April Skies

April Skies

Sunshine and showers, April is here.

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 of about 2 hours.

I am using a mixture of traditional artists oil paints and Alkyd quick drying paints. The white and black are Alkyd paints. Traditional oils are used when the required colour is not available in the Alkyd range. For example: Cadmium Yellow is not available in the Alkyd range, except as Cadmium Yellow Hue, so I use the standard oil version.

Mixing these two paint types in multi-session painting is only recommended if the Alkyd colours are used in the under layers and allowed to dry – which suits most painters. However, Alkyds or Liquin on top of standard oils will dry fast and retard the drying of standard paint underneath.

‘Wet on wet’ single session well mixed paints produce a homogenous layer which dries evenly and fast, in under 24 hours. My lack of medium dries very matt and dull but I can ‘oil out’ after the initial 24 hours drying.

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

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.

Beside the Lake

Beside the Lake

A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
(WILLIAM WORDSWORTH)

The yellow blobs of paint in the foreground needed to be recognisable as daffodils. These ‘explain’ the yellow blobs in other areas of the scene – they must also be daffodils.

I truncated the daffodil stems in the foreground to suggest we are looking over them and along the lake shore to the gate and further into the scene.

As usual I’m using various elements of the composition to draw the viewer into the painting. Diagonal lines, repeated shapes and colours. Like the strong yellow of the foreground flowers repeated in the reflections in the water and further to the sunlit trees in the distance, reinforced by the patch of bright sunlight in the top right corner of the painting, or the ‘scratchy’ line of the fence wire leading us to the ‘scratchy’ gate or the ‘zig-zag’ route through the daffodils to entice us in.

There are 3 colours used in this painting, Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson & Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″ of primed un-stretched canvas which will be laminated onto a stiff board when the painting is dry.

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

Kilkea Castle Grounds

Kilkea Castle Grounds

Built in 1180ad by the invading Normans, this castle was the longest inhabited castle in Ireland until the financial crash nearly a decade ago. In recent decades it was a hotel and plans are afoot to reopen the hotel..

The two towers of the castle, in grey limestone, are intrusive in this idyllic scene. I echoed these two vertical shapes in various parts of the design. Most notably the reflection in the river, the two trees on the right and the two trees on the left of the castle. This places the castle as part of the landscape. I think this is a harmonious arrangement in this instance, rather than placing trees etc. at random. Of course if this is too obvious it will look un-natural.

The use of only three colours will guarantee harmony of colour, provided the colours are well distributed over the entire surface as secondary and tertiary mixes. The three colours used here are Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine 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 of about two hours.

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

Wetlands

Wetlands

Wetlands

The emergence of spring green with the remains of winter browns is always an inspiration.

I’m using my usual composition to draw the viewer into the painting. The diagonal lines from the corners lead the eye into the landscape, around the central group of trees, to the mysterious mountain in the distance.

There is the appearance of perspective because of the regular size reduction, with distance, seen in the trees. I was trying to avoid the cliche of the line of trees running into the distance with the appropriate perspective applied. So the trees are grouped, flat-on to the viewer, and placed at receding distances. The central group have 3 shorter trees on the left to help the illusion. I think it is more interesting like this.

I’m making much use of underpainting and allowing it to be part of the final painting. I’m choosing transparent colours as these work best and glow in the final painting.

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

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.

February Marsh

February Marsh

February Marsh

Highlight colour usually contains white. The more white the lighter the tone, the weaker the colour. I used very little white in these foreground colours in order to get rich colour. The dark colourless shapes of the trees on the right emphasises this colour. Notice the transparent under colour layer of blue also in here using colour contrast to help emphasise the richness of the 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. This painting uses only 3 colours (Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

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.

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.

Winter Marsh

Winter Marsh

Winter Marsh

The unusual lighting in the winter skies is creating very colourful landscapes with warm colours on very cold days.

Sometimes even the finest brush can’t get the really thin lines as needed in the distant trees above. Or maybe the wet under colour just won’t allow it. As my method is ‘wet on wet’, scratching the paint with a point is always an option. Depending on the pressure applied, you can reveal the white primer or with a little less pressure the under layer of raw colour. The problem is, as it is so easy to do it can be overdone.

I have a few other interesting variations on this technique of scratching the wet surface. Here is one I use from time to time. A pool of very liquid paint is placed on the surface of the painting. It can be drawn out into very fine lines with a point or as I use, the nib of an old pen. An example could be the trunk or branch of a tree in dark brown, painted in blobs of liquid paint on a wet sky layer. By drawing the point out of the blob of liquid paint you scratch a fine channel in the wet sky paint into which the liquid will flow – producing the finest branches no brush can match.

By clicking on the image above you can get an enlarged view of the painting. See how the under colour is revealed in the scratches.

3 colours used (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″. Most of the painting was done with a No. 8, long filbert bristle. A No. 12 was used to blend the sky but not apply paint. A small round bristle and nylon liner were used for details.

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

The Plantation

The Plantation

The Plantation

At this time of year, greys and browns dominate the landscape. If you feel like a bit of colour you will only find it in the sky.

This drainage ditch, dug mechanically straight, aligns perfectly with the setting sun, like a neolithic monument on this one insignificant day in the year. The artificial straightness is part of the cultivated plantation. On this side of the fence the wilderness is trying to get in.

This was a time consuming painting and I blame the placing of individual leaves in an apparent random pattern on the bare branches of these trees. Its a difficult process, to create a pattern and have it not look like a deliberate design, but looking like the randomness of nature. We instinctively create patterns or see patterns especially when they are not needed.

This painting is 16.5″ x 12″. There were only 3 colours used (Indian yellow, Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. There was no medium used, only White Spirits.

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