Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Developing the drawing

  • ·      Contrast dark trees against light sky.
  • ·      Groups of odd number of trees.
  • ·      Trees leaning into the picture.
  • ·      Ridge and furrow moves the eye to the horizon.
  • ·      Bungalow divided in unequal portions.
  • ·      Addition of fence gives perspective.





Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Thinking about composition

Reconsidering ‘Fred’s home’.  What made me want to paint this scene?

Firstly the brilliant blue sky; secondly the bottle green pine trees against the sky. The patterns made by the ridge and furrow, which was emphasized by the snow. Without a doubt Fred’s brick bungalow will be a focal point. The format is 10 x 20 inch, which I feel is restful and peaceful. I have started the sketch on paper, devoting two thirds of the space to the sky (as that was my inspiration), and on third to the land. Now I need to resolve how to make the eye travel across and around the work to make an interesting composition.



Monday, 2 April 2018

Painting from photographs

02.04.18 Weather forecast rain – all day!

Yesterday’s study was a tutored piece and I used ultramarine blue for the sea and sky. If you want natural colours it is not a recommended for English skies.  I was given an old oil painting book for beginners, written by distinguished artist Adrian Hill. He stated,
            ‘Ultramarine should not be used to match the blue of an English sky’. 

There is far too much purple, no matter how much Flake white is added, and he also says the colour clashes with nature’s greens. Adrian recommends the use of Prussian blue.  For paintings done in the Netherlands Impressionist artist Roos Schuring doesn't use ultramarine blue either.

I took the photograph of Holkham beach Norfolk in January and intend to interpret it rather than copy it.


The limited palette I used was: Michael Harding’s Flake white, Old Holland Blue grey, Mussini bluish grey, Mussini brownish grey, Burnt Sienna, Prussian blue, and pale yellow ochre. Definitely no Ultramarine blue.



Sunday, 1 April 2018

Sea, sky, reflection practice


East Runton is just a few miles away from Sherringham on the Norfolk coast. When the tide is out a lot of wet sand remains that leaves nice reflections in the puddles of water. No cloud is perfectly white, so I used Warm light yellow, which was also used as reflections on the wet sand. The colours used in the sky were used in the sea. I blended the sea and skyline together to avoid a hard line, as that is a common mistake made by amateur artists.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Small-scale practice

I may as well make something useful whilst getting some painting practice. Which surface is best to paint on and not too heavy for cards? Three painting surfaces, fine canvas, textured oil/acrylic paper and Bristol board, were cut to the following sizes: 21x 10cm, 15x15cm, and 18x12.5cm. A 1cm border was drawn around each.

Each ground was toned with acrylic paint, but why have I chosen to tone the surfaces?  For me a base colour gets me passed the terror of painting on a white surface; it makes it easier to find tones, sets the mood if the colour is allowed to show through and it avoids the need to fill in those awkward white patches.

On this occasion my choice of colour, cadmium yellow is based on springs early morning light. Yellow ochre works well for most of the day, but as day the day progresses a touch of orange should be added. Finally evening: red or red/grey enhances the sunset hours. I used a burnt sienna as it is the choice of the old masters and it is a complementary colour to the blues, which is good for seascapes, skies and snow scenes. Placed side by side the complementary colours really ‘sing,’ a technique the Impressionists used. When the atmosphere is really cold and wet I like to use an ultramarine violet ground.