Original oil painting on mdf panel 8x8"
I was torn this morning between painting the daffodils again as they had opened, or heading outside to paint the heavy frost, but it was such a beautiful morning it seemed a waste to spend it painting indoors so I quickly packed up and walked down to Orleans Gardens.
Painting the frost was the hardest thing yet - squinting into that bright sunlight as it bounced of the ground was almost impossible. I found it difficult to judge the relationships between the values. Also I didn't reserve enough space for the white on my palette and it became hard to find any clean white to add the highlights. This meant I had to finish the painting off at home, but at least I remembered to put in the tree shadows at the start this time, so I've made some progress!
I feel like the value relationships could do with a bit of adjustment, perhaps the greens in the foreground could be darker? Maybe Ill experiment with some glazes once its dry. I hope for some more frosty days to come so I can do some more studies outside.
And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for snow tomorrow : )
Original oil painting on mdf panel 6x9"
A few daffodils I selected from one of those £1 bunches that appear in supermarkets this time of year. I love the buds, and the shape of the buds when they are just opening. Tomorrow I may attempt the fully opened blooms. I love the bluish green foliage and the silky papery bits that fold back as the flower opens (they must have a name?)
Daffodils - love them : )
Original oil painting on mdf panel 8x8"
First of all, let me tell you why I didn't post a painting yesterday. I did make a painting. Maybe it was the late night the night before, or maybe it was the fact that I only had one hour in which to paint, but I can honestly say that the painting was the most hideous, ugly, ill thought out and executed I have painted in many years!!
Sometimes that happens..
I took great pleasure in scraping it off the panel so that I could no longer see it, and at least rescue the panel for another painting.
I was chatting to an artist friend about it, and she told me that those paintings we hate are the best ones! I was taken aback at first, but what she meant was that we learn from our mistakes and failures make us try even harder next time.
So today, I wanted to paint something a lot better. I got a bit over ambitious in fact and decided to paint the whole bunch of tulips before they wilted. There was no way I could complete it in a couple of hours, so I had to work on it some more in the afternoon. There are a couple of things I'm not quite happy with but I wont be scraping this one. Phew!
Please excuse the fuzzy photograph, Ill upload a better one as soon as I get the chance.
Original oil painting on mdf panel 10x5" available from Newbloodart
It felt a bit spring like this morning, and I felt inspired to paint some flowers. I bought a bunch of white tulips, but just painted this one as that's all I had time for. To paint flowers you have to work incredibly quickly as they change shape much more rapidly than you'd expect. I would have preferred to spend a bit longer, but by the time I'd picked up my daughter from nursery and come home, the leaf had wilted and the flower opened further, so I decided to leave it as it is.
As I was painting I was listening to this video tutorial by Mark Carder, where he talks about learning to work quickly. He gives great advice - I highly recommend watching it.
There are some process shots below. As usual, I was working from the back to the front and from the darks to the lights, saving the highlights right until the end.
I really wanted to get yesterday's still life finished so that I could move on to something new.
I don't enjoy returning to work on a painting, I feel like the original inspiration has been lost and it becomes a bit of a slog to complete it. I sometimes feel nervous about spoiling what I've previously done so become a bit more tentative. Alternatively, I can feel tempted to adjust what was done the day before and so loose the spontaneity, practically repainting the whole thing.
So it ended up taking me just as long to finish the last two apples as it did to paint the whole of the rest of the still life! But at least I did resist the temptation to repaint the work that I did yesterday.
Once its completely dried and oiled out I'll be able to see if it needs any more work. Some areas had already partially dried and become matte so it was difficult to see exactly how the painting will work as a whole. I couldn't risk oiling it out this morning in case the paint just lifted off. Fingers crossed it will be ok.
I thought I'd also tackle the foreground in this landscape painting (which was daily painting no 21). I referred to a photo and memory to make it up, also darkening the tree trunks to increase the sense of light behind them.
So, no daily painting for today, but I'm ready to do one tomorrow.
Original oil painting on mdf board 9x7"
I wanted to see if I could bring some of the experience I've gained lately of working swiftly en plein air into painting a still life. I selected a 9x6" panel as this is what I've been working on a lot outdoors lately and set up a still life using some objects I have already painted to give myself a bit more of a chance. As usual I worked from the back of the set up to the front. You can see some progress shots in the slideshow below.
I tried really hard to work as directly as I could, aiming to lay down each stroke with the right colour and leave it without any further adjustments or strokes over the top. I didn't manage this over very much of the painting, but I did find that my concentration and decision making had improved a lot. After 1.5 hours it was time to stop as I had to pick up my youngest daughter from nursery. Very frustrating as I was so nearly done. I'll finish off tomorrow as long as the light is ok.
Original oil painting on mdf panel 9x6"
It was a bright morning so I went back down to the river Thames again, but as I walked up and down the bank I couldn't find a composition that inspired me. So far in my plein air paintings I've been working while facing towards the sun, so I decided to give myself a different challenge and work with the sun behind me, shining onto the subject. I walked into Orleans woods opposite the river bank and spotted this group of birch trees. I worked really quickly and loosely, but was still taken aback at how quickly the shadow shapes changed. I tried to complete the foreground from memory as I hadn't sketched in those shadows, but I needed to complete that section of the painting back in the studio from photo reference.
I found working with the sun behind me so much harder. There are so many more details and colours visible. Its easier to achieve colour harmony painting into the sun, as objects are more or less silhouetted and reduced to grayed out shades. If I attempt another like this I will use a toned panel to help with the colour harmony, and make sure I get in all the shadow shapes at the start.
Original oil painting on mdf panel 8x8"
This is the first day I haven't quite managed to finish my painting. Its the largest panel I've attempted yet and it seems those extra few square inches were too much to cover in the hour long session I had this morning. Or maybe I was painting a little more slowly and carefully today as I tried to get the subtle changes in tone in the distant bank and trees. Either way I'll have to decide whether to take the painting out again and try to finish it on location - which would be a new experience for me- or to make up the foreground from memory and photo reference.
I am a realist painter, working in oils, painting landscape and still life.
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