Saturday, 21 December 2019

Frost Spangles

 Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches

I painted this as a demonstration painting for Blaby Society of Artists a couple of weeks ago, finishing it off in the studio this morning. I love painting the lovely silvery colour of frosted grass, just before the normal green colour returns as the sun heats up the icing sugar dusting. This painting was largely about the subtle tones looking straight into the sun. The white colour of the bark of a birch tree only appears white if the sun is shining on it, but here, looking directly into the light, it appears quite a dark shade of blue, yet our eyes tell us it's white. See how dark it is next to the sky colour. The spangles of the title are those lovely little jewels of light that twinkle on the leaves and twiggery, spotted in with a palette knife. #silverbirch #woodland #frostedgrass #frostedvegetation

Patrick's Byre

Oil on board 7.5 x 10 inches. 

Jane's been on at me to paint this since we got back from our holiday in the Dordogne, so today, I did it while she was at work in the gallery. Who said I can't do loose?! Painted in 1 and a quarter hours, it was a refreshing change to 'dash one off' with free brushstrokes. #frenchbyre #frenchbarn

Beacon by the Brathay

Oil on board, 10 x 14 inches.
This was a fleeting light effect which lasted for all of 5 seconds, never to reappear again. It was by the River Brathay in Langdale, when the sun suddenly came out and shone on that young Oak tree on the mid-distance hill, lighting it and it alone, like a bright orange beacon - hence the title. I managed to get a photo of that moment and painted this from it. #sunlitoak #riverbrathay #langdale #autumncolours #paintingofautumn #fallpainting

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Autumn Oaks above Buttermere

Oil on board, 9 x 12 inches.

I painted this one on site last week on a trip to The Lakes, but had to abandon it when the light faded and my hands got frostbite. I liked the great purple-grey mountain looming up into the clouds, and the orange of the Oak trees seemed perfect against the blue curtains behind, so I scrambled up a hill to find the best vantage point and quickly sketched out the composition and got the gist of it down and finished it off in the studio.

I can't express enough how important it is to keep standing away a couple of yards from the painting in order to see any drawing faults and check the colour and tone put down. It's much better to keep assessing, rather than ploughing on and finding it's wrong when you're nearly finished. That's why I like to stand when I'm painting, even in the comfort of the studio, because it's so much easier just to step back, instead of getting off your chair.

Friday, 15 November 2019

By the River Brathay

Oil 6 x 8 inches SOLD
Here's a little painting I painted on site on a trip to the Lake District to absorb the breath-taking Autumn Colours. Having got home, I tickled it a bit in the studio. The river is a deep, slow-moving one, where it flows from Elterwater and winds around the subtle bends, providing lots of beautiful reflections - right up my street...or river!

Friday, 1 November 2019

Castle Crag, above Grange-in-Borrowdale

Oil on Board, 6 x 8 inches 
A quick oil sketch of the River Derwent where it turns under the iconic bridges at Grange, with Castle Crag in the background.

Still endeavouring to paint more loosely and painterly - the journey continues...

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Barns near Hawes

Oil on board 12 x 17 inches.
Strong sunlit lights and dark shadows, with lovely stone and metal textures, this was a dream subject. Lots of tones to observe and replicate in this, and if you can get them right, you can create a sense of depth and distance.
Learning to loosen-up a little, with trees that look as though they've been painted by someone else, but really enjoying the process - you never stop learning in this game, and if you think you know it all, you don't!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Langstrath Beck, by Eagle Crag

Oil on board, 6 x 8 inches. 

I particularly enjoyed painting the backdrop of Larches, moving the oil paint around with a large flat Rosemary&co Eclipse brush. It looks complicated, but the painting came together very quickly - always lovely when that happens! For sale at #langstrath #lakedistrict #lakeland #cumbria #landscape #waterfall

Towards Wardley Wood

Oil on board, 10 x 12 inches. 

I don't often paint on a squarer format 10 x 12 board, but this subject lent itself perfectly, with those towering cumulus clouds as a backdrop. I'm persevering with the big flat brush to describe the trees, which definitely gives a more painterly feel, so a new chapter continues with my painting...
For sale at
#wardley #rutland #clouds #landscape #oilpainting

The Borrowdale Derwent

 Oil on board, 9.25 x 13.25 inches.

I painted a very similar view some years ago, but wanted to attack this one with a much looser approach, and am quite pleased with the result. To paint really loosely is practically impossible for me, so a middle ground might be a happy compromise...
For sale soon at
#landscape #riverine #riverDerwent #artlovers #artwork #artist #allaprimapainting #oilpainting #oilpaintingsforsale #representationalart #realisticpainting #Lakedistrict

Early Spring at Barnwell

Oil on board, 6 x 8 inches
An experimental small painting, done from a photo, using much freer, looser brushtrokes than my 'normal' way of painting. I'm liking the looser look - just looks as though it's been done by someone else! Now SOLD #landscape #riverine #artlovers #artwork #artist #allaprimapainting #oilpainting #oilpaintingsforsale #Barnwellcountrypark

Purple Loosestrife by the Nene

Oil on board, 10 x 14 inches

This started life as a demo earlier this year, so it deserved to be finished off. It's a little easier to paint water with Alkyds, but just about got away with it with standard oils - might try with a little white Alkyd next time...
#landscape #riverine #rivernene #artlovers #artwork #artist #allaprimapainting #oilpainting #oilpaintingsforsale #representationalart #realisticpainting

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Afternoon Glare on Rutland Water

Oil on board, 7.5 x 10 inches
I painted this one last August en plein air, and polished it off yesterday. The sky changed very much in the two hours I was on site, so by the end, the light had changed hugely. In these circumstances, it's almost impossible to carry on, because you will have two pictures in one. There was no sparkling light at all on the water at the end, so it was very different. Time to pack up and head for the studio with aide memoire of a photo, which, in this case, I didn't take, so memory had to do!

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Langstrath Beck

 Oil on Board, 7.5 x 10 inches

Experimenting again using a reference photo, this is similar to one I painted a few years ago from a different angle. I really loved painting the main tree with the wet, standard oil paint. It's a bit tight in places, but the overall result I'm reasonably happy with. Work in progress...

Reflections near Tixover

Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inch

I painted this one en plein air and finished it off in the studio. It's a mixture of my old familiar style and new, looser mode of painting. I think my new method will prove easier to paint en plein air, and I can feel a new chapter beginning...