Boundary Fence

 

Boundary Fence

Boundary Fence

The colours of spring, a promise of summer.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Rose Madder Genuine, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″. It was painted in a single session ‘wet on wet’.

Notice I’m using a different red in this painting, Rose Madder Genuine. Its a Series 5 (W&N) paint so its very expensive. Its transparent, rich, similar to Alizarin but darkens quickly in mixes. I haven’t used it in many years and then in a completely different method, flower painting in still life.

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

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.

Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows

Gold sky and frosty silver shadows, has given this mucky lane a certain charm.

Only 3 colours used (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. The medium is Liquin and White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″, painted in a single session.

Here’s the painting 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.

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.