The Lost Heifers
Brightness was drenching through the branches
When she wandered again,
Turning sliver out of dark grasses
Where the skylark had lain,
And her voice coming softly over the meadow
Was the mist becoming rain.
(from The Lost Heifer by Austin Clarke)
An interesting part of this painting is the reflections of light on the stream on the left. The normal procedure, in oil painting, is to paint in the darker colours then the highlights of the reflections and ripples are finally painted on top. This is what I did in the foreground.
However, on the left I painted the highlight colour first. Its Windsor Lemon Yellow, a transparent rich yellow. It was applied with solvent only and by the time I was ready to ‘draw’ in the shadows and reflections, the solvent had evaporated.
The Lemon Yellow highlights are better, I think, in this situation. The transparency gives a subtle inner glow which I don’t a ‘whitish’ colour would achieve.
Here’s the video. See you soon.
The same colours and theme as in recent paintings, here I used a knife to create the chaotic tangle of bushes and briars in this small clump of trees. The reflected light was glinting in the flooded grass and the points of light had a similar look as the trees. In this small painting the texture of the canvas was just the correct scale to represent the fine details of the trees. I don’t like using the canvas texture that much as it adds a ‘mechanical’ look to the area painted. You can see this texture in the trees left by the flat side of the knife.
The painting is 12″ x 9″ and took just over an hour to complete. Here’s the video, see you soon.
This is another painting of the our countryside after the recent exceptionally heavy rainfall. There are parts of Ireland, in the West, and many parts of the UK where the flooding is not such a pleasant happening. This is ‘marginal’ land in the process of drainage operations. In former times this would flood on an annual basis, now it’s an occasional occurrence. In a week or two it will return to pleasant pasture and the livestock will be let loose after their winter confinement.
The technique is similar to the last few paintings. Layers of colour are built up using solvent only, no medium. These colour layers are dark with transparent areas which will be left in the final painting. Two areas in particular are the result of this method. The blue of the deep wood and the orange of the sunlit trees. There was a little white used in these areas, but its largely transparent colour.
I used a colour in this painting I rarely use – Windsor Lemon Yellow. The other colours were the same as the last painting (here). They are Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine Blue. The Lemon is almost a highlight colour and I used it on its own in a few areas. Its not a natural yellow and for this reason I mix it with the Ochre to calm it down a little. It also does not produce rich mixes with either the Burnt Sienna or the Ultramarine. As I usually do with a colour like this, I placed it in the sky so as not to have it out of harmony with the rest of the painting. It was applied as an under colour, not in a final mix. The under colour of Lemon mixed a little with the white, added on top and it produced the faintest of lemon tints in the clouds.
Here’s the video. The painting is 18″ x 12″ and took about three hours to complete. See you soon.
Its more of January floods topped up by a few heavy rain storms over the last few February days that’s caused these conditions. As I write this post, the wind is howling and more rain is pounding the window. I can look forward to more ‘water world’ landscapes although my farmer neighbours won’t be happy.
Its also a celebration of the return of the sun, like the last painting. The colours used are exactly the same, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. As usual, I blended the sky colours to produce a misty soft look. This involves placing the colours and using a wide filbert brush to stroke the paint gently in every direction, sometimes at right angles to the previous stroke direction. There’s a lot of accidental shapes and random patterns, sometimes wanted and sometimes not. These times there is a need to coax the shapes more in line with what is required. It all looks a bit haphazard and there is knack to getting it right, but the result looks less contrived than a carefully constructed sky.
The lower ‘land’ part is solid paint placed in definite structures to contrast the softness of the sky. In the flooded field there was a softness achieved by painting with ‘dry’ paint and brushing it into the weave of the canvas. Remember the same 3 colours are used in the sky and also the ground. If I had used a different range of colours in each, the contrast between the excessive softness of the sky / flooded field and the gritty solid ground and trees would have been excessive.
Check out the video to see what I mean. See you soon.