Summer in April

Summer in April

Summer in April

It was short lived, and now, the landscape is being scraped by a North Westerly more vicious than anything thrown at us during the entire winter. There will be very few blossoms left on the fruit trees this spring and probably very few leaves either.

This method is a departure from my usual very wet method using solvent. The only time I used solvent was on the distant hills, the details of the trunks and branches of the trees, and the foreground grasses.

The colours are Cadmium Yellow, Indian Red and Cobalt Blue. Indian Red is similar to Burnt Sienna but more intense. When mixing yellow and blue to produce green, I usually add a little red to make a more ‘natural’ green. Indian Red does not mix well and very little goes a long way. After painting the darker shades, using a mix of red and blue, progressing to the lighter coloured greens using the same brush, without cleaning, provided enough red to ‘naturalise’ the green.

The same 3 colours are present in all areas of the painting. Its the proportions of each that produce the final colours. However, sometimes this can be a little dull so the very last brush strokes were tiny spots of the unmixed raw colours, mostly red and blue, to add a little sparkle.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

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Gorse Fire

Gorse Fire

Gorse Fire

Burning gorse (a heather-like plant) is a traditional method of removing the old plants to be replaced by new growth which provides grazing for livestock. The recent dry spell allowed some of these fires to get out of control. At one point the Killarney National Park was threatened by gorse fires close to its border. Eventually it rained and that put a stop to the wild fires.

When choosing the colours for this painting the rainbow was the first consideration. The range of colours produced by Winsor & Newton, Winsor red to purple, are closest to the colours of the spectrum. Painting a rainbow must be one of the most difficult tasks for a painter, especially an ‘alla prima’ painter.

A rainbow glows and paint does not glow with the colours merging seamlessly into each other. My effort was an approximate rainbow of Alarizon Crimson, Winsor Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue and Dioxazine Purple. The missing colours of orange, green and indigo were from the overlaps.

I put the 4 rainbow colours on the brush (see video) and applied the paint in a series of ‘swipes’, building up the colours. Initially the colours were too strong and had to be blended into the background. This of course reduces colour strength and also chroma, the closest thing to ‘glowing’ in a painted rainbow.

The materials, as usual, were very limited. The 4 colours above, a single filbert bristle (No. 12) and a nylon liner, and White Spirits (solvent). The size is 12″x9″.

Here’s the video, see you soon.