmium Red, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. The Medium – Liquin and White Spirits. I used a single large filbert bristle and a ‘liner’ for details. The size is 16.5″ x 12″ un-stretched canvas and was painted in a single session of about 90 minutes.

Here’s the painting process. See you soon.

 

Mid Summer Stream

Mid Summer Stream

Mid Summer Stream

After recent rain the landscape is buzzing with chaotic energy.

I used a little ‘Liquin’ in the mixes in this painting. It is normally used to speed up the drying time in traditional oil paints. I use Alkyd Fast Drying oil colours, usually with no medium. I am adding a little ‘Liquin’ to slow down the drying as the Alkyd paint is drying so fast in the warm weather.

This was most noticeable in the sky colours. These colours are blended and mixed quite a bit. In recent times I’ve noticed before I’ve finished the sky the initial colours (of the sky) are so set they are almost ‘tacky’ or ‘gritty’. Not good to convey the soft misty nature of clouds.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. Liquin medium and White Spirits solvent. I used a single large filbert bristle and a ‘liner’ for details. The size is 16″ x 12″ un-stretched canvas and was painted in a single session of about 90 minutes.

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Recent sunsets have a distinct lack of red in the glowing skies. It this because the wet weather is cleaning dust from the atmosphere?

As you probably know, I use Alkyd fast drying oil paint for some of the colours. In this case they are all Alkyd, except the Cobalt Blue. This is because Cobalt Blue is only available as Cobalt Blue ‘Hue” in the Alkyd range. It is probably OK as its produced by W&N, but I have Cobalt Blue as a standard artist oil so I used it. Alkyds and standard oils are mixable and work well together in mixes. Problems can occur if the Alkyd is applied in layers on top of standard oils (in the traditional manner) because it dries so fast.

And it does dry fast. Forgetting to clean the brushes for a few hours will be disastrous. The advantage, of course, is that the painting is completely dry in 24 hours (thin layer of paint, solvent only). If I needed, I could ‘oil out’ (with slow drying medium) after another 24 hours and the painting is finished in a few days.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16″ x 12″.

Here’s the painting process. See you soon.

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.