Bluebell Wood -Tutorial Video

One thing you will notice in this video, as in others, is how dark the painting looks and for how long, in the painting process. The accepted rule for oil painting is to place the dark colours in first and finish by putting in the light. The opposite is true of watercolours, you start by placing the lightest washes first and gradually adding the deeper colours as you progress. Now, every rule is made to be broken and this is where the challenge is, in painting. In my experience, an oil painting which progresses to the light phase too early in its creation doesn’t bode well. The obvious exception to the rule is in landscape where the sky, the lightest part but also the part ‘behind’ everything else has to be painted first. My solution to this dilemma is to split the painting process into the 2 parts, (a) the shy and distant mountains (or hills) and (b) the middle and foreground. The dark parts of the sky are painted first progressing to the lightest highlights of clouds. The colours and brushes used are then put aside and the process, dark to light, is repeated in the remaining part of the painting.

As mentioned in the previous post, a hugh amount of work was done which was not videoed. This was the day after the ‘video’ part. The Liquin was becoming really tacky and painting the enormous amount of detail was easy enough with a long bristled brush. The tacky surface almost pulls the paint off the brush, great for fine detail. Some details were almost black and some almost white. I was constantly washing out the brush to change colour. This brush gets a lot of use and I really don’t give it the respect it deserves. It was inexpensive and classed as a watercolour brush, but one of the cheap ones. Its a nylon brush. It has lasted years where the horrifically expensive sable brush would have been destroyed by the solvents used in oil painting. I really should get a few more similar to this to reduce the time spent cleaning between colour changes. This would also extend the life of the brush as cleaning is far more wearing on a brush than the painting process.

The previous two posts show the two stages of the painting. I hope you enjoy and get some help from the video.

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Bluebell Wood, grows!

Bluebell Wood, with additions

I thought I was finished, or almost, with this painting. But, there was something missing – the clutter and chaos of the undergrowth. Or to put it simply the painting was too idealistic, as you would recall the scene without the detail. There was as much time spent adding details with a small long bristled brush as I did painting the first stage. I didn’t video this part because, firstly I thought I would be only a few minutes adding a bit of texture to the trees and when I realised I was into something big I decided this work would not make a good instructional video. Tedious ‘needlepoint’ type of stuff that would put the casual painter ‘off’ for life. Even now, I don’t know if I am completely happy with progress to date. I’ll wait a day or two and see.

Last post I was intending to add a ‘bit of texture’ by ‘scumbling’ – I didn’t. I added a ‘glaze’ which is a transparent film of paint over an already dry painted part of the picture. Traditionally, the process is to put a darker colour over a light one, which shines through the transparent layer. I did the opposite I put a transparent Chrome Green Light over the dark shadowed part of the tree trunks. Unusual effect, but gives a good ‘moss on trees’ look to the trunks.

I will be busy over the next few days getting a few paintings ready for the Athy Art Group Exhibition in 2 weeks time. Last minute, as usual.