Just playing around with hard and soft edges. I cobbled together this painting from three photographs I took in Richmond Park some time ago. I tried to keep the painting loose and also vary wet washes with dry brush work and scratching back.
I had a cull of some paintings recently and got out the grey undercoat and some left over emulsion and covered them over and took the toned sheets to a few life sessions. Here are the results. Each one took about an hour and a half, allowing for the tea breaks and socialising that goes on. The one above was mainly done with square brushes.
This one had a warmer background of my left over emulsion, again, mainly square brushes.
This was done mainly with a palette knife, accentuating the warm background with a cool palette
Meditating man, here I coated some of the surface in masking fluid to see what effect I got. I probably didn’t use enough.
Again more masking fluid used and again, not enough and again the use of square brushes.
I parked up in the carpark by the canal ready to go off painting and just took a glimpse along the towpath. Fingers of mist still clung to the reeds, avoiding the sun’s weak rays. Out of the reed beds some moorhens glided across the chill water, probably thinking I might be a source of a free breakfast.
I tried this out in pastel to get the wisps of mist. In hindsight I could have done it in watercolour and used white gouache for the mist.
I suppose that this could be me on the bike, but the guy sped past as I was gazing at the scenery. This is another view from the set of paintings I did after an early morning cycle ride in April – other paintings have been posted over the last few weeks. I added the sheep for a bit more animation, but apart from that it is pretty much as it was – a magnificent morning, well apart from the puncture and the walk home.
Two more from my painting trips of last week. Since then I haven’t been out as we have been getting a lot of much needed rain. Presently I am working this sketch of a tree up into a small painting, so I’ll be putting that on the blog soon.
I might even work this one up as well. There is a great view on the other side of the cottage and the overhanging tree and cable poles give it character. Hopefully the good weather will make a comeback, but at least I don’t have to water the garden.
I was thinking about entering the marine artists exhibition in London. I had a couple of suitable paintings but wanted something a little different so that I could judge what it is that they are looking for a bit better and worked up this idea. Now that it’s complete I’m a little underwhelmed by it. I have got tighter than I would have liked. I’ll prop it against the wall and have a look at it over the next week or so and make my mind up. I have used motifs that I have used as subjects before, in case you are wondering whether you’ve already seen it.
Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.
Another image from my early morning cycle ride the other week. I loved the way the buildings become part of the trees, emerging out of the woods. It appears that there is quite a tight chromatic range, but I used more colours on this than the previous paintings where I used just three. Here I used six colours. Not sure if it is very commercial, but I am taken by its earthiness.
With some better weather of late I at last got out to do some painting last night. I cycled inland a little way and painted this 17th century hall and farm which stands by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The canal is hidden between the foreground – a field of broad beans – and the first row of trees/bushes. I sat on a mound of stinging nettles where I think I left my palette and to round it off I got another puncture. The joys of painting plein air.
It may look familiar and indeed it is. I published a version a week or so ago, but wasn’t very happy with it, so I decided to change the format. I am much happier with the outcome, having got rid of a mass of awkward foreground.