Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Painting No 26 - Church and Mill, Ivinghoe

Oil on canvas board 12" x 16"

I've started doing several paintings in parallel as I often have to wait for the paint to dry, so this one is close on the heels of Trofeo Kima Rocks.  I attempted this windmill years ago when I briefly dabbled in watercolours but never finished it.  This view is from one of my runs out with the dog.  I made the clouds a bit more interesting and added the pheasant to complete the composition (in exactly the same way I added the way-marker in Trofeo).

This mill is the oldest postmill (the whole structure rotates on a central post to face the wind) in England and has an interesting history.  I visited this mill way back in 1978 when I cycled down to Invinghoe youth hostel (recently turned into flats) on a whim, from Doncaster (via Grantham youth hostel).  I never imagined then that I'd be living nearby.  I've always thought it was called Invinghoe Mill but apparently it's called Pitstone Windmill.  Invinghoe is the nearer of the two villages.

I'm planning another one with the mill and Ivinghoe Beacon for the near future.  I've been encouraged by my experiences with the Joss Naylor prints so I intend to do a series of local scenes and sell them as prints.

This one was interesting as I tried to keep the field and trees fairly loose but had to provide some very fine detail with the church and windmill sails.  I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Painting No. 25 - Trofeo Kima Rocks

Oil on Board 18" x 12"

Another one for the runners and mountains series.  This is based on the excellent photograph by Ian Corless (host of TalkUltra) taken at this year's Trofeo Kima event in Italy.  This event is conducted at high altitiude and involves an element of climbing using via ferrate chains and cables.  It is very spectacular and is typified by this picture, all cloud and rocks.  Ian's photos from the event can be seen here: .

I chose to do this picture for its mixture of textures with the ephemeral nature of the clouds and the solid ruggedness of the rocks.  It's almost an amalgamation of two of my previous paintings "Aldbury in the Spotlight" and "Joss Naylor, Wasdale, 1970's".

I only made two alterations from the original photograph.  I moved the runner further up to place him closer to the golden mean rather than in the centre and I added the red and white way marker to help create a diagonal running through the runner's gaze to the marker, to compliment the diagonal of the rocks.

I've also started to use a new signature or monogram after getting some negative feedback on my usual scrawl.  After experimenting with wren (the bird) graphics I opted for making use of the fact that my names and the year all consist of 4 characters resulting in this:

2 0 1 2

Not revolutionary I know, but at least I can be consistent now and it looks like a Chinese hieroglyphic from a distance.

In terms of the process I went through, I started with a quick pencil outline then blocked it in with diluted monochromatic paint.  It was then a case of around four passes over each part of the painting refining in finer detail each time.  I paid especial attention to the values on this one to avoid loosing the runner against the background.  After putting down the overall shading on the rocks I again resorted to the painting knife to provide the variegated look and texture.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this.  I believe that I have achieved the aerial perspective I was looking for and have learnt a lot in doing it which is always good.

Update 11/11/12: Finally found the trofeo Kima 2012 results.  The guy in the picture is Marco Zanchi.  Here's a video of him being interviewed (hope your Italian is up to scratch).