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.

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.

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.

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.

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.