Saturday, 10 August 2019

Glistening Mud, Porthleven

Oil on Linen Canvas 18 x 26 inches
This painting involved probably the most intense periods of concentration of any painting I've done, with so many boats lined up, all with so much more boat to paint when their hulls are exposed at low tide. 
It was a really bright Summer's day, with strong, crisp shadows thrown across the mud, and those sunlit roofs etched across the skyline of the row of houses looking down on the harbour. I had to get the tones of all the relevant players right, in order for those sunlit roofs to really 'pop' - too bright a sky and they wouldn't pop at all. Then all those beautiful red buoys of varying tones and subtle hues, and when I'd finished them and all the boat shapes were more or less completed, I had to attack the mud flats and gorgeous little rivulets of blue water running through them, again paying careful attention to the relative tones of both. Here's where I used the faster drying qualities of Alkyd Oil, letting the paint underneath dry a little and become very stiff and tacky, so that I could use a brush and palette knife to drag more light, thick paint over the top to get the effect I wanted. It feels like my 'Bohemian Rhapsody'! 
The painting will be in the RSMA Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London in October.

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