Wednesday, 23 August 2017

On the Move

Oil on Board, 14 x 20 inches

It's that time of year again, when the entries for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) close on Friday, and I've wondered whether to enter, not having the greatest success with getting work accepted...but, being naturally competitive, I painted this specifically for it as a submission, so we'll see what happens!

I painted this using a composite of three photos I took down at Eyebrook Reservoir in Rutland. The cloudy sky with the sun piercing through in places provided a powerful back drop for the scene, and this was painted in with a minimum of fuss and brushwork, drybrushing the rays when dry. The cattle strolling along the bank gave a nice lead-in to the picture, taking the eye on a gentle journey through the composition. The loan bullock on the right by the tree provided a bit of a side-show for the eye to rest awhile before moving on through the painting. The blinding light on the water between the cattle on the left was a natural focal point for the eye to circle back to, too. 

We'll see whether the hanging committee see any of that and find it of merit. Having served on the committee for the RSMA this year, I know it's a split second decision to say yes or no, and it's not an easy job, and I respect the judges' decision either way.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Summer Breeze

Oil on Board, 10 x 14 inches

This one is another demo piece, painted for the lovely folk of the Horncastle Art Group. It's a view from the old bridge over the River Nene at Milton Ferry. 

Painting trees and water are my stock-in-trade, and painting still water is relatively simple - you're just painting reflections, but when the water is ruffled by a breeze, the technical aspect is that bit more troublesome. Using fast-drying Alkyd oil paint, I placed in the reflections of the right-hand bank and suggestions of the trees, then blocked in the sky reflections and left it to dry for half-an-hour or so, then loaded a flat brush with the sky colours again, and dragged it across the sticky underlayer, making use of the texture of the board from my random application of gesso. Hopefully, the effect is an approximation of the wind-ruffled surface.

Below is how far I got with the demo in the allotted two hours, before working over the painting again back in the studio, refining where needed. I added an angler partially hidden in the bankside vegetation, just for some added interest.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Cuillins, Isle of Skye

Oil on Board, 6 x 8 inches

This is the last painting for the RSMA exhibition, and will go onto the 'small pictures wall', a feature the Society has experimented with for the last couple of years, which seems popular - lots of small paintings displayed together next to the cafe.

I was hoping to produce one more painting for the show...a watercolour, but two efforts ended up on the cutting room floor, just not up to standard. I'm very ring-rusty when it comes to watercolour - that most difficult of mediums...just need more practise after several years not using the fluid medium, but determined to produce something worthy of exhibiting soon!

This little oil I painted en plein air last May on the Isle of Skye, finishing it off in the studio with the aide memoire of a couple of photos for the details of the boats. The distant Cuillins appeared very blue/mauve, still flecked with snow even in the 26 degree heat.