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.

Scarlet Flood

Scarlet Flood

Scarlet Flood

The new year starts with great skies, here’s one.

There are only 3 colours used in this painting. They are the primaries, yellow, red and blue. Up until recently I used colours which were weak versions of the 3 primaries. For example, Burnt Sienna for red or Yellow Ochre for yellow. The secondary mixes were subtle soft colours and I would introduce the raw colour, here and there, to perk up these colours. Where the secondary mix was particularly weak, like the green produced by Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue, a ‘tube’ green like Viridian was used.

This painting is produced by very strong primary colours, Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson & Ultramarine Blue. To produce a natural landscape with these vivid colours requires using all 3 colours, even in tiny amounts, in each mix. The initial under colours are the lowest quantity in the mixes. For example, the red in the sky is under painted with blue and the blue of the sky is under painted with red. Because its ‘wet on wet’ there is a little bit of this under colour picked up in the final layers. The more you brush the more is picked up. To perk up these layers some of the under colour is left uncovered.

All is revealed in the following video. And remember, to view in realtime change speed setting to .25. Quality can also be set to 1080HD.

Colours used Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. All Alkyd Oil Paints. There is no medium used, only White Spirits solvent. The size is 16.5″ x 10″ and was painted in a single session in under 2 hours.

The Hidden Cold

The Hidden Cold

The Hidden Cold

A little bit of Eastern European weather came our direction recently. No rain or snow, just cold air. The landscape is desiccated and even the evergreens have yellow and orange colours. Warm colours, cold walking.

When you view the accompanying video, notice the 2 ‘dippers’ on my palette. The lower one contains solvent – White Spirits, a petroleum derivative, the upper one I rarely use and when I do, contains Liquin and solvent. The proportions are 25% Liquin, 75% solvent. I use this when the weather is warm as it slows down the evaporation of the solvent.

‘Dippers’ clipped onto the palette and brushes ‘dipped’ therein is the traditional method of adding solvent or medium to paint mixes. What a mess this makes. How do you keep the liquids clean? I use very few colours and a bit of cross mixing will not do much to ‘dirty’ my colours, but with a large number of different colours, all adding their bit to the liquids, makes it impossible to keep colours from becoming muddy.

I use a plastic pipette and add the liquids to the paint mix. I can add a specific quantity, a drop at a time, until I reach the consistency required. Check it out in the video below.

This painting uses only 3 colours (Indian Yellow, Permanent Rose, Prussian Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits. The size is 15.75″ x 9.75″ and was painted in a single session in under 2 hours.

To view in realtime change setting to .25. Also, quality can be set up to 1080HD.

Year’s End

Year's End

Year’s End

A little bit of frost remains on the grass as a warm front moves in.

One of the most frequent requests I get is to upload a ‘realtime’ video of the painting process. This was technically impossible for me because of the file sizes involved and my broadband was not good.

Recently my broadband capacity got a boost and I can now upload much bigger files. The video I uploaded in this post can be slowed down to the ‘realtime’ speed using the YouTube settings. By doing it like this the file size is still 25% of an actual realtime file but the movement is a bit blurred. Needless to say, the speed can also be increased to my previous setting.

Also remember the viewing quality can be maxed up to 1080HD in the same settings (All this depends on your broadband speeds).

Please excuse the missing start of the painting. In my experimenting, I ‘lost’ the first part of the painting video.

This painting uses only 3 colours (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″.

Here’s the video. See you soon.

December Afternoon

December Afternoon

December Afternoon

Fog and mist hang in the air.

The size is 16.5″ x 12″. Painted in a single session.  3 colours used Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.

Here’s the video of the painting process.
The photo of the painting can be seen enlarged by clicking on the image above.
The YouTube setting allows the video to be played at a slower / faster speed or the quality to be changed up to 1080HD.

See you soon.

Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows

Gold sky and frosty silver shadows, has given this mucky lane a certain charm.

Only 3 colours used (Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue) plus black and white. The medium is Liquin and White Spirits. The size is 16.5″ x 12″, painted in a single session.

Here’s the painting process, see you soon.

First Snow

First Snow

First Snow

The first snow of the season. Autumn colours, not completely blanketed in white, are still there.

The under colours mix a little with the overpainted white and add so much colour in faint shades. There is always a danger of snowscapes being sterile and stark. I apply all the usual colours of a standard landscape as transparent layers with very little medium and then apply the white. Its helpful to do this ‘wet on wet’ as I have done here in this painting.

The size is 16.5″ x 12″ and was painted in a single session of about 2 and a half hours. The colours are: Indian Yellow, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Dioxozine Purple, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. The medium used is Liquin and White Spirits.

Here is the video of the painting process, see you soon.

Blackthorn Hedge

Blackthorn Hedge

Blackthorn Hedge

A few recent frosty nights has denuded this row of blackthorn trees and left them in a decidedly ragged state.

Most of this painting is composed of transparent shadow colours. I’m using Liquin medium in a lot of solvent to achieve the transparent effect. I would like to use solvent only in these layers for the ease of overpainting trees and leaves later on. But the solvent on its own does not form a paint film and seems to wash the paint into the weave of the canvas, exaggerating the texture.

24 hours later the painting is dry (remember I use some Alkyd fast drying paints) and very dull. A day later I will ‘oil out’ and the colours will return to their original glory.

The size is 18.5″ x 16″ and was painted in a single session of about 3 hours. The colours used are Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Dioxozine Purple, Ultramarine Blue plus black and white. The medium is Liquin and White Spirits.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.

Ivy Island

Ivy Island

Ivy Island

The heavens are in turmoil and the trees, ghosts of last summer, look on. Hallowe’en.

This painting is mostly about the sky. I tried to vary the proportions of each colour in the mixtures to give slightly different colours in each formation of clouds. I am using 4 colours and they are all present in these paint mixes.

When painting ‘wet on wet’, pickup on the brush is always an issue. In this painting I am using a ‘modifier’ brush to manipulate the paint after it has been applied. For example, in the sky I used a single brush (No 12 filbert, blue handle in video below) to apply the colour. As the colour mixes are evolving one into the next, I don’t need to clean this brush. A small amount of Liquin medium was used, as solvent on its own was evaporating too fast and the layers were not blending smoothly. This bending, or ‘modifying’, was done with a wide short bristled filbert (cream coloured handle).

Also, painting the few sparse remaining leaves on the trees was done with the tip of the large No 12 filbert. This applied the paint in heavy liquid blobs on the wet under colour of the sky but leaving a distinctive brush pattern. The ‘modifier’ in this case was a round bristle which disguised the pattern and blended the paint into the background sky colour.

Here’s the video of the process. See you soon.