Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches
It's been a week of 'tidying up' various demo paintings and this was another one! I painted this at the Kirby Bellars Group of Artists on Monday this week and finished it in the studio yesterday.
This was a scene from Duddington, just down the road from my house from last April. A single Swan was preening itself on the water, watched by a handsome Mallard drake on the bank - click on the image to view full-screen to see. I ummed and arred as to whether to include the fresh Hawthorn foliage on the right, but I think the eye would have had a clear route into the painting from the bottom right and straight out again on the top right, so I put them in to keep the eye focused, and to add an extra element of depth by using a lot of palette knife work to add texture.
The critical thing to make the painting convincing was to pitch the tones right in the distant blue haze of the far bank of trees, so that the duller green of the fresh Willow leaves 'read' correctly against them. You will also see that there are few sheep resting under the shade of the Willows. Alas, those same Willows are no more - they were all felled at the end of the year for some reason, so the view is now very different and the sheep have no shady shelter. I like to think that this is a tribute to those beautiful Willows.