Sunday, 7 October 2018

Investigating the Boat

#18 Investigating the Boat oil on canvas 8x8"
This is a studio painting taken from sketches I did at Church Bay in Anglesey. The boys couldn't resist getting closer and closer to the fishing boat that was pulled up in the shallows.

Evening Sun at Borthwen

#17 Evening Sun at Borthwen oil on canvas board 12x10"
A race to get this done before the tide came in and the sun went down. The colours were changing rapidly but it was so calm and beautiful, it was lovely to paint. Borthwen in Anglesey.

Soon after starting, getting the colours in before it gets too dark



Sunday, 1 July 2018

A Welsh Farmhouse

#14 A Welsh Farmhouse, oil on board, 12x10"
Another trip to Anglesey. I painted the view away from the sea this time, looking out across the fields towards a nearby farm.  I started off by painting the composition in burnt umber and then began putting in the darker tones of the hedges.  The sun was setting very quickly behind me so the colours changed dramatically and by the end the fields and my painting were bathed in a warm orange glow. 

The half way stage
The field next to me had quite a few horses in it and this beautiful old stallion kept me company the whole time I was out!


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Spring Garden

#15 'Spring Garden' oil on canvas 8 x 8"
I had a spare hour but couldn't leave the house so I dashed outside and painted this corner of the garden, an area I'd been wanting to capture for a while.  I'd prepared this canvas with a deep pinky purply ground some time before so used that which gave a nice contrast to the light areas of leaves and foliage.  My favourite area is the herb garden with the orange bricks so I might revisit this again later in the summer.

Friday, 8 June 2018

The Eyebrook in Spring

#14 The Eyebrook in Spring oil on canvas 8x8"
I thought I'd return to the Eyebrook and paint the same spot from the week before when it had been raining. The colours were so much more vibrant this time and the sky was reflecting off the water beautifully. I used a smaller canvas this time and I prefer the composition with the water leading your eye in, across the canvas and the back across the tree line.



I used burnt umber to mark out the initial shapes and to get the dark tonal values down. Then I mixed the main colours and got a bit of each in place so I could see how the colours would work together. I spent longer than I wanted to on the painting so next time I want to concentrate on working more quickly and not overworking areas.




Thursday, 7 June 2018

Slawston Hill from Welham

#13 Slawston Hill from Welham oil on board 12x10"

I haven't been very good at posting in the last month. I've got a bit to update so there will be a bit of a flurry of posts now.

It was a lovely sunny morning when I painted this view across the Welland Valley in Leicestershire.  When I started the sky was completely clear but the clouds came over half way through which I was pleased about as I've been wanting to get more practice painting clouds 'en plein air'.



I set my easel on the side of a quiet single track road and I had quite a few cyclists and farmers stop to see what I was painting. It's lovely when people take a real interest and often they like to talk about their own experiences with painting which is nice.


Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Eyebrook in the Rain

#12 'The Eyebrook in the Rain' oil on canvas board 12x16cm
I braved the bad weather last week and headed to the Eyebrook Reservoir on the Rutland Leicestershire border.  I'd been wanting to paint the view for a while so set up on a little bridge spanning the river that flows into the north end of the reservoir. It is a beautiful view, especially with the fields of oilseed rape in full bloom.


Getting the composition down and the darkest values
The rain started before I'd even finished setting up and continued steadily throughout making it very  challenging to paint.  The oils just didn't want to stick to the canvas and I had to drain my palette several times as it was filling with water!

The painting covered in rain drops

I had to simplify the composition and use a much looser style and the wet canvas would not let me get small details down. Although I probably wont keep this one I really enjoyed overcoming the difficulties the rain presented and there are many aspects of the painting I like which are a direct result of the elements.
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Friday, 27 April 2018

High Tide, Borthwen

#11 'High Tide, Borthwen' oil on board 12x16"
Another painting that I started on my recent trip to Anglesey but finished back home in the studio.  It is larger than my other paintings and I really enjoyed this size. I'll definitely be doing more. I prepared my own board using a textured paste and an acrylic gesso primer on top.  I like the way the paint goes on this surface and much prefer it to bought canvas boards which I find a bit too rough.

At first the headland in the foreground was too bright and distracted the eye so I scraped off and re-painted.  It works much better with the more muted green helps to create the cooler Easter atmosphere.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

In the Studio

#10 'The Tide on the Turn'  oil on canvas board 10x8"
I started this one en plein air but didn't have a chance to finish it so I worked on it in the studio today. The hardest part of studio painting is keeping it fresh and not spending too long on one part, remembering to look at the whole.  I am pleased with the sea - the colour and brush strokes. I mixed more colour on my palette so I wasn't too mean with the amount of paint I applied which really helped.

In progress in the studio

Monday, 16 April 2018

Early Evening Painting, Anglesey

#9 'Early Spring, Borthwen' Oil on Canvas Board 10x8"
I had a small window of 40 minutes for this painting. Partly due to the rapidly setting sun which was giving the sky a lovely purple glow.  I wanted to concentrate on colour in order to have a reference for when I am back from Anglesey.  I might use this as the basis for a larger studio painting although it think some of the values may need adjusting slightly go give more contrast.  I was pleased with it though for the limited time I had.


Plein air painting, Anglesey

Saturday, 14 April 2018

A Mothers Day View


#8 Mothers Day Morning Oil on Canvas 5"x5"
It was a real Mothers Day treat a few weeks ago to get out in the fresh air and do this little plein air sketch.  I walked up a hill in my village where the week before we'd been sledging. Although the sun wasn't out the snow had melted and I painted the view looking over the fields towards the neighbouring village of Seaton in Rutland.

It was also the first outing for my new Open Box M plein air easel.  It was as good as I'd hoped it would be! Lightweight, versatile, a large mixing area and the smell of the newly oiled wood is beautiful.

My new Open Box M easel on top of the hill