Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Beer Barrels, Buckets, Buoys and Boats

Oil on Canvas 18 x 26 inches

The first 'biggy' for my solo show in Devon, this one was all about colour and light and tone...but then isn't every painting? Yes, answering my own question, but this has a lot of colour in it, with some rich crimsons, yellows, blues and greens - much more so than in my default landscapes.

Despite no human activity, there was a lot going on in the picture, with all the fishermen's nets, buckets, barrels, buoys, boats and pots scattered to form a perfect composition. The old rubber conveyor belt was placed nicely to provide a 'lead-in' to the red boat and let the eye roam around the the other vessels and back to the clutter in the foreground.

There were quite a few little cameos of light - the bright white light on the left-side of the red boat, the sunlit boat rails, the pinging sunlight on the up-turned yellow boat in the foreground and the beautiful crimson light shining through the plastic of the foreground crate. All great fun to paint and 'hooks' for a painter.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Golden Downhill Sunset

Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches

I painted this one in a corner of the gallery, and found at the end of the day after going to switch off the painting light (two 4ft 5400k tubes) that I hadn't had it on! So, I had painted it under the much warmer 4000k gallery lights, and thus had compensated for the warmer tones by painted everything bluer than it should have been, grrrr! So, back in the studio, I repainted the whole thing to get the much redder, richer tone of sunset to the painting.

The view is one near the studio, looking down a steep hill and I loved the rhythm of the zig-zag pattern of hills, which I've painted before, but never at sunset.  

Depicting sunsets is always a challenge in trying to capture that beautiful warm, golden glow that bathes the landscape. To achieve this, the darks of the trees all have a reddish/purple tone to them, and the distant bank of trees on the horizon takes on a golden red, rather than the bluish tone of distance when the sun isn't so close to the horizon. Again, at the risk of being repetitive, all the tones, dark and light, were mixed with varying amounts of my three primaries, Cadmium Yellow Light, Permanent Rose and Cobalt Blue.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Welland Willows

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

This was another demo piece I did for the Bawtry Art Society a few months back. Having dug it out, I worked quite a bit more on it to bring it up to exhibition standard.

A few people have seen it and have thought they knew where the scene is, but all have been wrong!  It's actually the River Welland near the village of Harringworth and right behind me was the giant viaduct.

I liked the classical meandering river acting as a convenient 'lead-in' to the picture, with a strong vertical of the willow on the left, and echoed by the three trees on the right - note the irregular spacing so as not to appear too regimented and unsettling. In the sunlit field in the distance, I placed a few sheep as a nice focal point for the eye to rest after traversing the river banks.

After the first 8 weeks of the gallery being opened, and the response has been brilliant, it has been great to be back in the saddle again, with paintbrush in hand. Time is running away with me, with about 15 paintings to do for my solo show in Devon, two more for the RSMA exhibition, and three more for the ROI, gulp...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Eye Brook to the Lake

Oil on Board, 12 x 17 inches

This was the demonstration I did last Thursday in the gallery...which gallery I hear you ask? Peter Barker Fine Art gallery of course, as if you didn't know.

With a massive crowd of 6 people at any one time, I thought I would paint this view of the Eye Brook as it runs into the Eyebrook Reservoir just up the road from the gallery in Uppingham. The river course provides a useful 'lead-in' to the picture plane, with the old Willow off-centre to break up the monotony of the largely horizontal composition. Making sure I captured the distant tree line in much paler blue-grey tones gave depth and the illusion of distance to the painting. 

I might just tweak it here and there once it has been languishing on a shelf in the studio, but I really must crack on with more work for my Devon exhibition and some paintings to submit to the RSMA and ROI exhibitions - no peace for the wicked...