Summer Storms

Summer Storms

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

To view in realtime change setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.

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Inlet

Inlet

Spring is here.

The sunlit portion of the far riverbank (one third distance in from the right hand side) is where all journeys into this scene end. I concealed it behind the foliage of the small tree to add more mystery and interest.

To reinforce this point of interest I created 2 sunbeams spotlighting this area. But the principal device leading the eye towards the sunlit riverbank are a series of noticeable colours on the left foreground riverbank. Starting in the lower left corner with purple (from the underpainting), next the lighter green highlights, then a few spots of crimson (also from the underpainting) lead to the orange and across the water to the point of interest.

Hopefully this adds a little interest to an uneventful traditional scene.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″ and was painted in a single ‘wet on wet’ session in about 2 hours.

Here is the video of the painting process. Using the YouTube settings, on the bottom bar on the screen, the speed can be changed. The standard speed is 4x and the video lasts about 30 minutes. To view in realtime change setting to .25. This is about 2 hours. My favourite is the fastest setting, 2. This is a snappy 8 minutes. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.

Spring Sunshine

Spring Sunshine

Spring Sunshine

There is a noticeable brightness, spring is here.

This painting is a celebration of the return of bright days. The composition and general design follows the classical format, drawing the viewer into the painting along enticing visual paths disguised as part of this natural landscape. I added a few paths to bring the viewer back to explore more. But before this, the sky had to be formulated.

The sky had a number of functions to fulfil. Firstly, it set the mood of the scene. A fresh lively day and an inviting landscape to explore. Added layer by layer, each blended into the previous, there was no definite plan. I knew the final focus in the painting was going to be on the left side, with the sunlit trees, approximately one third of the width in from the edge. So to bring a balance on the right side, the sky needed activity in this area. This was achieved by having a general absence of yellow in the sky, and using it noticeably on the clouds to echo the sun lit trees which would be painted later.

The viewer stands in shadow and is drawn to the light. You can follow the river, starting at the left, to discover the distant mountains and their smoky blue colour. This translucent layer was applied as a solvent rich paint and is so delicate its not noticed until the viewer arrives here. Another route into the scene is on the right side, through the open gate and turning left across the river into the sunlit trees. Or you can travel along either bank of the river to reach the rich farming lands.

Notice the small trees on the extreme left and right sides. I use these like bookends to keep the composition contained. As I mentioned earlier the focus of the painting is the trees on the one-third position on the left. The one-third position on the right is where the river and shaft of light intersect helping to balance the composition.

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

I made much use of the transparent under colour in this painting. The line of the far bank of the river is the blue left uncovered and is glowing in the shadows. The foreground shadow of dark green has a lot of the crimson under colour coming through. These shadow areas can be overly heavy and adding lighter shades will destroy the richness of transparent shadow colour. To see these details click on the picture above to see an enlarged version.

The size is 16.5″ x 12″ and was painted in a single ‘wet on wet’ session in about 2 hours.

Here is the video of the painting process. To view in realtime change speed setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD. See you soon.

Morning Mist

 

Morning Mist

Morning Mist

These mornings are deceptively cold. The warm sky colours of dawn has the landscape glowing. In the woods an icy blue mist sits on the pond.

This week instead of colours and the application of paint I will say a little about the planning and design in this painting. As usual this starts as a general plan which is constantly changing as the painting progresses. The under colours, opposite of the final colours, mark out the general shapes.

From the start the open gate was going to be the entrance into this scene. I was manipulating the sky shapes to subtly lead the eye into the opening. See how many lines of colour point the way through this open gate. Foreground plough ridges and pathway also lead the eye in. In the sky I was also trying to keep warm and cool colours playing against each other without a noticeable divide between them. Neutral grey was used to separate the warms and cools. In the early stages the opening and gate was marked with a heavy blob of paint to remind me where it would be. This is on the ‘one third in from the edge’ position, the recommended centre of interest in landscape painting, but I always try and disguise obvious construction elements. This I will do later.

