This painting is a demonstration which I did last week at Cupar Art Club. I arrived with a prepared underpainting in watercolour. I talked through why I had prepared a watercolour underpainting in complementary colours. I then proceeded to apply the local colour of the scene leaving some of the underpainting to show through. This had the effect of making the colours sing and can lead to a more realistic looking painting. Multiple colours working together can give a greater sense of reality. Degas was aware of these techniques and experimented with a variety of undertones and underpainting techniques to get the effect he was after. It was useful to have my home made colour wheel at hand as shown above.
The first image shows how I started this painting. I blocked in a selection of complementary colours onto Pastelmat card which can take watermedia. Next I sprayed some pastel liquefier to soften and fix the colours to the card. Such a fun way to approach a new painting. I then did some light drawing with charcoal.The top layer of pastel was then applied in colours true to the scene.
Recent cycling trips through the woods at Morton Lochs have inspired this painting. Pastels are a good medium for capturing the luminous light through the trees.
Last year we had great weather, this year it was fantastic. The festival was very busy with people enjoying the beach as well as the artwork.
Every artist gets a blue board with their venue number and I add a painted driftwood sign because my venue is split between the wash house and the shore path (under gazebos).
This year the town was decorated with bicycles for Pittenweem In Bloom. At my venue we had a green bike and it was themed after Mary’s amazing garden.
There was some time to relax and inspired by Vivian Maier I took a self portrant.
I have not long finished this painting it is now at the framers. When we were leaving Shetland and on our way to the airport this dramatic sky caught my eye. The image stayed with me and I just had to paint it.
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.
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.
When I visited Barra I found all the beaches had a different feeling. This one had a calming experience on me. I sat and sketched the scene undisturbed and soaked up the atmosphere. The sketch evokes the memory of the location really well. This painting was done with reference to my sketch.
I have just finished and delivered this commission. It is fun to paint on the Slate. Each slate is intrinsically different which gives a lot of originality to the finished work. I am in need of restocking my supply of slate for future paintings!