October Coloured Weather – Oil Painting

October Coloured Weather

This stream passes close to where I live. It is, in fact, the boundary between the Parish of St. Michael and the Parish of Moone. These two parishes belong to two different Dioceses, Dublin, and Kildare and Leighlin, respectively. The boundaries were drawn up in 1111 ad, at the Synod of Ráth Breasail and were, more than likely, based on the boundaries of older Kingdoms. So this inconsequential little stream, in former times, was an important line on the map.

The sky plays an important part in this painting. Not quite a sunset, but the orange glow is appropriate for the season that’s in it. The canvas was coated with a dilute Burnt Sienna and allowed to stand until the White Spirits evaporated. This colour peeps through the final paint layers in several places, especially in the sky area. This coating of the canvas can be done with Acrylic paint which would dry much quicker and is something I might try. But as Acrylic is ‘water soluble’, I’d worry about the affect on the primer, which is ‘god only knows what’.

The colours were: Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and French Ultramarine. Also, Raw Umber and, of course, black and white. Almost no medium used, only a little Liquin at the details stage. The most difficult part of the painting was getting an interesting and realistic shape on the clouds. Controlled randomness, is a good description of the process. Basically, put the clouds roughly where you want them, trying to avoid ‘patterns’ which you will instinctively do, despite your best efforts. Drag the brush quickly diagonally across the sky in both directions and because there was no medium in the paint you get a blending and softening, but also extra ‘random’ shapes (In the photo above, the brush strokes can be seen. Its the light reflecting off the surface and is not that noticeable in the picture). It sounds easier than it is and, hopefully the video will explain the process better than words. Speaking of which, the video will be ready for the next post. The painting took a few hours (maybe 3) and it shouldn’t have. But I had the time available. Sometimes I think painting time expands to fit the time available and can lead to overworking. It will be a few days before I can decide if I did overwork. The video will reveal a lot.