Beside the Lake – Time Lapse Painting

Beside the Lake

The part I worried about the most, before I started to paint this picture, was painting the dark shapes in the water. These had to be sharp and with no mixing with the under-paint. Alla prima is the problem – wet on wet. If I allowed painting to dry there would be no problem with the dark shapes mixing with the light blue under-paint. But thats not the way I roll, as the kids would say.

The first layer was Ultramarine Blue with solvent only. This evaporated fairly quickly (with the help of a hair dryer) leaving a thin layer of this transparent blue. I thought about painting the dark shapes directly onto this layer but it was too deep in colour and the texture of the canvas was too noticeable (the paint+solvent settles into the weave and really emphasises the canvas texture). The layer had to have white and blue and be brushed smooth. Liquin and solvent, just enough to make the paint spread, and then briskly brushed did the trick. This makes the Liquin ‘tacky’, great for painting sharp details on top.

Beside the Lake Photo

This is the photo I used for reference. As I have noted previously, paintings (with their blobs and scratches) can look more ‘real’ than photos of the same scene. I have placed this photo here to illustrate a curious effect. The painted items do not look at all like the items in the photo. In the painting its how we ‘think’ they look. The presence of the photo, in close proximity to the painting, ‘shatters’ the reality in the painting. To me it seems that paintings of the real world, as opposed to photos, must be seen, or processed differently in the human brain. I find this to be true when looking at old Dutch Still Life paintings. They look more real than photos. Very curious? It underscores the special place representational art has in the way our minds work.

There is more information on the painting in the previous post. Here is the video. The painting took under 2 hours to complete, with the ‘wriggly’ water bits taking up a good bit of that time.


21 thoughts on “Beside the Lake – Time Lapse Painting

  1. Awesome. As I said it seems a photo. In fact, I agree, the the water seems more real than the photo. I understand your comment on ‘wet on wet’, your technique makes even more valuable the results.

    Thanks for describing the process. It is very illustrative. I will not able to reproduce it in the next few years but it encourages me to follow practicing.

    I see you use a kind of rigger brush for the trunks and branches. I’ll speak with my teacher, perhaps I may add it to my arsenal.

    Thanks again.

  2. i like the painting better than the photograph – beautiful and artistic

    thanks for sharing something you enjoy

    David in Maine USA

  3. This is a great one for learning about the technique for painting reflections, Liam. The close-up of your brushstrokes in the water reminded me of the Japanese paintings. I loved the monochrome nature of this painting at the beginning and wasn’t sure about the addition of several shades of green when you added these to the left bank, but when you transported some of this paint to the trees on the other side, the result really worked. The branches you added towards the end really balanced the final painting – great stuff! I enjoyed this one.


  4. so fantastic! I love watching the time lapses! I have nominated you for the H.U.G. award! Not sure if you accept awards but have a look at my blog dated March 26, 2012 for details! incidentallearner!

    • Thank you for the nomination and a lovely award it is. I have been nominated a few times for different awards and in spite of my best efforts I just don’t have the time to fulfil the requirements of acceptance. So I’m just content and honoured to be thought of for a nomination even though I don’t accept. Thank you for the encouragement and I really appreciate your ‘vote of confidence’.

      • I completely understand and feel very much the same way about awards. It takes so much time and effort and an award post takes me hours to do versus my regular posts! Your works are so wonderful and you are teaching so many around the world and that is why I felt you were a good choice! You are so very welcome Liam! Best to you and yours this evening, Lorelei

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