Having put some flower paintings into an exhibition that is about to open and having the good fortune in just selling one, when I was offered a place in a local exhibition at a garden centre, stocks of suitable paintings were low. So at present I am trying to get a few to put into this exhibition which starts next week. This is my first attempt. Normally I work in watercolour but I wanted a sustained saturation of colour and opted for acrylics. It is amazing how these crocuses take over the bare soil and blaze in the spring sunshine. They have now gone, taken over by daffodils which are themselves on the wane- spring is indeed uncoiling.
I’ve been working for a while on this oil, waiting for the paint to dry has been the main cause of delay. It is the interior of my daughter’s flat in Gidea Park, which seems to be a posh end of Romford in Essex, but not that posh. I was taken by the range of greys which gave me a sense of calm and then these were complemented by the cabinet top and the light from the early morning sun coming through the window. The shadows create other forms which add to the dynamics. I didn’t make any arrangement of the ornaments, this was how they were. It had a life of its own.
I was waiting for the paint to dry on an oil I am doing at the moment so I was looking around for something to do and picked on this. I still need to practise the undergrowth. I struggled with the bracken on the painting before last and am still struggling. The temptation is to go really loose which can look dynamic with splatter and runs but lacks form and I was trying to find some middle way. I was pleased with the mossy rocks and flow of the water. I might have another try at this.
I have done a similar painting in the past of the boats gathered at the north end of Windermere in the English Lake District. The morning sun catches the surfaces of the boats. By darkening the water, highlights on the vessels are possible. I hadn’t tried this before. All the water surface has been darkened, though it doesn’t look like it. I reserved the lights for some of the vessels and the edge of the swan.
I once painted this scene on a winter’s morning, but gave up when the water on my palette froze. I should have tried the old trick of using alcohol, but decided for a photo instead and went inside for breakfast.
Other Lake District paintings are on my website grahammcquade.com . The other painting can be seen in the Sold section.
The light hitting the top of the wall, the dying bracken and the top of the buildings appealed to me. Bracken I find very difficult to pull off and I think it could have been better. I think I could have got even more light on the vegetation even after scratching back. Perhaps this indicates I need darker tones around, but I was getting muddy. Its a war out there and I wasn’t winning.
I did the same lady in acrylics on 30th September last year. She has kept her hair colour, which seems almost to be her trademark. This is a pastel painting. I tried to use blocks of colour in a similar approach to some of my recent acrylics. I also wanted to pull the hue of the cushion into the flesh tones and for once I managed to get all the figure in and at the same time fill the paper.
This is the third of three full sized paintings (76x50cm) I have just completed using liquid acrylics. I wanted a few colourful paintings playing around in a watercolour style. I showed sketches of the others in previous blogs. Below are the final paintings.
I wanted to get a series and, although I have my favourite, I am pleased with the outcome of them all.
Still working on my large liquid acrylic paintings. I’ve got two to a stage I’m satisfied with but the final one remains elusive, so I thought a change of pace whilst I think about my next move might be beneficial. In the Lake District on a warm spring late afternoon and the blueness of the mountain backdrop with the light peeping over the hills makes Derwent water a great place to be. I thought I would work a bit larger than my normal pastel landscapes, this is 56×36 cm which is slightly smaller than my figurative work, but big for my landscapes. I think working bigger in pastels does afford more options when mark making.