Plums, Hellebores and Muscari 8" x 8" oil
This is about the last of the Hellebores and Muscari so I thought I'd better get another one in quickly. I must remember to start painting them earlier next year. They are so delightful to paint in fact I think I will plan ahead and plant more.
As part of Norfolk Open Studios this year I am running a one day Plein Air workshop at Morston Quay.
Friday 9 June, 10am - 4pm
10am: Start in the hall, with
coffee and oil demonstration,
11am - 3pm: Paint on the Quay,
3pm: back to the hall for a critique of the day's work.
This workshop is suitable for Watercolour, Acrylics and Oil
tuition given throughout the day
Venue: Morston Village Hall & Quay
The hall is available throughout the day for tea, coffee and conveniences. Also in case of bad weather.
Contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Helebores and Lime 8" x 8" oil on canvas card
Helebores are amongst my favorite flowers and I have been meaning to paint these beauties for ages.
I missed the white ones again this year, must make more of an effort in future.
I also love painting (and eating) figs so snuck one in for fun.
Blue Bowl & Fruit 8" x 8" oil on canvas card
Another painting that I started at the Norfolk Creative Arts. I didn't get as far as putting a pattern on the bowl so found a bowl a similar size in the studio, set up to create the same light effect and finished it off. I have to say that the pattern has made all the difference as you can see from the original below.
Unfinished - Fruit and bowl
Fruit in Blue bowl - 8" x 8" oil on canvas board
Last Friday my lovely painting pal Penny German came to stay over en route to her painting workshop in Norfolk. The plan was to get a bit of painting in but I just happened to mention that we have a very good retail outlet nearby - need I say more??? We did talk a lot of arty stuff later over a few glasses of wine, which was great.
I asked if she minded me joining in on the workshop which was on still life painting - no problem , so I packed my gear and we set off in convoy the next morning.
The Norfolk Creative Art centre is very well appointed. Hans had provided easels, lights, paints and brushes . the building is an old school so the room is spacious and very light. We were welcomed with a delicious fresh coffee while Penny set up the still lifes.
Once the group had arrived Penny demonstrated the technique of grisaille - a method of painting in grey monochrome. very useful for sorting out your tones in a still life. I enjoyed working this way and couldn't wait to start putting the colour on.
Lunch was a delicious home prepared meal provided by Hans followed by pudding and all dished up in the spacious dining room/gallery.
The whole group really enjoyed the day and everyone including a complete beginner produced some great work under the guidance of Penny.
Norfolk Creative Arts
River at Dedham Painted using the Zorn pallet
Pallet Demo painting
The Zorn palette is named after
internationally successful artist Anders Zorn
(1860 – 1920). He is well known for using a palette of only four colours
There has been a lot of debate as to which
Black Zorn used but it is believed to be Ivory Black, which is the colour I
used for the painting ‘Zorn Palette demo’. Ivory Black works well as a blue but
possibly even better is Winsor & Newton’s Blue Black. Blue Black is a
colour I recently discovered and use a lot in my sky paintings now.
It is possible that the red may have been
Vermillion; you could try this as an alternative. The white I used was Titanium
white but back in Anders Zorn’s time it is more than likely to have been Lead
It might at first strike you as an odd
selection but the main three colours are just the earthy equivalents of the
three primary colours Black being the blue.
I was working from a photograph that I took in Dedham last year. Having drawn the sketch I decided that it would be a better composition if it were cropped to a square.
First sketch in the main lines with black
and red diluted with turps.
Mix the dark cloud colour starting with white and
adding black until you have the tone you want. Make sure you mix plenty and
then split it, add a little red to one part and then a touch of yellow to
another and some with both. This will give a variety of hues within the cloud.
For the blue-sky area, start with white and
add a little black. It may not look blue on your pallet but on the canvas next
to the other colours it will, you may even want to add some yellow to take the
colour down a bit.
Make sure your brush is clean when you mix
the light colour near the horizon with white, yellow and a touch of red. The
colour here needs to be fresh.
The distant trees are a mix of white, black
and yellow; they need to be dark enough to register against the sky but not too
dark that they jump forward. In front of these the distant fields are white
with a small amount of yellow.
It is very important to make sure there is
no trace of white in your brush when you mix the colour for the dark trees.
Even a trace left in the brush will make your colour ‘milky’. Painting in the
reflections at the same time. The water should reflect the sky colours; paint
this around your reflections. The meadow area is yellow with varying amounts of
black and, in some places, red added.
Sunset Over Moulton 14" x 18" oil painting on board
Last night I headed over Peterborough way to Castor art group. I have been a couple of times in the past so there were a lot of familiar faces to greet me. They are a great group to demonstrate to as there is lots of feedback, questions and - the obligatory banter.
I decided to replicate a painting I did during my 30 days of painting in January. The original of this was 10" x 10" so 14 x 18 was a bit of a challenge, for a start the proportions had changed completely.
Even for an experienced painter it can be a bit nerve racking painting such a big picture in front of a crowd - you just never know if it will work. Of course there are probably demonstrators that paint the same thing all the time but to be honest - I couldn't do that. In my mind all freshness would be lost and it would be boring.
As luck would happen - this one worked, I was quite pleased with the reaction when I popped the painting in the frame at the end.
30 Paintings in 30 Days
Well in spite of a few set backs in my health and care for my Father - I did it!!
These paintings plus another 200+ paintings and illustrations will be published in my forthcoming book Paintings Skies in Oils published by Crowood Press later on this year.
I will let you know more details when I have them.
Thank you to those that have followed and commented throughout this month. Your encouragement and support means a lot.
Thank you to Leslie Saeta for throwing out the challenge again. Over
1000 artists took part and you can see all their paintings at https://www.saetastudio.com/30-in-30-blog
Back to the computer now, I still have more to write for the book.
Sunset at West Beckham 14" x 18" oil on canvas
My final painting for the 30 in 30 challenge. I think I have learned a lot about colour mixing for skies which is as well because - I have been asked by Crowood Press to write a book on painting skies in oils. I wasn't sure at first but having spoken to a few artists that have been published I decided to go for it.
Most of the last 30 paintings will be featured in the book along with step by step demonstrations. In all there will be over 200 illustrations and I am delighted to say that some of my favourite artists have contributed to book and I will be featuring work by Roos Shuring, David Simons, Mary Gilkerson, Mari French, Louise Balaam, Peter Barker, Brian Ryder and John Stillman.
I still have a few thousand words to write but I am getting there and hope to send the draft off to the publishers next month.
No doubt I will let you know when it goes to print
Ludham Sunset 8" x 10" oil on cotton covered card
This was painted from a photograph taken by my friend Kate in Norfolk. It is another example of a graduated sky. The colour changes were so subtle yet there was so much colour in the sky. You could hardly tell where the colour changes occurred. Unfortunately I decided to put in the tree thinking it would give more depth but I ended up loosing one of the best parts of the painting.