‘Alla prima’, a nice way to paint

Skellig Michael

This ‘quick painting’ was a welcome relief from the previous painting. I was planning to do a 1 hour painting but forgot that the slightly larger size (20″x14″) just eats up the time and it took 2 hours. But a nice change to have a painting complete (well almost) in 1 session.

I got to thinking about the limitations of ‘alla prima’ especially painting on top of wet paint. One time I would use solvent only in the initial layers which would evaporate leaving a very thin layer of paint, easier to paint over. Now I mix Liquin, with very little solvent, with the paint and brush the layer vigorously. This makes the layer tacky and easier to draw with the brush on top. A little planning in advance to work out the areas to apply the initial layer is helpful. This will be seen in the video which I will be posting in the near future.

All that remains to be done with this painting is a little ‘glazing’ on top of the foreground water to deepen the colour and make it richer in colour. A little work on the ‘shape’ of Skellig Michael, that’s the little island on the horizon, to make it more recognisable. By the way, the foam left after a wave, behaves like the suds on top of a basin of soapy water. It disperses in circles surrounded by lines of foam. (If you want to check this out, be careful to do so in private, as staring into a basin of dirty washing up water is not good for the ‘arty’ image). Ahem!, just thought I’d mention that, anyway the glazing will re-establish this pattern of circles.

I hope to have the time lapse video ready for the next post.


After the rain, more rain…

Myrtleville, Co. Cork. Final stage or maybe not…

Just a short post on progress to date. I couldn’t get involved in anything else while this was on my mind. This could be the final stage. I will wait a few days and have another think about any additions. A few bewildered tourists holding on to their hats, a couple of fishermen on the beach discussing global warming, are possibilities??? The scene sums up our summer so far. It reminds me of the advise given to the tourists visiting Ireland – ‘If you can see the distant hills, its a sign of rain coming. If you can’t its because its raining.’

The video (in the pipeline) will say the 1000 words I could write about the process involved above. Although all the videos are ‘time-lapse’ (speeded-up), I still have the original ‘real time’ versions on file. I will, in the near future, create a downloadable file with a ‘step by step’ description of each stage in real time. I think this might be helpful to beginners in oil painting. This is my next project, working out the technicalities of doing this.