Early May

Early May

Early May

Summer is late this year. This scene is how I presume the landscape will be in a few weeks.

There are different ranges of colours I use for different moods or conditions in the landscape. My ranges are composed of 3 primary colours with the occasional addition of a secondary. This secondary is usually green, as this colour is the most used in landscape and sometimes the yellow and blue do not produce a good green. For example, in winter landscapes I will often use Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue. The resultant green from this mix is OK in dull winter paintings (here). Using these colours and also having the colours of spring or summer would require a ‘tube’ green to be added to the mix.

In this painting I used a combination of nice primary colours – Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose & Ultramarine Blue. The resultant mixes produced ‘Constable’ colours, deep rich purple shadows and strong greens which keep their vibrance when lightened with white. In my current painting method, when I use these 3 colours I try and include each of the colours in every mix. So the green made from the blue and yellow, will have a little red included or the purple made from the red and blue, will have a little yellow added. Sometimes the addition of the third colour is from the under layer as in the sky in this painting (yellow). Or if I plan the succession of colour mixes, what remains on the brush of the previous colour is enough to add to the new mix. That is why I use so few brushes and don’t have to clean them too often.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.

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23 thoughts on “Early May

  1. Very beautiful, very beautiful , it’s spring in your painting.It is very clear and that is bright green paint!

  2. Another great one Liam. One of my favourites now. This one really leaps off the screen with the tonal range, warm colours and contrast. Once again your description of the process explains how this was achieved very clearly.
    Just a question about trees. I get the impression that many of the trees you’re painting are ash trees or poplars or maybe limes (50 years ago I might’ve wondered if they were elms, but I presume they have been decimated in Ireland too). Are they common in your part of Ireland?

    • There are very few Elms left now. Ash, Beech and Oak are the great survivors, or so I thought. It appears there is a disease spreading, similar to Dutch Elms, which affects Ash in a similar way. Ash is one of my favourites. Its a bit of a weed of a tree growing everywhere the seeds land. But its never too shaded and the leaves arrive late and leave early. I have a few 150+ years old Ash and will in due course succumb to the disease (hopefully not in my time).

  3. It’s quite fascinating comparing your painting process with mine. This is quite a dramatic scene, and well developed.

  4. Great painting, I’m so jealous of your skies and I spend a lot of time studying your videos as I paint with acrylic, I have to adjust my technique, We have just got rid of our snow and spring is just around the corner and I’m still painting snow scenes lol.

    • I found it difficult to blend colours with acrylics – they dry too fast, oils dry too slow. I use Alkyd Fast Drying Oils. But as the weather warms up these are also drying too fast giving a ‘gritty’ look in the paintings. I’m always moaning 🙂

    • Thank you Sima. Sorry I don’t do classes. I hope that by documenting my style of painting from start to finish, with no editing or enhancements, that it will be of interest or help to those looking for an alternative to the standard oil painting method.

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