Morning Gold

Morning Gold

Morning Gold

Still a little snow here and there. I have exaggerated the amount for dramatic effect.

I used low odour solvent in this painting. It did not suit my method which uses a lot of solvent, allowing it to evaporate and building up layers of paint. A bit like a watercolour method but using solvent instead of water. This solvent did not evaporate quickly but lingered on causing all kinds of issues. It would be OK in traditional oil painting where layers are allowed to dry for a few days before proceeding. These issues relate to my ‘wet on wet’ method where the under paint must be ‘dryish’ before later layers are added. I don’t like thick ‘greasy’ paint as introducing fine lines or details is nearly impossible.

The low odour solvent has a high boiling point so it evaporates much more slowly, thus reducing the concentration of vapour by releasing it over a longer time. Its probably in the interest of safety, reducing the exposure and fire hazard. This issue arose because my usual supplier of W&N white spirits is now shipping in small containers only, again to do with health and safety. These small quantities will work out expensive but I have no alternative at the moment.

This painting uses only 4 colours (Indian yellow, Permanent Rose, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue) plus black and white. The medium used is Liquin and White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

September Wood

September Wood

September Wood

Shorter days and a low lying sun herald the coming of winter.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The painting size is 12″ x 9″ and was painted in a single session of about an hour and a half.

Here’s the video of the painting process.

 

October Colour

October Colour

October Colour

Away from the woods, here in the open, the colour of Autumn is a bit dull by comparison. A blaze of colour can dominate a painting and so, in a way, makes an interesting subject without much effort.

The colours used here were Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue. Three colours that work well together. This means less of the ‘mud’ which you get when more than two colours are mixed. In each and every part of this painting the three are used, only the proportions of each are different for the different parts. The sky has Cobalt Blue, and Burnt Sienna and a little Yellow Ochre in the clouds. The grassy field has more Yellow Ochre with less Cobalt Blue and a little Burnt Sienna. Not much in the way of a blaze of colour but lovely harmony.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

Wicklow Storm

Wicklow Storm

Wicklow Storm

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

Daybreak, Dollardstown Wood

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.

Many Weathers – Time Lapse Painting

Many Weathers

Many Weathers

A little bit of everything, weather-wise. There is a definite touch of Spring in the air. The cattle are out of their Winter quarters in spite of the wet conditions. For many farmers the winter feed is coming to an end and there is no choice but to let them out.

I’ve used my 3 favourite colours here – Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

The Gap – Time Lapse Painting

The Gap

The Gap

When the black herds of the rain were grazing,
In the gap of the pure cold wind
And the watery hazes of the hazel
Brought her into my mind,
I thought of the last honey by the water
That no hive can find.
From The Lost Heifer by Austin Clarke

For a while I’ve not included black in my limited palette, usually of 3 colours. Not using black seems to be the norm by landscape painters. Probably because I use so few colours but I found it a bit restrictive. I would have to use a dark blue (Ultramarine or Prussian) to produce dark shadows and even at that it meant layer after layer of alternating red (Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber or Indian Red) and blue to build up the darks.
Here I have used Cobalt Blue and also black. It gives the painting a more ‘gritty’ look and in keeping with my current painting subjects – cold, wintery landscapes.
The colours used here are Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue, plus black and white.
Here’s the video, see you soon.

The Lost Heifers – Time Lapse Painting

The Lost Heifers

The Lost Heifers

Brightness was drenching through the branches
When she wandered again,
Turning sliver out of dark grasses
Where the skylark had lain,
And her voice coming softly over the meadow
Was the mist becoming rain.
(from The Lost Heifer by Austin Clarke)

An interesting part of this painting is the reflections of light on the stream on the left. The normal procedure, in oil painting, is to paint in the darker colours then the highlights of the reflections and ripples are finally painted on top. This is what I did in the foreground.

However, on the left I painted the highlight colour first. Its Windsor Lemon Yellow, a transparent rich yellow. It was applied with solvent only and by the time I was ready to ‘draw’ in the shadows and reflections, the solvent had evaporated.

The Lemon Yellow highlights are better, I think, in this situation. The transparency gives a subtle  inner glow which I don’t a ‘whitish’ colour would achieve.

Here’s the video. See you soon.

Flood Light – Time Lapse Painting

Flood Light

Flood Light

The same colours and theme as in recent paintings, here I used a knife to create the chaotic tangle of bushes and briars in this small clump of trees. The reflected light was glinting in the flooded grass and the points of light had a similar look as the trees. In this small painting the texture of the canvas was just the correct scale to represent the fine details of the trees. I don’t like using the canvas texture that much as it adds a ‘mechanical’ look to the area painted. You can see this texture in the trees left by the flat side of the knife.

The painting is 12″ x 9″ and took just over an hour to complete. Here’s the video, see you soon.

Flood – Time Lapse Painting

Flood

Flood

This is another painting of the our countryside after the recent exceptionally heavy rainfall. There are parts of Ireland, in the West, and many parts of the UK where the flooding is not such a pleasant happening. This is ‘marginal’ land in the process of drainage operations. In former times this would flood on an annual basis, now it’s an occasional occurrence. In a week or two it will return to pleasant pasture and the livestock will be let loose after their winter confinement.

The technique is similar to the last few paintings. Layers of colour are built up using solvent only, no medium. These colour layers are dark with transparent areas which will be left in the final painting. Two areas in particular are the result of this method. The blue of the deep wood and the orange of the sunlit trees. There was a little white used in these areas, but its largely transparent colour.

I used a colour in this painting I rarely use – Windsor Lemon Yellow. The other colours were the same as the last painting (here). They are Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine Blue. The Lemon is almost a highlight colour and I used it on its own in a few areas. Its not a natural yellow and for this reason I mix it with the Ochre to calm it down a little. It also does not produce rich mixes with either the Burnt Sienna or the Ultramarine. As I usually do with a colour like this, I placed it in the sky so as not to have it out of harmony with the rest of the painting. It was applied as an under colour, not in a final mix. The under colour of Lemon mixed a little with the white, added on top and it produced the faintest of lemon tints in the clouds.

Here’s the video. The painting is 18″ x 12″ and took about three hours to complete. See you soon.