Of course there is the danger of an unbalanced composition with all this activity on the right hand side. To balance the composition I used strong bright sky colour, just above the horizon, extending to the left. I introduced this colour very early in the painting and continued to add raw yellow and white to intensify the colour. The colour is blurred into the distance to give further ‘weight’ to the left.

Finally the trees were added like weights to balance the left and right hand sides. The tallest and heaviest tree is on the left of the two in the centre. Its a little inside the ‘one third’, from the left, as the other tree is a little inside the ‘one third’ from the right. So the ‘one third’ rule is applied to create a balance but using it twice makes it less obvious.

I have to be careful not to overwork. Sometimes ‘mistakes’ I was about to correct, but didn’t, seem not so noticeable after a few days. Other times ‘mistakes’ add interest. After moving around the scene adding or painting out details, I stop when the overall design and composition seems to be right.

There are 3 colours used (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″. The painting time was about 2 hours, in a single ‘wet on wet’ session.

Here is the video of the process. To view in realtime change speed setting to .25. Quality can also be set up to 1080HD.

Year’s End

Year's End

Year’s End

A little bit of frost remains on the grass as a warm front moves in.

One of the most frequent requests I get is to upload a ‘realtime’ video of the painting process. This was technically impossible for me because of the file sizes involved and my broadband was not good.

Recently my broadband capacity got a boost and I can now upload much bigger files. The video I uploaded in this post can be slowed down to the ‘realtime’ speed using the YouTube settings. By doing it like this the file size is still 25% of an actual realtime file but the movement is a bit blurred. Needless to say, the speed can also be increased to my previous setting.

Also remember the viewing quality can be maxed up to 1080HD in the same settings (All this depends on your broadband speeds).

Please excuse the missing start of the painting. In my experimenting, I ‘lost’ the first part of the painting video.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″.

Here’s the video. See you soon.

Blackthorn Hedge

Blackthorn Hedge

Blackthorn Hedge

A few recent frosty nights has denuded this row of blackthorn trees and left them in a decidedly ragged state.

Most of this painting is composed of transparent shadow colours. I’m using Liquin medium in a lot of solvent to achieve the transparent effect. I would like to use solvent only in these layers for the ease of overpainting trees and leaves later on. But the solvent on its own does not form a paint film and seems to wash the paint into the weave of the canvas, exaggerating the texture.

24 hours later the painting is dry (remember I use some Alkyd fast drying paints) and very dull. A day later I will ‘oil out’ and the colours will return to their original glory.

The size is 18.5″ x 16″ and was painted in a single session of about 3 hours. The colours used are Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Dioxozine Purple, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. The medium is Liquin and White Spirits.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.

Ivy Island

Ivy Island

Ivy Island

The heavens are in turmoil and the trees, ghosts of last summer, look on. Hallowe’en.

This painting is mostly about the sky. I tried to vary the proportions of each colour in the mixtures to give slightly different colours in each formation of clouds. I am using 4 colours and they are all present in these paint mixes.

When painting ‘wet on wet’, pickup on the brush is always an issue. In this painting I am using a ‘modifier’ brush to manipulate the paint after it has been applied. For example, in the sky I used a single brush (No 12 filbert, blue handle in video below) to apply the colour. As the colour mixes are evolving one into the next, I don’t need to clean this brush. A small amount of Liquin medium was used, as solvent on its own was evaporating too fast and the layers were not blending smoothly. This bending, or ‘modifying’, was done with a wide short bristled filbert (cream coloured handle).

Also, painting the few sparse remaining leaves on the trees was done with the tip of the large No 12 filbert. This applied the paint in heavy liquid blobs on the wet under colour of the sky but leaving a distinctive brush pattern. The ‘modifier’ in this case was a round bristle which disguised the pattern and blended the paint into the background sky colour.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.