This unusual and wind bent tree is on the shores of Glendalough in County Wicklow. When I need a break from the flat land of Kildare I travel a few miles east to this mountainous part of Ireland. Glendalough is a popular tourist location and a must-see for overseas visitors. Apart from the spectacular scenery, the remains of the monastic settlement (founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century) give an idea of the importance of this ‘Monastic City’ 1500 years ago.
The colours I used when I started this painting were Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue, similar to the last painting. However as I began to paint in the foreground, I couldn’t get the richness and depth of colour needed. The 3 colours produce beautiful harmonious colours and are great when suggesting a landscape running into the distance. Trying to overpaint a foreground, as in the line of trees, in the same limited range of colour is going to cause problems.
I use Olive Green as it is rich and dark and a similar shade of green as that produced by Yellow Ochre and Cobalt. Even as a neat unmixed colour it has a natural green colour.
I am using fine ‘liner brushes’ (used by sign writers) at the moment to help with the really fine lines of branches and grasses. I tried Liquin Fine Line and didn’t find it great for my application. My technique is to thin the paint with solvent only, to the consistency of ink. More fluid than the wet paint onto which I’m painting. If its not this thin, the brush will pick up paint rather than put it down. Draw the lines with a flicking action, rotating the brush. It takes a bit of practice, but its worth the effort.
Here’s the video. See you soon.
Daybreak, Dollardstown Wood
I was planning to paint this scene as a dull grey morning with loads of blue-grey mist. The sky was already painted to fit such a scene when I had a change of mind and decided to look forward to a more pleasant sunny time which, hopefully will be here soon.
This is why Cadmium Yellow arrived late on the palette. The original colours were Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue. The combination of the yellows (Cadmium & Ochre) produce the most amazing range of ‘golden’ colours and it certainly has produced the brilliant light effect here.
Adding such a strong colour late into my painting process means backtracking to introduce this colour into as many places as possible to avoid alienating the particular shade of yellow. I would always try and have the entire range of colours in every part of the painting, particularly the sky. As it worked out it was good that this yellow was not in the sky mixes. This would have introduced too much warmth into the morning sky. As it is, in contrast to the rich hot colours created by the rising sun, the sky does seem to be cool.
Here is the painting process, see you soon.
Spring Light, Dollardstown
Even at midday, with the sun shining brightly, the shadows were still covered in frost from the previous night. Last years growth of wetland rushes and grasses, now dry and brittle, were ablaze in light yet perfectly in harmony with the velvet green of ice covered fresh growth.
I used a colour, Olive Green, in combination with Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue to produce this warmth of spring growth finally covering it with the frosty green of Ochre and Prussian. In oils, Olive Green is almost brownish in colour. A distinctive colour and because of this it had to be used in the sky mixes to knit the sky and foreground together.
The initial sketch of the mid and foreground were painted in raw colours with solvent only. This produced rich transparent colour which was not completely covered by final layers of paint. These patches of transparent colour have an inner glow and help to emphasise the opaque highlights of the direct sunlight.
I an now placing a small blob of Liquin on the palette, not in a dipper as before, almost as if it were a colour. It is viscous enough not to flow and stays put. I can control the quantity in various mixes by scooping a little, as required, and adding it to the appropriate mixes.
Here is the video of the painting process, see you soon.