Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Recent sunsets have a distinct lack of red in the glowing skies. It this because the wet weather is cleaning dust from the atmosphere?

As you probably know, I use Alkyd fast drying oil paint for some of the colours. In this case they are all Alkyd, except the Cobalt Blue. This is because Cobalt Blue is only available as Cobalt Blue ‘Hue” in the Alkyd range. It is probably OK as its produced by W&N, but I have Cobalt Blue as a standard artist oil so I used it. Alkyds and standard oils are mixable and work well together in mixes. Problems can occur if the Alkyd is applied in layers on top of standard oils (in the traditional manner) because it dries so fast.

And it does dry fast. Forgetting to clean the brushes for a few hours will be disastrous. The advantage, of course, is that the painting is completely dry in 24 hours (thin layer of paint, solvent only). If I needed, I could ‘oil out’ (with slow drying medium) after another 24 hours and the painting is finished in a few days.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16″ x 12″.

Here’s the painting process. See you soon.

July Woodland

July Woodland

July Woodland

Dappled sunlight in the woods, as a painting subject, responds well to the ‘Impressionist’ treatment.

In my recent paintings I have been using a technique which produces an ‘Impressionist style’ end result. As I use only 3 colours ‘Impressionism’, in its traditional form, is difficult to achieve with such a limited palette. Remember this movement in art is characterised by strong, opposite colours applied in alternating strokes to produce a vibrant painting. Although I like ‘Impressionism’ I don’t like the ‘mechanical’ application of the principal with regard to the paint strokes. I sometimes think it was a reaction to the previous dull, flat paint layers and ended up being a distraction.

To make the most of the 3 colours used in this painting I use a method similar to the watercolour technique of applying transparent under layers and allowing some of this colour to show through in the final painting. I can get the vibrant colours but I can also apply the paint in a more graphical representative way.

The painting is approx. 16″ x 12″ and was painted in a single ‘wet on wet’ session in under 2 hours. I used a single filbert bristle No. 12 (1″ wide) and a ‘liner’ for fine lines. The colours are Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits (solvent).

Here’s the painting method. See you soon.

Low Water

Low Water

Low Water

Lakeside debris, dried and bleached. A nice contrast to the cool blue of the lake.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

What a burst of colour. The wildflowers in this old meadow have really come alive in the recent dry weather.

I am using transparent colours to give the effect of wild flower randomly scattered in the lush grass. This is, of course, a watercolour technique, applying under colour and allowing little bits to show through the final layers of the green grass.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

Here’s the video of the painting process.

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

The colours of Summer, chlorophyll in all its variations competing for sunlight.

To emphasise the Summer green and produce a glow of colour, you will need plenty of shadow areas. At a certain point in this painting, it looked like a disastrous black smudge.

With a limited palette of 3 colours, the lighter colours painted on top of the wet shadow colour were essentially the same colours with white added. This gives a vibrant range of sun-lit colours. Remember, the fewer the number of colours in a mix, the higher the chroma. My current palette limits this to 3.

The less highlight colour added the more dramatic the effect. Generally less is better. Painting highlights and sun-lit areas of an oil painting landscape is difficult as it goes against our instinctive inclination to draw shadows and leave lit areas untouched, as with watercolours.

Here’s the video, see you soon.