Sunday, 20 May 2012

Threatening Sky

Oil on Board, 7.5 x 10 inches

I did this little painting last Tuesday on site, on a blustery and unpredictable day, weather-wise. I got the underpainting scrubbed in and the backdrop of trees, when it started hailing!  I use a tuna tin for my white spirit to clean my brushes, and as the hail got worse, the little icey pellets were bouncing into the tin, making quite a percussive din and I had my own steel-pan drum kit!  I had to hastily pack up and run for the trees until it passed, along with the sheep and their lambs.
After about ten minutes, the skies cleared, but the scene was so totally changed that to continue was hopeless, and I was cold and damp too!  So, having taken a photo before the heavens opened, I finished off back in the studio once more.  
These sorts of lighting effects are fleeting and difficult to get down en plein air, unless you're a speedy genius, which I'm not. I loved the dark, brooding sky with its reflection in the water and attendant sparkles of light from the sun.  The whole scene was lit for a few seconds, so that some of the trees and the meadow and the flooded reed-beds appeared lighter in tone than the sky - a rare moment. The sheep with their sunlit fleecey tops provided a nice focal point for the eye to come back to too.

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