I’ve done scene before and posted it, but I came across it the other day and wondered if I could try it in the three cool colours I use, following on from the previous post where I used three warm colours. So this was done with lemon yellow, alizarin red and winsor blue. I have tried this combination before and found it quite difficult, when compared to using the warm colours – maybe it’s the more staining effect of the winsor blue and alizarin which can quickly overpower the painting . I must try a few more to see if you get a different feel to the paintings with the cooler colours.
I wasn’t completely happy with the original painting which you can see below and applied the paints on this one in a much looser way.
Some time ago I reported, after painting the plein air Downholland Farm I posted, that I had left my portable palette behind. When I came back to search for it I came in my car and had to park on some waste land and the easiest way was to cut through this small copse. I loved the evening light coming in through the trees and the branches and trunks cutting across the scene making an almost stained glass effect. When I came out of hospital last week I thought that I could do this in pastel and sat down and cracked on and produced this pastel below:
I thought that the pastel would allow me to get the criss-crossing branches easier and also allow me to work up the foliage catching the light in the shadows. I was unhappy with the results and decided to have another go in watercolour. I tried a splattering approach with the foliage on the watercolour and got some wonderful textures, but had to go over a lot of it in order to get the tonal contrast I was after. In the end the result was better but still it lacked the impact that I was after.
Being a sort of obsessive I do paintings over and over again. This is the latest version of this path which connects the north end of Formby with the sea via the pinewoods and skirting one of the many golf courses here. I am beginning to feel a bit satisfied with the outcome. I initially went in with warm red, blue and yellow and mixed the colours all over the paper, spraying and mixing the quite strong colours. Then, when dry I rewet some of the paper with spray and mixed in the foliage, extending the trunks at the same time. I am pleased with the effect of the light even though I have painted over the whole paper. On a previous edition I deliberately left the area of the sun white, yet it doesn’t have the same impact of lightness – see below.
Also the trees on the right now have more vitality and their warmness complements the colder colours on the left. I feel there is a greater sense of mystery in the new painting.
I was working on some bigger and more intricate paintings when I saw an advert for travel which depicted a river valley. I loved the colours in the photo where green was the mother colour but didn’t overwhelm. I felt I needed a rest from my acrylics and banged out this sketch this morning. I decided to add a stand of trees as a focal point which I masked out, but in hindsight should have just protected by keeping the area dry instead. I intended using only three colours, warm red warm blue and warm yellow but quickly realised I needed a cool blue to help out and get the depths of colours that were needed.
I was watching TV and there was an artist Norman Ackroyd painting some watercolours of woods in winter. I loved the greyness of these images along with the bare trees and after the programme I made up an image, just using washes of greys blues and purples just to see where it went.
Norman Ackroyd is a printer and I think he coordinated this year’s Royal Academy summer show. Some time ago there was an infrequent series on the tele called “What do Artists do all Day” – a title which amused me. He was featured in it and it showed him working on an etching of seabirds encircling a far flung Scottish Island. Needless to say some of his day was spent in a hostelry whilst he was waiting for things to develop. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.