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.

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