Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Teasels by the Welland

 Oil on Board, 9 x 13 inches
I'm rattling through all these demo paintings I've had stacked in the studio for months, and here's another one finished off. There's a common theme in nearly all these recent efforts - contre-jour, ie, facing into the sun. This tends to create strong highlights and shadows, so that there is plenty of contrast in the painting, giving it interest and often more impact. I love a Wintry subject for this light effect too - pale blue-greys for the distant trees, getting ever darker and warmer towards the foreground

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Winter Grazers near Gretton

Pastel 13x 19 inches
Yes, another demo painting I did last year, at Peterborough Art society I think. I finished back in the studio today. I reserved the pure Titanium White Schmincke Pastel stick, the softest, most buttery stick, to knock-in those gleaming jewels of sunlight. I say knock-in, because it is exactly the noise it makes, banging in those spotlights with the edge of the stick, rather like an impasto blob of Oil paint, after brushing off a tiny bit of underlying pigment with a Hog brush. Hmm, a bit more info divulged...I'll have to kill you all.

Rising Sun at Wakerley

 Pastel 13 x 19 inches
From the bridge on the Wakerley Road between Barrowden and Wakerley, I've painted this view a few times, and with a little artistic licence, I moved the dawn orb a little to the right of centre. Who can resist painting such a subject? Not me!

To Pastures New

 Pastel 13 x 19 inches
Yet another demo I painted last year from a 14 x 20 Oil painting, shown here. I changed a couple of the postures and plumage of the cattle, but otherwise, painted it pretty much as was - interesting to compare the two mediums. It would be even more interesting to compare a Watercolour to the Oil, but I've not had the courage to paint a Watercolour for a goodly this space!

Monday, 28 January 2019

Banks of Frost

Pastel 13 x 19 inches
I'm ploughing through a few demo paintings I did last year, just refining them to exhibition standard, beyond the two hours of the demo.
Almost a monochrome painting, with a lot of close tones, it was an exercise in capturing various subtle greys to achieve the desired result. I find using the Pastel medium tougher than Oils for this kind of subject, because you need so many close colours, and finding them on my extensive palette is no easy task, especially being an untidy painter - I get so into the painting that I put a stick down, grab another one and before I know it, the colours are all mixed up, which is fatal, and it stops the flow. 
I love the 'softer' look and feel of Pastels, but Oils will always be my preferred medium for most subjects, although using Pastels also makes the desire to grab the brushes again even stronger!

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Winter Reedmace

Pastel 13 x 19 inches
Yes, I am still alive, and this is the first painting for 51 days - I've been doing work on the new PBFA gallery in Uppingham which has kept me from the easel, but it's good to be back in the saddle again!

This was the final demo I did last year, duly polished off in the studio. Winter can be a somewhat monochrome season, but when it snows, then there's sunshine, the beautiful, subtle, complimentary colours are a dream to paint - lots of greys, browns, oranges and blues - scrummy! 

Describing the background trees set against the distant backdrop is the most challenging, and in this case, it's firstly choosing the right colour, then applying the stick using its point for the trunk and on its side with the most gentle pressure for the feathery tracery.