Near Vicarstown – Oil Painting

Near Vicarstown

The location of this scene is close to last post’s painting. The signs of human activity is here with the half sunken boat and the cottages in the distance. I was hoping to have a well ordered painting and started in the usual way. After 1 hour of painting the sky, it was not great. This painting nearly didn’t happen. The sky was stiff and hard, with too much contrived design. I abandoned it and was about to wipe the paint off while it was still wet. Then I remembered my own advice to beginners, ‘leave it for 24 hours then decide’. 24 hours later I completely rescued the sky in 5 minutes. It just needed to be brushed in a different direction?? Isn’t that crazy? The disorder created just worked. I will have the video of the process for next post and you will see what I mean. This is a common enough occurrence with my paintings (see videos), one minute it looks disastrous and then it completely changes. Painting is always ‘knife-edge’ for me.

It reminds me that the physical nature of paint really does steer the painting in certain directions. Learning the boring stuff like materials and their handling is critical if you want to control the painting. As a realist painter its difficult to work towards an image while the paint decides to go somewhere else. Speaking of paint, the colours used in this painting were Burnt Sienna (red), Yellow Ochre (yellow) and Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blue (plus black & white). I really don’t know why I thought the extra blue would have been an advantage. It wasn’t. The medium was Liquin plus 5% ‘Stand Linseed Oil’, plus double-up the volume with White Spirits.

I’ll post the video of the painting process in a few days.


7 thoughts on “Near Vicarstown – Oil Painting

  1. The sky is fabulous. First thing I noticed – those patches of blue in the same middle value as the gray clouds around them so they vibrate. And that is wild! about brushing the strokes the other way. Can’t wait to see that. Thanks, as always.

  2. Hi Liam. Watching your last painting video I was remarking to myself about how there was this moment where the whole image started to pop…the ‘knife-edge’ you speak of was visible and it went from messy and flat to coherent and full of depth and life. I was thinking about your words about being one of the last of certain kind of artist who is concerned about mastering the material and process and I was thinking this: we (humans who suffer) love magic. There was a time when photography and computer/mechanical production was magic, but I think that time is passing, and I believe that craft is becoming (or will become) the new magic. We will be so accustomed to the mechanical ‘hand’ that the hand of the artist will be revered again. You are just ahead of your time!

    • You know you’re right, but my generation are the ones who are mesmerised by new technology. Every time I see the latest App. on the kids’ phones I say the same thing ‘that’s science fiction’. Its becoming a running joke. They just take it in their stride. Thanks for reminding me that the final image is only part of the story, the pushing, dragging, coaxing of this inert ‘coloured stuff’ to become something else is just as important. I see you are doing similar in you own work at the moment. And thanks for ‘the future is bright’, it’s needed here in every sense of the word – and there’s still frost on the ground in the mornings and storms during the day, Summer??

  3. Pingback: Near Vicarstown – Time Lapse Painting « PictureS

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