Monday, 20 April 2009

Scots Pine study. Oil on gessoed card 8"x6"

Cottage by the river. Oil on gessoed card. 6"x8"

This is the second of the two paintings I made yesterday afternoon. I have done a little bit of finishing mainly to clarify the forms and to regulate the values slightly. For example I had underestimated the lightness of the stony areas in the stream so putting in some lighter dots of colour have helped to lift them and render them more convincingly.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Cottage on the River Conder. Oil on gessoed card 6"x8"

Painted plein air, this subject was quite a challenge on such a small scale. I focused on the relationship of values around the white cottage as the sun cast a cool shadow under the eves and on the side wall. This was the first of two small paintings I finnished this afternoon.
On Foulshaw Moss. Oil on canvas board 9"x12"

Coming back from work one evening about three weeks ago I stopped in to Foulshaw moss. I had a little wander around and found four Adders curled up together in the sunshine.The painting was worked up from photos I took at the time. I was determined to keep it simple and try to treat the subject as if I were painting from life. This means simplifying masses, reducing detail and avoiding photographic copying.

Low Tide on the Lune

Low Tide, Sunderland Point. Oil on gessoed card 6"x8".

It's great to have some settled warm weather and time to get outside with my paints. This painting took about three hours and while seemingly a simple subject I found it very difficult to control all the values and keep the elements of the painting relating correctly. Painting from life is to my mind the most difficult discipline in painting and shouldn't be avoided. Even a relatively simple subject rendered correctly will teach more than a hundred copied photos. There are many great painters working today who do this with consummate skill such as Josh Elliott, Frank Gardener and Glenn Dean, to name just a few.