Summer Heat – Oil Painting

Summer Heat

Summer Heat

We are going through an unusually hot and dry period at the moment. As a small island, Ireland is continually swept by clean ocean air. This means intense heat from the sun when it shines and a nice fresh breeze. Unfortunately this is not normal summer weather for us. Last year it rained every single day, that’s 365 days, somewhere in Ireland. The down side is that our vegetation, especially garden plants, can’t cope with the lack of rain. I think I’m fighting a loosing battle in trying to keep my delicate potted plants alive and the others are fairing no better. There’s no rain expected in the immediate future so there will be very little green in the landscape before long.

I find it hard to paint in this weather. Its too hot during the day and there are too many flying insects to stick to the painting at night. This was painted late afternoon just before the lights in the studio became a beacon for every moth and midget in the parish. Nevertheless there were still a few casualties which had to be removed from the sticky surface. I use a pin to remove the tiny ones and sometimes I have to do a little repair work by smoothing over the surface with a dry brush. A dry brush is important as any solvent on the brush will lift the paint completely. A moth on the surface can be disastrous requiring repainting the area.

There are only 3 colours used in this painting. Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue (plus black and white). Also there is no medium used only White Spirits. Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre does not produce a strong green. This was OK in this painting of a parched landscape. However these weak colours can lead to a ‘washed out’ look so throughout the painting there are dabs of pure colour, especially blue in the shadows. A little bit of Impressionism.

I will have a video of the painting process in a few days. See you then.