Autumn Mists

Autumn Mists

Autumn Mists

This painting uses only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Cobalt Blue)  plus black and white. The medium used is Liquin & White Spirits.

The size is 19″ x 12″ and was painted in a single session. The time-lapse below is from 2 hours painting.

Late Harvest

Late Harvest

Late Harvest

I’m told grain prices are so low this year that farmers will make a loss after this year’s harvest. Maybe this explains the lack of enthusiasm to get the corn cut.

This is a ‘soft sky’. The softness is achieved by hatching and cross-hatching with a wide brush. In this painting I used a clean wide filbert (No. 12, short bristle) to do this blending. This brush is only used as a blending tool and not used to apply paint. Check out recent paintings, especially ‘Late August’ (here) to see the difference this process makes.

Here is an example of an ‘Old Master’ Dutch landscape. I was always fascinated by the softness of the skies in this type of painting. I think the sky must have been produced in a similar way to what I used above, i.e. using a blending technique.

 SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL A PANORAMIC VIEW OF RHENEN FROM THE BANKS OF THE RHINE TO THE WEST OF THE CITY, WITH THE CHURCH OF ST. CUNERA IN THE DISTANCE, AND A HORSE-DRAWN WAGON AND CATTLE IN THE FOREGROUND


SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL
A PANORAMIC VIEW OF RHENEN FROM THE BANKS OF THE RHINE TO THE WEST OF THE CITY, WITH THE CHURCH OF ST. CUNERA IN THE DISTANCE, AND A HORSE-DRAWN WAGON AND CATTLE IN THE FOREGROUND

My painting uses 3 colours Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber & Cobalt Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only solvent. The size is 16.5″ x 12″ and was painted in a single session of about an hour and a half.

Here is the video of the painting process, see you soon.

Straw Fields

Straw Fields

Straw Fields

The rain came before the straw was gathered, the green growth is now showing through.

Painting fine lines ‘wet on wet’ is always going to be problematic. The physical application of paint is the least of your worries. As in other techniques, like pen & ink, there is absolutely no room for error in the ‘drawing’ of the fine lines. Mistakes cannot be repaired. The only recourse is to ‘disguise’ the mistakes. This type of drawing takes a long time to learn. In traditional oil painting, where the under layer is allowed to dry, the process is a lot easier. Any mistake can be wiped off with solvent and the line reapplied.

As for the application of paint ‘wet on wet’ – the brush applying the paint can pick up the under-colour instead of putting it down. I have a very simple rule which applies to all situations and it is this: the paint on the brush must be more ‘liquid’ than the paint in the under-layer. This means, in most cases, the paint being applied has the consistency of ink, very different from the usual oil paint consistency. This is achieved by mixing the paint thoroughly with solvent, not medium, which tends to be of high viscosity (oily). I find using solvent firstly in the under-layer and allowing it to evaporate and/or using Alkyd fast drying oil paint does make it easier. This is why I use so much solvent.

For thicker lines on wet under-paint, I scrape a ‘channel’ in the paint with a palette knife and paint into this with the liquid paint as you will see in this painting video.

Here’s the process. See you soon.

Late August

Late August

Late August

Autumn colours.

Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna are not the most spectacular colours but form rich combinations with Prussian Blue. The colours are ‘natural’ greens, oranges and purples of Autumn.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 12″ x 16.5″ and was painted ‘wet on wet’ in 90 minutes.

Here’s the video. See you soon.

 

 

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Recent sunsets have a distinct lack of red in the glowing skies. It this because the wet weather is cleaning dust from the atmosphere?

As you probably know, I use Alkyd fast drying oil paint for some of the colours. In this case they are all Alkyd, except the Cobalt Blue. This is because Cobalt Blue is only available as Cobalt Blue ‘Hue” in the Alkyd range. It is probably OK as its produced by W&N, but I have Cobalt Blue as a standard artist oil so I used it. Alkyds and standard oils are mixable and work well together in mixes. Problems can occur if the Alkyd is applied in layers on top of standard oils (in the traditional manner) because it dries so fast.

And it does dry fast. Forgetting to clean the brushes for a few hours will be disastrous. The advantage, of course, is that the painting is completely dry in 24 hours (thin layer of paint, solvent only). If I needed, I could ‘oil out’ (with slow drying medium) after another 24 hours and the painting is finished in a few days.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16″ x 12″.

Here’s the painting process. See you soon.

Low Water

Low Water

Low Water

Lakeside debris, dried and bleached. A nice contrast to the cool blue of the lake.

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

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

Flowers of May

What a burst of colour. The wildflowers in this old meadow have really come alive in the recent dry weather.

I am using transparent colours to give the effect of wild flower randomly scattered in the lush grass. This is, of course, a watercolour technique, applying under colour and allowing little bits to show through the final layers of the green grass.

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

Here’s the video of the painting process.

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

Abandoned Farm

The colours of Summer, chlorophyll in all its variations competing for sunlight.

To emphasise the Summer green and produce a glow of colour, you will need plenty of shadow areas. At a certain point in this painting, it looked like a disastrous black smudge.

With a limited palette of 3 colours, the lighter colours painted on top of the wet shadow colour were essentially the same colours with white added. This gives a vibrant range of sun-lit colours. Remember, the fewer the number of colours in a mix, the higher the chroma. My current palette limits this to 3.

The less highlight colour added the more dramatic the effect. Generally less is better. Painting highlights and sun-lit areas of an oil painting landscape is difficult as it goes against our instinctive inclination to draw shadows and leave lit areas untouched, as with watercolours.

Here’s the video, see you soon.

Cloney East

Cloney East

Cloney East

Travelling south from Monasterevin to Athy takes you through Cloney. At this time of year, the low lying sun makes this an uncomfortable journey as the glare is blinding on this long straight stretch of road. This scene presented me with an unusual composition full of contrast and glittering after recent rain. Coincidentally the river, which runs parallel to the road, is called River Boherbaun or, in English, white road. Appropriate when you look along this white streak on the landscape.

The light source in this painting is within the scene, creating a silhouette effect. This is a problem, with dark areas threatening to dominate the composition. Two areas stood out as potential shadows problems. The tree on the right and the bridge. I reduced the volume of the tree and made the dark areas less solid with light peeping through the ivy covered tree trunk. The bridge was a large dark area and by adding a little reflected light and leaving the two arches, broke up the shadow.

The real world rarely obliges the artist with an ideal composition. There were many changes made in this scene, like the relative size of the tree but nevertheless, the scene was instantly recognisable.

This painting has only 3 colours, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 15″ x 12″.

Here’s the video. See you soon.