Away from the frenzy of the harvesting, all is quiet here in the marginal land. To see some traditional Autumn colour I will have to go to the woods. Here all is wet and green still, with the darkening days the only reminder that summer is over.
In this painting I used a round bristle instead of my usual filbert. As I am now using a single bristle brush and a liner for details I wanted to see how this single brush technique would work for me. I found the round shape less versatile than the filbert, which, if you don’t already know is a flat with a domed shape. It does have the advantages of a flat for blending and covering large areas fast and also the domed shape allows details to be added. I thought the round would be better for lines, like the trees on the left.
This would have been the case with traditional painting, where the under coat is allowed to dry. No so in this ‘all prima’ method. The bristle picked up more paint than it put down so I finished off this section with the liner. In ‘alla prima’ the applied paint must contain more solvent than the under layer. This works well with the liner (liner = sign painters brush for applying long unbroken lines). The large bristle brim full of solvent might put down paint but not as fine lines.
So for the time being, I will stick with the filbert for the bulk of the painting and the liner for details and fine lines.
This painting is 12″ x 9″ and was painted in under 2 hours. As usual I used 3 colours, Winsor Lemon, Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits as I need the solvent to evaporate to make the later layer sit on top without too much interference from the under layers.
The 3 colours, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, used here are transparent. The initial colouring of the canvas with thin washes was not completely covered with later opaque layers. Alizarin and Ultramarine are dark colours but as thin layers produce colours not normally associated with the oil painting technique. More like watercolour.
Some of the oil paint I use is Alkyd colour. This is a quick drying paint. The lighter colours, as in the sky, were thin layers of mostly white. This Alkyd was sufficiently ‘set’ to allow Ultramarine Blue to sit on top, again taking advantage of its transparent qualities. I mention this because its the reverse of my normal method of placing the cloud colour on top of the blue. The overall effect is bright glowing colour overall. The traditional oil painting method is to use transparent ‘dark’ colour in shadows with highlights painted with opaque bright colours.
These 3 colours (Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) produce the most subtle secondaries. The greens, oranges and especially the purples. I used only these 3 colours and I don’t think these beautiful shades would have survived in mixes with a larger range of colours.
With the days shortening the landscape is taking on the colours of Autumn. Greens are now dull and red is everywhere, even in the sky.
I used Cadmium Red. Like all the Cadmium colours this is strong and vibrant. In the sky its mixed with white only, toned down with what remained of the blue/grey on the brush. I’m still using the single brush technique allowing the colours to evolve into the next so the Cadmium mix is not completely 100% with white, which is good. Diagonally opposite is the blue (Prussian) of the water. Again ‘almost’ pure Prussian with a little ‘contamination’ from the Cadmium on the brush.
As usual I used only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. The painting is 12″x9″.
Here’s the video of the painting process. Remember YouTube settings can be changed to view at 720HD and at a slower speed than uploaded.