I am just back from a holiday in Shetland visiting family. This is my first time visiting the Island. What a beautiful place teaming with wildlife. The sketch above was done in situ at the top of a sand dune (see photo below). I am eager to get down to producing some paintings from my outdoor studies.
I like to switch to working in different medium’s. This keeps me on my toe’s and reminds me of the pros and cons of the materials I am using. I did this painting using watercolour paper prepared with a thick coating of gesso. I approached the painting by applying a wash of warm colour and lifting out the lights with a damp paper towel. I liked the texture the gesso gave to the paper.
I am a great admirer of the american artist Richard Schmid. He has a way of making his work look so fresh and not laboured. I did this oil sketch of one of his paintings called “Chicken”. The reason I spent time doing this is to learn more about the way he painted it and the colours used to portray the subject. He really makes use of his colours to unify the work and pull everything together. I would love to go to one of his workshop’s and learn more.
I loved this quote by American artist Charles Hawthorne – ”A sketch has a charm because of its truth-not because it is unfinished”
I did this study above of Charles Hawthorne painting “Untitled” to learn more about how he painted this study. I always try to start my day with a study as a warm up exercise. This gets me motivated for the next painting!
At the weekend Andrew and I went to Inverary for a short break. We stayed in a lovely guest house called Newton Hall. It was a real treat to stay here, the owner made us feel really welcome. The views over Loch Fyne were spectacular. The photo above shows the view. I did a quick study using watercolour and neocolour crayons as the sun was setting. Then we went to the George Hotel for a wonderful meal.
When I got up I used my tombow pens for this monotone study of the misty morning light before we both headed for a full Scottish breakfast. The two birds flew past just at the right moment for me to consider them in the composition, very convenient of them.
This morning I did a small study with dabs of oil using my palette knife. I was doing my morning exercises and enjoying the view. However I abandoned the stretches to reach for my paints in my studio. I loved the beautiful colours in the early morning light. The light effect was fleeting so to get it done quickly was essential.
Tegan my niece in Canada inspired this beach study. I enjoyed doing this monotone painting and adjusting tones accordingly to give the feeling and impression I was after.
This morning we have had a fresh fall of snow. Weather bright and snow still pristine I took myself outside to sketch. I didn’t even get through the gate before finding an interesting scene before my eye’s. I have sketched this with my Tombow art pen’s because they are nice and fast to use. I took pencil notes of observations on the opposite page. I did this in about 20mins and my feet felt like blocks of ice! However I was not far from home and a nice rewarding coffee.
Recently I did a demonstration at Stirling Art Club. This was the pastel painting I did during the evening. I had prepared a sketch on mid to dark green Canson paper along with some tonal sketches and colour studies. This enabled me to explain how I would approach the painting.
Every so often I explore the use of my iPad apps for sketching. Xena my cat was resting on my knee as I was viewing my iPad. I was inspired to open up one of the art apps in this case SketchBook PRO and do this simple sketch. I just used my finger as the drawing tool!