Courtown Harbour – Time Lapse Painting

Courtown Harbour

Courtown Harbour

I liked the mechanical lines and confusion of ropes and cables in this scene. These are working boats, as the pungent stench of fish, nets and various implements testify. I’m not knowledgeable in these matters so I just painted what I saw, lines and angular shapes. How different from natural shapes and growing things like trees. A fine brush can trace the lines of growth and the shapes almost flow off the brush. These lines are harsh and straight.

I used a few painting knives to paint these lines. The knife was used in a few other places to induce a uniformity of texture. I used 3 colours in this painting, Windsor Lemon, Permanent Rose and Prussian Blue. More or less the same as I have been using in the landscape paintings, but there is no ‘earth’ colours used. These are the Ochres, Siennas and Umbers and produce natural colours found in nature. I was hoping to convey a sense of industrial activity and a scent of fish as a bonus.

The painting is 16″ x 12″ and took under 2 hours to complete, which was fast compared to recent paintings so I have the video ready to post now. See you soon.

Courtown – Time Lapse Painting

Courtown

Courtown

I think its important to have the horizon level in a landscape painting. I will always draw this important line first before the sketch is started. On bigger paintings I will measure the distance to be absolutely sure its correct.

Its not so noticeable on standard landscape because of distant hills or mountains but when the flat line of the sea is included in a painting its critical its completely level. Its all about the illusion of reality I continuously try and achieve.

I have a steel ruler I use to help me in this endeavour. By lying it flat on the surface of the painting and using it like a stencil to brush flat the lowest sky colours I get a final paint layer completely straight and level. Its amazing how crooked this line can be when painted by hand alone. Only when the ruler is employed can you see how wobbly this horizon line can be. If the ruler causes a few smudges on the lower part, usually the sea, that’s OK as these are going to be overpainted later on.

Here is the video of the painting. See you soon.

Courtown – Oil Painting

Courtown

Courtown

I went for a long walk along the beach at Courtown, Co. Wexford as part of my recuperation following a week of sneezing, coughing and everything else that goes with the common cold.

This painting is a bit bigger than my usual, measuring 16″ x 20″ and also took a bit longer than my usual 2 hours, 4 hours in fact. From the outset, the large featureless areas, like the calm sea, the flat beach, would need to be a complex series of colours and shapes to weave an interesting surface. This is a personal preference, I cannot tolerate the monotony of a single layer of colour. By applying layers and not completely covering the previous layer adds this complexity. It means a particular area of the painting must be built up relative to other areas. The clouds were finished relative to the final shape and colours of the waves. As there are only 3 colours used, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue, the process is a bit tedious but the final harmony is worth it.

I have not suggested the scale within this landscape. The trees on the cliff top are no help – they could be any size. I was going to put the usual couple walking at the waters edge in the middle distance, but I thought I could get it to work without this visual cliché. So now the viewer could be standing on the cliff overlooking the panoramic view or standing on the beach about to walk into the sunlight.

I will post the video, possibly in 2 parts, in a few days. See you then.

Adding light, stage 2

Stage 2 completed

Myrtleville, Co. Cork. Photo reference.

Stage 1 – Dark, dark and more dark…

The photo on left was taken on a showery bright day. I am after a sparkling ‘sun after showers’ feeling in this painting.

The sky will be glazed over with transparent Titanium White tinted with blue. Shafts of light will ‘spotlight’ the scene. This explains the higher than normal contrast in the sky. The dark areas will add emphasis to the lighter transparent colour which will be swiped across the sky like radii. This process is messy and the finished lower part will have to be cleaned with white spirits – so it will have to be dry enough to be thoroughly resistant to softening by the white spirits. A long wait for stage 3 can be expected.

Now what will I do to amuse myself in the waiting period? This type of painting is tedious, so a change of medium would be nice.

N.B.: I am videoing the process for a future post. The total time for this painting will be about 4 hours.