Oil painting on panel 5x7"
I've got an ill child again unfortunately - just a virus, poor little thing, but she's been ill for a few days now so I'm back to trying to paint and write late into the evening.
I made this little study last night, the objects have crept round to the other side of the shadow box where the light is a little different again. I like the strong diagonal shadows on the objects, but am not happy about how close they are to the drapes at the back. I was thinking of painting the backgound entirely black but I think ill leave it as it is and try something different next time.
I painted this pretty quickly, and only with sable brushes just so that I could try out the composition. Ill be doing a few more quick studies like this as I'm planning on trying some larger still life pieces.
Not going to attempt to paint tonight as I finished this one so late night last and got woken up a few times as well. I feel a bit odd not painting on the days I can't paint, like something really important is missing.
So far I've managed 43 out of 64 days which isn't bad considering how little time I get. Its definitely improved my painting a lot.
Oil painting on panel 10x10"
I started this painting late on Saturday night, but by 1.30 am I decided I had to go to bed - its a shame because now I won't be able to complete the painting alla prima (in one session) as I'd hoped. The jug still needs some work and I'll have to let it dry before working on it again. I'm happy with the daffodils though so I can leave them as they are thankfully. The slide show below shows some progress shots up to where I left off last night.
Oil painting on panel 8x10"
After all the dark paintings recently I felt like trying some flowers against a white background. The weather returned to grey wintry light which gave nice soft shadows. It was great to be able to use these rich magentas and purples - not colours I often get to use. The cyclamen were obligingly easy to paint but the glass I'm not happy with, so this will have to stay another morning on my easel ( so much for completing this as a daily painting as I initially hoped!)
Oil painting on panel 5x7"
I wanted to make the most of the last day of sunny weather by getting outdoors, and I'm glad I did as the light by the river was incredible. Signs of spring such as catkins on the trees are transforming the view. The last time I painted here it was frosty - this morning there was a lot of dew which gave a similar effect.
I’m not sure if it’s the increasing strength of the sunlight, or that I’m beginning to see a little differently with practice, but there seems to be a lot more blue in the shadows at the moment. It’s most noticeable when looking back at the scene after looking away for a little while. After half a second looking at the view the colours appear much greyer as my eyes adjust. But it seems to me that getting some of this initial impression of colour into the painting is important in establishing the light effect. I think I could have pushed the chroma of the blue in the distance up a little higher than I did to enhance this. It’s something I’ll play around with in future.
Oil painting on panel 16x11"
Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last couple of mornings. Its on a much larger panel than I usually use (16x11”) and its a bit experimental- placing the brightly lit primroses really close to the edge of the panel with the rest of the panel filled with the darkness behind. I wanted to see how far I could push the primroses to the edge of the composition and still get the picture to work. The photo has lost some of the detail in the darks and lights, but in the painting it seems that the diagonal line of the cast shadow balances the primroses. I think the effect is quite dramatic, highlighting both the fragility of the flowers and the brightness of their petals in the light. I’m going to try out some more flowers on larger panels like this.
I managed to make four paintings over the half term holidays - I had to stay up late to do them, and because my kids happened to be not sleeping too well I found I just couldn't keep going for the whole week! Also I didn't get time to update my blog, just facebook and instagram.
6x4" oil painting on panel 'Blue Jug with Clementine' (available from Newbloodart)
I'm still trying out the possibilities that I can create with my shadow box. I like the incredible amount of shine this set up created, and the diagonal shadow in the background. It was good to work with a light coloured background for a change after all the dark paintings I've been working on.
3x3" oil painting on primed card 'Lemon Slice' available from Etsy
4x3" oil painting on primed card 'Green Marble' (available from Etsy)
Above is the set up for my final painting of the week. There is something very theatrical about the overhead lighting in my shadow box, combined with the black fabric. The jar of heartsease reminds me of a dancer waiting in the wings.
The intensity of the light really makes the petals glow, and I like the way it picks out the leaves within the jar.
6x4" oil on panel 'Heartsease'
Oil painting on panel 5x7"
Another bright frosty morning had me setting up my easel by the banks of the river Thames again. This group of trees is becoming a recurring motif in my paintings. You can find it in Orleans Gardens, looking over towards the Ham side of the river.
There was a lot of haze in the air which really increased the atmospheric perspective. Its only a couple of weeks since the last frosty painting but the light seems very different already as the sun is now higher and the light stronger.
Maybe because of the smaller panel size, I didn't feel in such a rush this morning. I remembered to step back and consider the overall effect a lot more. I've been thinking about how to create colour harmony and researching this in Edgar Payne's book, Composition of Outdoor painting. I used a lot of blue and yellow today, it seems to tie the piece together quite well.
Oil painting on panel 8x8"
It was tricky to rearrange the daffodils exactly as they were the day before, I resorted to wiring one of the stems with a pipe cleaner from my daughter’s craft box (must get some florist’s wire).
Although I’m painting flowers, I have to stop myself from getting into too much botanical detail because it’s my visual impression that I’m trying to record. I have to remind myself to get back from the painting, to not try to make the painting look like daffodils but just to judge shapes and values and try to get everything in the right place. I’m always asking myself how much I really need to say about each section, and what degree of resolution am I aiming for?
I paint first with filbert hog bristle brushes, I also use a few size 4 kolinsky sables for details or layering up strokes. I often go back over with the hog bristles at the end - simplifying the values as much as I can, eliminating detail from both the lights and shadows.
Oil painting on panel 8x8"
One of the positives to come out of my daily painting practice has been trying out new subjects. I've really got into painting flowers, and have decided to make a series of flower paintings. I think most of these are going to take me two sessions rather than one (remember I only have a couple of hours per day to create my daily painting - not a whole day) so while I'm doing these I will be posting every other day.
I'll still do other smaller daily paintings on the days I'm not working on this series.
These primroses were really hard to paint! The petals are almost flat and as a result had the very subtlest changes in value across them. The folds in the petals were quite crisp and deep, hard to suggest without overdoing and creating very hard edges. I think I spent a large amount of time making adjustments to those creases and getting very frustrated with the results. Its one of those paintings I like better now I can't see it compared to the subject!
It seems to work ok as a painting but really I didn't feel that I'd done the primroses justice at all at the time.
I've included some process shots below. I started with the pot and foliage but could equally have started with the flowers, in fact I think that would probably have made more sense as the flowers are likely to change much more. I'm starting with the flowers in my latest painting of some daffodils and will do a blog post about it tomorrow.
I hope the process photos are interesting, and maybe even useful if you are learning to paint. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, I'd be glad to help.
Oil painting on primed card 6x4”
The shiny red skin of this apple makes it an irresistible subject to paint - however high chroma objects like this are quite difficult to render. It’s impossible to match the chroma in the lighter values, so I add in a little cadmium yellow medium which takes the hue around towards orange but keeps the chroma quite high. The values in the mid tones and lights are pretty compressed as well. I’d love to hear from other artists how they get around the high value, high chroma problem in their paintings.
I am a realist painter, working in oils, painting landscape and still life.