Amber Shade – Time Lapse Painting

Amber Shade

From the point of view of materials this painting is simple. This requires more effort to achieve an acceptable result and this means working the brushes to create a interesting surface in the absence of colours. Apart from the limited palette (Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue) there were only three brushes used.

This is significant for me as I generally use a range of brushes for each stage in the painting process. I have my favourites. The small long bristled nylon for details, usually at the final stages. The large flats for the expansive areas of sky and the very large ‘filberts’ to blend and soften the clouds. The work horses are the medium rounds for the main areas of painting. These are the most useful as they are wide enough to apply large amounts paint quickly but also for painting areas needing a clean sharp edge. This is achieved by rotating the brush clockwise in left to right strokes and anticlockwise for right to left strokes. In both cases the sharp edge will be on the upper edge of a horizontal stroke. If you try it you will know what I mean.This might sound a little fussy but if your paintings need areas of colour with edges and not outlines, this is a good skill to master.

Unusually, as I said above, there were only three brushes used in this very limited palette of ‘dull’ colours. The main reason for using many brushes is to reduce the time required to clean them while painting. This method of applying washes of colour with White Spirits only, effectively kept the brushes clean between the applications of different colours. Another advantage of the ‘no medium, solvent only’ method.

The extra effort in the painting I began to talk about, before I digressed into brushes, is the drawing of a multitude of fine lines onto the wet backgrounds. Its not a simple task. There are no ‘construction’ lines or sketch marks to follow. As in all drawing the line makes a definite statement and the image leaves the area of realism (as in photo realism) and becomes representational. This painting subject is from the imagination and the multitude of lines suggest areas of solid mass drawn from the imagination. I am creating what I know is there and not what I would see if this scene existed and I was looking at it.

If I allow this to progress I can loose the link to realism and enter the area of ‘fantasy’ images. These images will resonate with viewers whose visual experiences is similar to mine but lack the universal language of the visual world. An ongoing struggle for me as I attempt to keep a ‘look of reality’ in my paintings.

Here is the video of the above painting process.


13 thoughts on “Amber Shade – Time Lapse Painting

  1. If reality is only what we see, we make the concept of it very small, we might also concentrate on the reality we feel or smell or taste and make that visual in paintings. It invites the viewer to look and think and feel at his turn. Maybe that’s why the feeling of beauty is so different for everyone…. and also his appreciation or misunderstanding of a painting.
    By giving the role of the viewer less importance a work can be completely different. You could give it a try on a very huge canvas, without rules of color mixing, brushes or mediums, just for the fun and for the feeling of freedom……. I’m curious 😉
    PS: thanks for the video, it’s again a nice story of a growing painting, wonderful!

    • “You could give it a try on a very huge canvas, without rules of color mixing, brushes or mediums, just for the fun and for the feeling of freedom” – its a long time since I did some thing like that. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that freedom comes from the mastery of the materials and I’m still trying to master the materials, 40 years later. Every painting is still a voyage of discovery. I can’t wait to finish the current painting to start the next. A huge canvas would probably bore me to distraction. Thanks again for the comment.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you liked. To answer your question, no, I never mix water with oil colours. They’re incompatible. The oil and water would not mix so it would not do anything for the application or appearance of the paint. There is a ‘water soluble’ oil paint available now which would be workable with water. I’ve never tried this. Apparently its the same as the original oil paint but without the solvents. This is for those who don’t like, or are allergic to solvents.

  2. This is my favourite so far Liam. I think without relation to a specific subject but a visual memory, it has much more feeling. I can put myself in here and know it (and love the feeling). Wonderful to see it develop. thank you for the experience!

    • Thank you so much for the nomination. I really appreciate it. My problem is time, or the lack of it. I’ve barely enough time to keep the posts flowing. So I actually spend very little time blogging and am out of touch with what’s happening all the time. Thanks again for the thought, its nice to be appreciated.

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