These 3 colours are remarkable for the variety of un-muddied mixes they produce. They form vibrant colours even when the 3 are in the same mix. You know, of course, that the more colours are added to a paint mix, the closer to mud the colour becomes. Or, in technical terms, the chroma is lowered.
Another remarkable quality of these colours is the variety of different landscapes which can be produced by varying the blue or adding another colour. For example, the painting ‘Oughaval Wood‘ uses the exact same colours plus Cadmium Yellow and look at the difference in colour.
I read a post (in an art forum) by an oil painter who was trying to match accurately the colours in a scene he was painting. As a photographer I know its not possible to do this, even with the most sophisticated camera. From dawn to dusk the colour of light is changing continuously. Imagine how much the colours in a landscape will change over, say 2 hours of a painting session.
I regard the landscape in a painting as a construction in which the colours are matched relative to each other. It can be made to look ‘natural’ or surreal, or any way the painter decides. Our eyes constantly adjust for changes in colour balance, so we don’t notice the difference. So it is when we look at a painting, we adjust to see what we want to see.
I’ve just completed the first stage of a new painting using these 3 colours. I don’t normally paint in more than 1 session, but this time I’m taking advantage of the quick drying Alkyd oil paints I’m using at the moment. The painting will be dry enough to glaze tomorrow. Its an exercise in taking these same 3 colours in a completely different direction. I will post the results tomorrow. In the meantime have a look at this painting process. See you then.
The final layer of paint you see covers various experiments especially in the sky. At various stages I could have left the painting as it was but after I am finished experimenting I just can’t resist ‘rescuing’ the painting and moving it on to a point I’m happy with.
This is something similar to overworking and maybe it is overworking. The flat grey sky with a few breaks showing the blue peeping through was the plan. As the painting emerged this featureless grey of the sky became an irritation to the point I had to backtrack and add a little interest in the form of swirling movement.
Check out the progress in the accompanying video. I have completed the next painting and I’m still experimenting with Alkyd colours. See you in a few days.
In Ireland the Penal Laws were a series of laws imposed by Britain to force the Catholic population to accept the reformed Christian faith, the Protestant Church of Ireland. This resulted in the suppression of Catholic Church practices including the celebration of Mass. Priests became fugitives but continued to minister to their flock.
It was a complicated situation as many Catholic aristocratic families in Ireland and the rest of the Britain supported the monarchy and had done so from before the English Civil War, when the monarchy was abolished. The monarchy was later reinstated and although Protestant, was still supported by the Catholic aristocracy. Many great houses of the time, in Ireland and England, had elaborate hiding places for visiting priests.
In poorer areas priests hid in inaccessible mountainous or wooded areas. Local legend has it that this island, in the centre of Kilberry Bog, Derryvullagh Island, was one such hiding place. A secret path through the treacherous bogland was known to the locals and it was here a priest would be safe. Most of the Penal Laws were repealed by the late 18th century, the last in 1920 with the ‘Government of Ireland Act’.
A few places remain where one can imagine the bogland as it was then, before drainage and the harvesting of peat. In this painting I was trying to convey a safe refuge in a dangerous place.
The base layer is Alkyd fast drying oil colour. After an hour I switched to traditional oil colours. Recent posts explained my reasoning for this change of paint type. There was a stage when both Alkyd and standard oils were used together. In these mixes I made sure the two paint types were well blended together in case I got a layer of quick drying paint lying on top of a slow drying layer. The manufacturers of Alkyd paint (Windsor & Newton) stress the importance of this as a quick drying layer would seal off the supply of oxygen and retard the drying of the under layer.
I will post the video in a few days. See you then.