Before I get started on large paintings I like to do some warm up exercises. I find just like an athlete needs to do stretches and practice so does the artist. To start to do a large painting without preperation can be daunting. A warm-up for an artist could be a series of sketches or tonal studies. In addition colour studies offer a great opportunity to experiment with different colour choices. I find this time spent in resolving problems is very worthwhile and gives me the momentum to proceed with the larger work. I was tidying my studio this week and found these two studies that progressed to larger paintings.
“Waves At Sunset” small study 7cm wide
Final painting “Waves At Sunset” is very large, approx. 1m wide.
“Waves At Lendalfoot” Study Acrylic ink and pastel 15cm wide
“Waves At Lendalfoot” Larger final painting Acrylic and Pastel
Last week I set off to do some outdoor painting in Elie. The weather was very cold but the light was amazing and colours glorious. The sketch below was looking towards the harbour in Elie. The box of pastels in the photo are Unison landscape collection, a favourite of mine. I even brought home some sea grass unintentionally. The art pad has pastel neutral coloured paper ideal for outdoor studies.
This second sketch is looking straight out to sea. The water looked so inviting even on a crisp January day. As it was so cold it forced me to edit the scene before me so as I could capture the essence as quick as possible.
I have a group of 5 female pheasants visiting the garden. The deal is that they eat and I can draw and paint them. Today there were 7, two male pheasants had joined them. The males are strikingly beautiful however the females have a subtle purple sheen to their feathers. I love to see them in the garden and miss them when they don’t turn up for a day or two.
I was inspired to do a painting of two mute swans after watching them walking precarlously on a local iced over pond. The day after making my Christmas card I was driving into St Andrews and was delighted to see two mute swans flying alongside the car at the same speed as I was driving. They were so close I was captivated. I needed to remember I was driving and keep my eyes on the road.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2019.
J & G Innes in St. Andrews have their Winter Exhibition running from now and into the new year. I have several paintings being shown and one of the paintings (Harbour Reflections, St. Andrews) was selected for their advertising in the December/January 2018-19 issue of Art Mag.
I will be participating in the Winter Exhibition at Eduardo Alessandro Studios. They have a gallery page showing the paintings that I am exhibiting.
It opens on 10th November 2018 and runs until February 2019.
I took the opportunity to get outside and do some outdoor sketching. The weather recently was very favourable, sunny and not too windy. I set up my paints on a picnic bench and spent some time immersed in the scene enjoying the atmosphere.
September holiday in Canada
I was inspired to do a sketch of a Canadian Goose at the start of a walk around Fairy Lake. My sketchbook is a nice compact square pad which I have always gravitated towards. At school it was my favourite shape to doodle in. I had with me my travel watercolour paints and box of neocolor II crayons which are water-soluble. I like them as they can give texture to the painting without being too messy to work with.
The Pittenweem Arts Festival 2018 starts on Saturday 4th August and runs until Sunday 12th August. My web site has a page showing some of the paintings I will be exhibiting. See my Pittenweem Arts Festival 2018 page.
This Anemone plant was a present form a friend. I took it outside to do a painting in the sunlight. I acquired a photo slide projector stand with a plan to use it for still life compositions. It came from a charity shop and was put it to use the same day! I have found it has become very useful when working in the studio. It folds flat for storage which is brilliant.