Saturday, 23 October 2010

Painting No 8 - Cape Byron

Oil on canvas board, 12"x 16"

Well I'm on a roll now. This one took four hours. It's from a photo taken by my second daughter, Lucy, while travelling in Australia. Cape Byron is the most easterly point in mainland Australia.

I really enjoyed this one. The sky was a pleasure to do. Simple gradations of white with a tiny touch of blue all the way up to cerulean blue. I tried to create the clouds by rubbing the blue away to expose the underlying white base but this was too weak so I painted them in with titanium white.

I like the smoothness of the sky and lighthouse next to the rough impressionistic cliffs and grass. Seems to work quite well.

The cliffs were tricky but in the end it came down to stepping back and checking the overall structure then every thing dropped into place. The grass was simply a case of making sure there were plenty of colours involved to ensure that it didn't look too flat.

I feel like progress is being made. Onto the next one.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Painting No 7 - Theo

Having spent a year on the previous painting this one took a few days. The subject is our recently departed cat Theo (we also had to let another cat Ruby go this year). The painting is for my youngest daughter Polly.

I found this one very enjoyable. I seem to have got the knack of painting wet on wet. The secret is to simply just keep painting. If the paint doesn't stick then try thinning it out a bit. Also, more pleased with the style. Whilst it's still a bit tight I felt a lot more confident just slapping the paint on.

I kept the background extremely simple making the top dark to emphasise the highlights aroung Theo's ears and back. Seems to have worked.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Painting No 6 - Windgather

Well, this one took some time. It has been resting on my easel for about a year. Just didn't get time with working away from home. Ironically the scene is near where I was staying during the week. It is Windgather Rocks which are on the Derbyshire - Cheshire border. This was my running area while staying at Whaley Bridge. The hill in the background is Whaley Moor.

I finally got round to finishing it off today. Another irony is that it's the day after my running club (Goyt Valley Striders) held the Windgather fell race.

It felt good to add the finer detail and make it come to life. It's amazing how a few simple lines and a bit of highlighting and shadow (e.g. fence posts) can improve things. I kept the colours constrained to a few basic colours but was fairly free in their use across the whole painting. I'm fairly pleased with the final result but once again the paint is a bit thin and I made hard work of the rocks.

I'm a big fan of dry stone walls and there's one peeping over the bottom of the picture. Very pleased with this. They'll make more of an appearance in my future pictures.

Good to be back at the easel.