White Rose – The Movie

This painting has been around the block a few times. The original plan was to have a still life which was essentially a vertical composition on a horizontal shaped surface. By using a screen resting on a tabletop as the backdrop (possibly an old map) would be an horizontal element and extend the interest to the left and right of the central objects. Great plan – but it didn’t work.

Why? It’s hard to say. Possibly the extended surface created an expectation of ‘something else’ which wasn’t there. Or the empty space ‘miniaturised’ the central characters. Something didn’t work so a change of plan was needed.

The green curtain was a flash of inspiration. OK, loose the screen and produce a wall behind the table. The table is beside a window which has a curtain, green harmonises with the books and emphasises their antiquity. I liked the angle of the tabletop so the wall had to be created against the back edge of the table. Adjustments were made to the table shape and also the reflected light from the backdrop to accommodate this new arrangement.

The right hand side was another flash of inspiration which I will discuss in the next post.

In case you’re interested the materials used:
The colours are,
Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre,
Raw Umber, Burnt Umber,
Chrome Green Deep, Chrome Green Light,
Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine Blue,
Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red, Vermillion Red,
and of course Titanium White and Ivory Black.

Media:
Linseed Oil, Liquin,
White Spirits.

Surface:
Daler-Rowney Oil Painting Surface.

Brushes:
Hog Hair Bristles mostly filbert shape, No. 8 some bigger, some smaller,
Long bristled nylon, small.

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An Irish Landscape Painting

Whenever I see a film which has an Irish Landscape included I recognise the look of the sky, the colours, the flavour of the scenes which more often than not are only background glimpses. I love painting this ‘flavour’ of the Irish Landscape as opposed to an actual scene.  It is a collection of cameos lumped together to produce a scene which has a familiarity we almost recognise as somewhere we’ve been. In midland Ireland its the flatness with the distinctive Ice Age sculpted hills on the horizon that does it for me.

As usual I used a very limited range of colours. For red – Burnt Sienna, yellow – Yellow Ochre and blue – Cobalt Blue. You can’t go wrong with these colours. Any combination results in beautiful natural colours found in the Irish countryside. I never use a green from the tube – they all look so artificial. Very rarely I would add a pinch of a Chrome Green or Viridian to a mix of cobalt and an earth yellow (Ochre or Sienna). But only a pinch. These colours, especially Viridian, are so invasive. Is is always the last colour to leave the bristles as you clean your brushes.

On the subject of cleaning your brushes, always, always clean them as soon as you finish painting. My technique is to rinse in White Spirits (the hardware variety), squeeze out the excess with absorbent tissue paper and wash in soap and water. Put a few drops of washing-up liquid in the palm of your hand, rub each brush in turn in the soapy liquid to work up a lather taking care not to break any of the bristles. Rinse out in water and repeat the process. Squeeze out the lather  and repeat the process until there is no trace of the colour remaining. Rinse out again thoroughly and hopefully you will not have to repeat the process. If any paint or soap accumulates, especially where the bristles join the handle of the brush it will cause the bristles to spread and the brush will loose its shape. Its a chore but it makes starting your next painting session a little easier.

This video is condensed down from 1 hour to less than 10 minutes. Its in HD so you can watch it in full screen and stop the video to study any of the processes involved.

I hope you are inspired to ‘have a go’ using this simple fast technique.