Sunday, 31 August 2014

This is the finished painting. I toned down the blue shorts and kept the whole painting pretty muted in colour and tone. I cannot say, that I am overly happy with it, but I decided to leave it at that,  and treat it as a study. If I decide to do another painting, on this subject, then this study will be my reference, at what to do and not to do. Where I had trouble, was getting the  young man's legs right. The tone of the beach was too similar to the flesh tones, hence I was having awful bother, getting his legs to stand out, and blend in, or they were too proud and rigid. The right thing to do........scrape it down and begin again. Did I? No.....not taking my own advice. It's all part of the fun, success and frustration at times. Anyway, oil on board 6x8 ins. Joe

Friday, 29 August 2014

Just started this one yesterday, I will see how it goes. The good weather is supposed to make a return here next week, in the not so sunny south east. If so, we will make the most of it and get out there painting or sketching. I try to get as many ideas in the summer and autumn, to work into paintings over the winter.  Not that the winter months do not have merits as well, but I think we all prefer the sun and light.

A couple on a beach. First stage. Rough sketch on gesso board.

At a later stage

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Carrying on from yesterday, about oil layers in a painting, I hope I did not confuse people, or make the fun of oil painting over complicated? One other reason for proper oil content in paint, is for good paint adhesion to each successive layer. It's the oil that binds the paint to the ground initially, then to each subsequent layer of the painting.

When painting alla prima, the whole painting dries as one film. So providing that the paint is not diluted too much with thinner and there is enough oil content in the paint, there will be no problems.  A famous Welsh artist I admire, Kyffin Williams, now deceased, always painted alla prima, but with a palette knife. He had to complete his paintings, no matter how large, in one session.  Everyone has a style, or way of painting that suits them, and that's what is the most important. Enjoyment and  creativity.

This little painting 4x6 ins, oil on board. Two women behind a counter discussing a topic.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My oil painting is going okay at the moment. I say okay, in that it's a struggle to change from fluid watercolours to the the heavier medium of oil painting. It's just me, I am sure. I do not get on with the mediums that are needed to dilute the paint, such as turpentine or white spirits. In the past I have avoided them as much as possible, hence, why much of my past paintings have been heavy in texture. I compromise now and use low odour mineral spirits and stand oil, when I need to dilute the oil paint.

There are all sorts of oil painting mediums that one can buy, depending on the effect required or the task, quick drying to slow drying. One rule always applies, fat over lean. More oil content in the medium or paint is required for each successive layer. Why? If a top layer dries on top of a wet under layer, the result is, the top layer will crack.......Simply because, the wet under layer is still unstable whilst wet. As it dries, it affects the top rigid dry layer detrimentally. I hope that this all makes sense. Joe

Woman sitting on a low chair on the beach. 6x8 ins oil on linen.

Monday, 25 August 2014

It's nearly September. What terrible August weather we are having here. It's so difficult to get out and about, looking for scenes or people to paint. The painting today, is from a few years back, colourful and heavy in texture. Two builders on a site discussing the job in hand  or a task. My interest here was the two men and the colours, set in  a featureless background. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Here is the finished painting that I was working on. The sheep on the right of the work in progress post, has gone. It was just not working for me. It was one of those paintings, where I had it, then I lost  it, by an addition of another paint stroke. I will just leave it at this, now. The idea for me, is to complete these little paintings in one session, so as to keep it fresh and spontaneous.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A work in progress. Oil on gesso board 6x8 ins. It's a view on the Blackstairs range, due south. I climbed this peak almost three years ago,....... Now I recall, it was exactly three years ago, Borris fair was on. That is always on the 15th  of August. Anyway, the climb was tough, but wonderful, a feeling of achievement when I got to the plateau on top. This is one of the  stunning views, but I am still not sure about the composition. I am having a bit of trouble with the sheep on the right.

Friday, 22 August 2014

My palette after a painting session. It looks very subdued.  I am lucky to have any white paint left. From  left to right, raw sienna, cadmium yellow, cadmium lemon, cadmium red light, permanent rose, thalo blue, ultramarine blue and  titanium white. This is not my normal palette, as I need to stock up on some more paint, so I am using a few tubes of other colours, in desperation, that normally just sit around.

