Bleak Winter – Oil Painting

Bleak Winter

The weather has changed dramatically. It was so mild, at Christmas, already the daffodils were showing above ground, unusually, before the snowdrops. Until now the cattle were outdoors, but now are housed, and the landscape is empty except for me and the dog. This sky presented itself to me so I had to paint its portrait, with the ground as an appendage.

There were 3 distinct layers to the sky. The distant blue veil, cream coloured wispy clouds and darker and nearer clouds. The underlying structure to the painting is X shaped, with the centre of the X on the buildings. I think in a relatively ’empty’ scene its good to have structure which is not immediately apparent, and in this picture, pulls the viewer quickly into the scene towards a focal point. The trick is not to have this un-natural structure, such as the X shape, being part of the scene. The contradiction is, if its very noticeable to the critical eye, it hasn’t worked. It is only an issue to those interested in the construction of the scene.

The colours are: Indian Red & Raw Umber (red part), Raw Sienna (yellow part), Cobalt Blue (blue part) and black and white. Raw Umber is a brown colour with a hint of red. I increase this ‘redness’ with additions of small amounts of Indian Red. The Raw Sienna is more yellow than Yellow Ochre, which I normally use, and this was needed for those sunlit clouds. Cobalt Blue is such a good mixer, especially with the ‘earth’ colours, which the others are.

I will have the video of the process in next post, see you then.