I headed to an old favourite plein air painting location- the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park for a long overdue evening painting session. I was aiming to paint the colours of the sky as the sun set, with the dimly lit park in the foreground. I had to be careful to keep the tones of the foreground path and vegetation dark enough that the sky would read as bright and light emitting. I really enjoyed playing with the hues of the bushes and trees and like the mysterious feel to this painting.
It has been a while since I have had a good opportunity to paint so was looking forward to this session. I find even when I am not painting I am often looking at scenes and imagining how I would go about painting them. In this picture I used the drawing of the scene in front of me but played with the colour and tone to try to create an attractive image. I am interested in the process of finding colours and tones that work as an equivalent to those in the scene. For instance what approximates as the ‘blue’ of the sky is actually a combination of low chroma purple and green with some of the warmer ochre underpainting showing through. It makes me wonder why the eye and brain accepts this as a substitute for blue. I also experimented by not using burnt umber or sienna in order to make my colours feel cleaner. I relented right at the end and added some burnt umber to the trees.
Hadn’t got round to posting my effort from this summer’s Pintar Rapido plein air competition held in Chelsea. The artists had a day to paint any scene in London and all the paintings were exhibited the following day. I knew the forecast was for a sunny morning followed by a rainy afternoon and decided that I didn’t want to start a sunny painting that would have to be abandoned when the rains came. So instead I spent the morning scouting for a good rainy day location. Found a sheltered spot under a tree near the Victoria and Albert museum and anticipated that I could paint reflections in the pavement. The rain started to fall right on cue as I started to paint and the sheltered position worked well. The exhibition was interesting and varied as always and I enjoyed the energetic motivational speech given by fellow painter Adebanji Alade
It was quite a windy day and the clouds were transforming fast as showers blew in from the west. I was at the top of Leith Hill and working fast to portray the scene in front of me. I tend to focus on trying to produce an interesting composition when dealing with rapidly changing clouds. The end result is largely invented using other clouds as reference. Here I was concerned with creating an implied circular composition with the more brightly lit clouds in the centre.
I am delighted that 2 of my paintings have been selected for this years Royal Society of Marine Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. This painting, ‘Polperro Harbour’ and another ‘Sunny Cliff’, will be on display alongside the best in contemporary marine art. The show runs from 5th – 14th October 2017.
An afternoon plein air painting from the path next to our local beach. I was attracted to paint this scene by the division between shadow and sunlight. The light changed quickly – which is something that you gradually get used to in plein air painting. You can either try and anticipate how the light will be towards the end of your painting session and plan it out based on this (known as painting into the effect), which can work if you are familiar with how the scene will look at a certain time. The other option is to paint out of the effect by making colour notes based on how the scene looks at the beginning and then work partly from memory to complete it. In this painting I painted out of the effect. By the end of the painting session the scene was pretty much completely in shadow.
Looking down at the local bay from above. Felt very fortunate to have the chance to paint this lovely scene. In Greece I find I need to use cerulean blue a lot more than back home. It is perfect for mixing those greeny blues of the sea. Apart from that I keep the same palette as when working in England. I also always use a quick drying Alkyd titanium white which helps ensure everything is dry in time to transport the paintings home.
Had a great opportunity to do some plein air painting in Greece whilst on holiday so will post a few of my efforts in the coming days. I didn’t have to travel far from our local bay to find scenes to paint. This was painted from a path overlooking the bay.
This group of tall pines were beautifully backlit and attracted me to paint this view in Coldharbour Common in the Surrey Hills. The countryside is so spectacular at the moment with a lot of the wild flowers in bloom and everything in leaf. This was a walk that I used to go on a lot so was great to rediscover it.
Have been meaning to paint the view down this lane, which is very close to where I live, for some time. It was a beautiful sunny evening and I took the chance to take my plein air painting kit out on my walk. I sketched the scene fairly rapidly as the light was changing quickly. I am happy with the loose handling of the paint in this image. I like paintings which look like they are made from paint! I am interested in this view as a motif and might do another from the same spot.