My normal palette is, cad yellow light, cad red light, permanent rose, ultramarine blue, viridian, titanium white, and cerulean  blue at times.  I try to mix all my colours from this palette. When I need a black, I use burnt sienna added to ultramarine blue. Winsor and Newton artist quality is the brand I use the most, but other brands such as Sennelier and Talens Rembrandt, have been in my paint box at times as well.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

I have been trying to get back into oil painting, as I posted in the last few posts. No better way than to  paint the cat. This first photo is the early stages of a small oil on gesso board, one of the ones I prepared last week.

A closer view 

Finally, the finished painting of Ron, an oil study. 7x5 ins. No sign of a palette knife here, even though I was tempted a few times. I kept it fairly mute, leaving the white highlight to enhance the study.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Today I received a batch of small  business cards, that I had ordered, to promote my art and art blogspot. I need to add the Facebook link, in the next batch I get printed, I think. My daughter reminded me, about Facebook. One must not forget the old fashioned ways of advertising, as in the business card.  The paintbox logo is from a watercolour I did a few years ago, so I thought it was just right for the card.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

It sure feels like autumn here in the sunny south east, as in chilly. August has been a bit of a disappointment weather wise, so far. I was very pleased with this little painting when I completed it a few years ago. It has all the ingredients that I like, colour, texture, dappled light, cool and warm areas. It's only a small painting, 6x4 ins, oil on linen board,  but it is bright and warm. It brings warm summer days to mind.

Monday, 18 August 2014

I am spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful landscapes in this area. A focus point, no matter which direction one goes, is the Blackstairs range. This painting, is one of the very first I did of the area, even before I moved here. It must have been a sign. Anyway, it's oil on board, approx 11x18 ins. It's quite heavy in texture, as I was mostly painting using a palette knife at the time. Nowadays, I tend to use a combination of brush strokes and palette knife where necessary. In other words, I go at a painting using whatever method, to try to get the effect I want. If it does not work, then start over and try again. It's all part of the fun.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

My oil paints and brushes with palette knives, in a mess, ready to go. I guess I need to get some more oil paint and my brushes don't look too good either. I managed to start oil painting yesterday, after quite a long period of just doing watercolours. It sometimes takes me a while to adjust, so I will see how it goes. I always say to myself, "you can do both", but that does not happen, despite my intention.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

My boards are nearly ready for use, the ones that I have been preparing during the week. I have been neglecting my oil painting for some time, as watercolour as been the main focus of my attention. So I think it's time for a change up, to oil painting again for a while. The painting pictured today, oil on linen board 6x8 ins, completed about 6 months ago. Is of three farmers having tea in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. outside a cattle market. I put a lot of texture into this work, in my attempts to gain perspective, from the figure on the left, to the one on the right.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Woman with red hair, watercolour 7.25x5 ins. Just a wet on wet watercolour study. It was nice to do as a break from preparing my gesso boards.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Preparing some boards for oil painting. Make sure that the boards are grease free, and if using hardboard, only the untempered type. Next, sand the smooth side, and  clean off. Mix the gesso and apply with a clean  brush.

The  boards pictured, are boards with one coat of gesso, so far. Two more coats to go. Labour intensive or what! Doing as many boards as possible in one session, means that there will be a good supply ready to go, when inspiration calls and  that oil painting masterpiece is in your head..... I say head, as it does not always translate on to the board or canvas. Don't forget to lightly sand the boards between each coat of gesso. Finally, the sides and reverse of the board have to be coated as well, so the board is balanced and protected. Leave to dry for a few days.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A farmer and his wife with a flock of sheep and a dog. Oil on linen on board 6x8 ins. An experimental piece really, from a while ago. It's loose, in that it's almost abstract. I left it at that, as I was happy with the blues and violets and the slightly surreal effect of the piece.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Ron 2, a second study, 7x5 ins 2014. I used a bit of gouache to convey the whiskers, as it was either that or use masking fluid. As I rarely use either, only when vital, a choice had to be made, I guess. To get the fur I used paint quite thickly, after first painting in light washes to get the shape. Using ultramarine and burnt sienna gives a lovely black, and grey using raw sienna. When painting darks, you have to be careful as contrasts are vital.

