Cold Front is a term used by the weathermen. Its the interface between high and low atmospheric pressure. For us in Ireland, a Cold Front means nasty weather. Sometimes the change can be seen sweeping across the sky.
At the moment, the UK and Ireland are suffering from record breaking rainfall. In residential areas the floods have caused devastation – not a nice way to spend Christmas, and according to the weathermen, there’s more on the way – today. This little pasture in a normal year can provide grazing for 10 or 11 months. No so this year.
The colours I used were Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue (plus black and white). These 3 are the most versatile I use and can produce the most ‘natural’ landscapes. Here are a few I’ve painted over the last few years.
Daybreak, Dollardstown Wood
These are the subjects of previous posts and can be found using the search box.
I use only 3 colours so the resultant mixes have to be good. Each colour I apply will have the other 2 colours present to a greater or lesser extent. Sometimes its only the remnants of the previous mix on the brush which alters the colours.
Note the behaviour of the blue in the skies here. Its all the same Cobalt Blue. Yet tiny amounts of the other 2 colours will not ‘kill’ the chroma of the sky blue but changes it in the most subtle way. This is more difficult with the other blues like Ultramarine, Cerulean or Prussian. I think the pigments in Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue are just a good combination.
The size is 16″ x 10″. I used only solvent – no medium. For a time I was using a single bristle brush – a large filbert. I found this OK especially progressing from one mix into the next. But a brush shape can put a pattern into a painting which I had to disguise at times so I am now using a medium sized round as well as the filbert. I also use a fine nylon ‘liner’ for thin lines and occasionally a knife for really thin lines.
Unseasonal weather has fooled the snowdrops and daffodils into the first stages of blooming. This is a month too early. The outlook is not good for a colourful spring unless the extreme mildness lasts for another few weeks and this is unlikely.
Red and green, the traditional colours of Christmas, permeate this scene. The colours uses are Yellow Ochre, Indian Red and Cobalt Blue plus black and white. I normally use these for Summer landscapes. By leaving the green colours until the end of the painting and applying this green as I would white in a typical ‘snow scene’ I avoided a summery look.
As usual I did not use a medium, only White Spirits solvent. The size is 12″ x 9″.
Still above normal temperatures in the first week of December. This winter we were visited by 4 major Atlantic storms. The weathermen referred to them as Abigail, Barney, Clodagh and the most recent Desmond. What lovely names belying the damage from wind and flooding.
The unusual conditions, including mild temperatures, have presented unusual colours in the landscape. Pockets of growth are adding patches of spring colour.
Empty areas within the painting, like the foreground above, I find more difficult to paint than an area containing a definite object. An empty area may need to contribute to the composition, as above in adding to the movement of the trees, but must remain empty. Its very easy to overdo and create a feature which will upset the composition.
This painting uses only 3 colours, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber and Cerulean Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16″ x 10″.
Here’s the video of the painting process. See you soon.
Between the turbulence of sky and rapids is a patch of still water. The greeness is slipping away with the blue and brown of winter now dominating the landscape.
I don’t use a particular range of paints for this change in colour. The red of my primary 3 in this case is Burnt Sienna. In due course I will probably replace this with Raw or Burnt Umber to add a rich brown. Reducing green is a case of less blue and yellow in mixes, and more yellow and red for browns and oranges, plus blue and reds for dark purples. Oh the simplicity of the limited pallette.
This painting uses only 3 colours, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.