Spring Growth – Oil Painting

Spring Growth

The weather here last week was like summer. The daytime temperature was over 20 C. Although the trees are still bare, the grass really took off in a luminous display of green. This week it was snowing, the vagaries of Irish weather.

I deviated from the usual technique by applying a layer of clear Liquin to the canvas before I started to put down paint. The paint was then applied straight from the tube and mixed on the canvas. I was not entirely happy with the handling of the paint. The mixes got a bit ‘sloppy’ and fine details were difficult to apply on this layer. I resorted to suggesting details by scratching the lines with a painting knife. The usual method of painting the under colours in solvent only and allowing the solvent to evaporate produces a surface which draws the paint off the brush, producing cleaner sharp lines.

The colours used were Burnt Sienna & Raw Umber (red), Yellow Ochre (yellow) and Cobalt Blue (blue). Also in there was Chrome Green Light for the luminous greens. You will notice I always group the colours into red, yellow and blue. This is to produce a ‘spectrum’ of colour to suggest natural light. The extra colours (like Chrome Green Light here) boost certain colours which are lacking in the mixes (here the Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue mix produces a dull green).

I’ve videoed the process for the next post which will be ready in a few days.


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