Monday, 11 August 2014

A watercolour study of a cat 5x7ins. Not any old cat, but our new cat, Ron. The scene is back lit and Ron is painted with mostly ultramarine blue and  some raw sienna. I just wanted to suggest his character here and not be too fussed with detail. I am sure this will be the first of many studies of Ron.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A view of the river Barrow recently. I tried to convey the feeling of summer. The scene is backlit, with the trees in shadow and the swimming pool the highlight. My intention was to be loose and impressionistic, with the trees blocked in, almost.  I will hopefully do an oil painting of this scene at some point. After  doing the watercolour, I am aware of the composition  problems and colour values needed, and what works? Watercolour 7.5x10.5 ins 2014.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

An older couple on the beach, enjoying life. Watercolour on paper, 5.25x7.25 ins 2014. I approached this little watercolour in a direct fashion. I just wanted to indicate the shapes of the two people, who were mostly in shadow and keeping the colour values similar.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Two young ladies, trying to choose a handbag at a market stall. There were hundreds of bags to choose from, and as many colours. I decided to concentrate on the two figures, leaving the background vague. I added the dabs of  highlight, to liven up the painting, a little. Oil on linen on board 5x7 ins.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A painting of an old lady, sitting in a chair 6x4 ins, oil on board. The figure was painted mostly with a palette knife and the the background with brush strokes. The photo could be better alas. I always start out to paint in oil with brushes, intending to complete the painting with brushes only.  The temptation for me to pick up the palette knife, at times becomes too great, especially, if I want to do a bit of blending, or just put pure colour in place. That is the case here.  I just love texture in oil painting.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

I am lucky enough to have Mt. Leinster, almost in my back garden. This is one of the many views, of an area called the "Nine stones", at the foot of the mountain. There are various stories as to why it's called the nine stones, none of which I am sure are true. I have been up to the area and beyond many times over the years, so I have observed the light, the seasons, and the weather. This watercolour 7x10.75 ins, is one such occasion, just after sunset. I laid in the sky first in wet washes and let it dry. I added the landscape then, wet in wet, with darker warmer colour as I moved to the foreground.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The beautiful copper coast of Co.Waterford, oil on board 6x8 ins. Late evening one September a few years back. I made the boards myself then, just coating them with acrylic gesso, sanding and another two coats. The texture of the surface then proves very interesting, when it comes to doing a painting. The rewards of making one's own boards, are cost, wonderful surfaces that can be rough or smooth, depending on which is preferred, or even do a batch of both. There is no comparison to the commercial boards that are available in the art stores.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sheep near Mt. Leinster, oil on mdf board 12x16 ins. Completed a few years back, mostly with a palette knife and  some brush work. There was this lovely tree, just off the road, near where I live. On a walk one day, this scene of a semi sunlit landscape, the sheep, the tree and the broken fence......magic.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Two builders at work, oil on linen on board approx 8x6 ins. The men were wearing similar clothes, with the light coming in from the right. All the buckets lined up in front, full of mortar, gave the painting a further bit of interest.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Grand canal Dublin,watercolour 9.5x7 ins. Fabriano artistico paper.  I used colours here that are in addition to my usual palette. Magenta in the foreground and the tree as well, also I used cadmium yellow light, which is opaque compared to my usual winsor yellow. I needed to get the foreground soft and washy, but warm as well.  Hence the mixture of cad yellow light and magenta.  The mixture was brought from the tree down to the tow path to give unity, warmth and depth.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Walking to town. 7x11ins watercolour 2010. Colour was my objective in this painting. I just love colour, in that,  I try to see colour in things which might appear dull or mundane.  My aim was to complete the whole painting in one wash, wet in wet, so as to keep it vibrant  with few hard edges.  The result I think, achieves a certain spontaneity and atmosphere. A bit of news,  I have joined Facebook, it's never too late, I guess. So watch out for my page in future posts,when I get the hang of posting there. Joe