Oil painting on mdf panel 9x4"
At last I got to paint some snow! There was hardly any snow left on the riverbank so I carried on to Marble hill park, Twickenham, where there was a light dusting of (rapidly melting) snow. I found this little snowy track leading into the trees. I was surprised to see dry leaves still attached to the saplings, which along with the green grass and violet grey in the distant trees created a colour triad. The scene reminded me of Isaac Levitan's paintings.
Isaac Levitan, Autumn Landscape 1880 (photo from Wikipedia)
About 30 minutes into the painting it started sleeting lightly. To protect the painting I tilted the easel forward a bit, and lowered the lid of my pochade box (which I was using as a palette) .
30 minutes after that the sleet really set in - I had painted the whole panel loosely so I packed up to finish at home.
This is how the painting looked at that stage (the white patch at the top is where the clip was holding the panel to the easel)
Back in the warm with a cup of tea it was a matter of trying to get the shapes and values right from memory. I was aiming to improve the composition and the accuracy of the drawing using what I know of perspective. I think accurate drawing is so important in this type of painting - it’s key to getting the sense of being really there -feeling present in the landscape. If the drawing is off it is a big distraction to me. I think the drawing is ok in this painting, but being cold and in a hurry I didn't exactly do my best. I noticed that the three foreground trees were very evenly spaced which is problematic, so I moved the furthest of the trees slightly to the right.
I hope I've managed to capture something of the mood anyway, which is the most important thing for me. And also kept the brushstrokes loose and interesting when seen close up.
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 9x6"
Having a go at painting the russet apples on the 8x6" the other day gave me the courage to try out a 9x6" panel outdoors. It is still a relatively small painting but I felt much more conspicuous and also unsure if I could pull it off. Could I cover a board this size in an hour? Had I bitten off more than I could chew with all those foreground trees? In fact I think it turned out pretty well (unless it turns out to be one of those I like at first and then gradually realise is not so great!). I think this was due in part to the weather being kind to me - the sky remained clear the whole time. I'm feeling confident to try another tomorrow if the weather allows.
To get the painting home in one piece I tried a tip using a wine cork that I found here on Marc Dalessio's blog. It worked a treat, and perhaps because I only had a ten minute walk home there was no smudging at all where the corks had been.
And after squinting into the sun for a whole hour, tomorrow I will definitely try to find a cap to wear!
oil on primed card 5x4"
Making the most of the clear weather I got down to the river Thames today and produced this plein air study. I'd forgotten how hard it is trying to pin down values in changing light conditions. I love the challenge though- got to get out and do some more soon.
I painted this from the steps near Orleans Gardens, Twickenham, looking over to the Ham side of the river.
I am a realist painter, working in oils, painting landscape and still life.
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