Dunamase – Time Lapse Painting

Dunamase

Dunamase

A prominent feature of this painting is the glow in the sky. The obvious contributors to this effect are the darker tones placed around and over the area of lighter colour. This is easy to understand and therefore easy to plan when composing the painting. Dark clouds and dark silhouetted trees were part of my plan for this painting.

However having said that, the lighter colours in the sky have a brightness which would nearly work without the help from the darker contrasting tones. The accompanying video shows how I achieved that light yellow glow.

I have found it almost impossible to mix these shades on the palette. One of the biggest difficulties is in mixing very light colours. The colour on the palette is isolated from the painting and there is no way of knowing if it is right until it is placed in situ. Then you realise the tone is not right.

In this painting I painted a layer of pure Cadmium Yellow, with solvent only, into the area of the sky where the light will be. The Prussian Blue is added in a similar way in the appropriate areas of the sky. When the solvent has evaporated, a mix of this blue and white is added, with no medium or solvent added, on top of the previous layer of blue. This is dragged into the gap between the yellow and blue  and there is a little bit of overlap onto the yellow. Pure white is placed, without brushing, on top of the yellow, heavier in the centre and less so the further out from this centre. When the white is in place, gently brushing it with a flat brush will make it pick up the yellow underneath. The more you brush the more yellow it becomes. Similarly, with the blue. This allows you to adjust the colour relative to the rest of the sky.

An important part of this process is the use of only 2 colours, Cadmium Yellow and Prussian Blue. Too many colours in a mix reduces the chroma of the resultant colour. Have a look at the video to see how this works in practice. See you soon.

Dunamase – Oil Painting

Dunamase

Dunamase

This impressive ruin is all that remains of the Norman fort of Dunamase in County Laois. A natural outcrop of rock, this most certainly would have had a role to play in pre-historic times, but the current structural remains date only to the 12th century. There is an historical record of a Viking raid on the fort in 845ad. It was assumed that these raiders came from Dublin, the closest known Viking settlement at that time. However, recent research suggests that there was a huge inland Viking fort at Dunrally not too distant from Dunamase and from here its more likely the raiders came. There is a short history in Wikipedia (here) and Dunrally (here) if you are interested.

Dunamase Photo

Dunamase Photo

I include here the reference photo I used to create the painting. As is usual, a photograph really is only a reference. The construction of the painted landscape always needs that bit more to connect with the viewer. A single viewpoint is so limited in telling the story. In the painting I’ve included what I remember of the landscape. The historical background and the sense of former glory add a drama not conveyed in a photograph.

My next post will include a video of the painting process. I’m trying to get back into the habit of using larger brushes to avoid getting tied up in too much detail. This approach is a faster method of painting. The painting was completed in about an hour and a half.

See you in a few days.