Near Duckett’s Grove

Near Duckett's Grove

Trying to achieve a light, bright and airy oil painting is always going to be troublesome. Oil painting is a solid medium which has as a ‘rule of thumb’ the instruction to paint from ‘dark to light’. What this usually refers to is painting the shadows first in transparent rich colours and finishing with mid-tones and finally the highlights. If the painting is produced over several sessions, each drying before the next is applied, the darker colours could be moderated and a bright painting will result. However, suppose you don’t want deep shadows, and you want to finish the painting in one session. What happens then?

I have a video of this painting from start to finish, which I will post in the next few days. It shows the process which resembles the creation of a tapestry, a multitude of colours interacting with each other. This is a long way from the image in the photograph I used as a reference. What I was hoping to achieve in this painting was a little of the romantic fantasy the creators of this garden had achieved 150 years ago.