The glowing yellows of high summer have passed and the ‘brownness’ of autumn is upon us. as yet, there are no typical autumn colours, just a hint of things to come.
The colours used, and there are only 3, are Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue. Yellow Ochre and Cadmium produce a range of subtle greens which don’t need the addition of red to give a ‘natural’ green colour. I suppose its the orange in the ochre which is responsible for this nice effect. The addition of the Cadmium Red moves the colour quickly into the autumn colour range.
As usual the process involves using the 3 colours for each and every part of the mid and foreground areas, varying the proportions of each colour to move the colours between purples (Cadmium and Cobalt with a little Ochre) to orange (Cadmium and Ochre and a little Cobalt). I try and avoid equal proportions, as you probably know, this is a formula for shades of grey, OK in the sky but not for closeup foreground colours.
The painting is 16″x10″.
Here’s the video of the painting process. See you soon.
While the rest of Europe is suffering temperatures in the high 30’s we have a more relaxed 16 to 20. Our visitors from Germany were glad to leave 38 degrees and enjoy our balmy 18. Its little wonder the countryside is a shimmering green and its always a challenge for the painter of landscapes to convey this lushness without saturating the canvas in a monotony of green.
The green shades here are a product of Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber and Prussian Blue (the only colours used in the entire painting). The Cadmium and Prussian do produce a vibrant green but need a touch of red – in this case Burnt Umber, to appear more natural. Burnt Umber is a weak red so its affect is less dramatic than other reds I’ve used like Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson. Its also introducing hints of Autumn now appearing in the drier corners of the woodlands.
I’m still using the single bristle brush technique to paint the bulk of the painting. This requires a bit of planning in the way colour mixes merge from one to the next. I think its possible because of the limited number of colours used. The movement from blue through green and finally yellows and oranges is easy enough, but white in the later stages of the sky colours has to be worked out of the brush in the distant areas building up to the rich dark shadows of the foreground. At this point there is very little white left in the brush so mid tones are very strong before white is again introduced for the warm highlights.
‘Variable’ weather has postponed the onset of harvest. The forecast is not great for the coming days and the current strong winds have made the landscape look a little ‘shredded’. This is not a sunny summer scene but I must be careful not to loose the look of a typical Irish summer.
This painting has only 3 colours; Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue, plus black and white. I used no medium, only the solvent, White Spirits. The colours may not be a strong vibrant range but they are warm, even the Cerulean Blue has a warmth, if that is possible for a blue.
I’m still using the single brush technique, allowing the colour mixes to evolve one into the next with the minimum of brush cleaning. Remember this will only work with no more than 3 colours – any more and the colours turn ‘muddy’. Its also important that the 3 colours chosen are capable of producing the required colours.