Oil on board, 14x20 inches
Having slotted in a commissioned painting since my last post, here is my second offering to be shipped up to the Lakes very soon. This is from surely one of the most beautiful valleys in all England......where? Well, I'm hardly going to tell you that am I...I don't want all of you going up there.
The water was absolutely crystal clear, with every stone on the bottom visible, appearing slightly bluer in the deeper water on the left where the beck has gouged out its contour on this bend. This called for an intense period of concentration to get that subtle shift of colour and tone (value if you're reading this in the U.S., pronounced vair-you if you're from the deep south) and make the water appear convincing.
Painting the slow rivers around my home is easy-peasy compared to this - you just paint the reflections, but this is a different kettle of fish altogether, looking through the water, too. The stones and boulders littered about the banks were pretty tricky to paint, too - well out of my comfort zone of painting dense, bankside vegetation. Quite a lot of palette-knife work to get that appearance of the solid, lit surfaces. The bare, spikey tracery of rusty-coloured branches and twigs of the near trees on the right were no pushover to do in paint either, mostly done with my big household brush and a few heavily laden swipes of my single or double-haired home-made brush (a bit like the brilliant Seasick Steve's home-made, Blues, two stringed guitar). And the slightly more blued-off, paler tones of the distant hill were darned tricky too. Come to think of it, it was a right royal battle, touch and go all the way, but I'm pleased to have scored a narrow points victory on a split decision.
Paintings like this always run the risk of becoming overworked, but I think I stopped just about in time, leaving enough for the onlookers' eyes to complete the story in their minds, hopefully!