Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Red Campion

Red Campion
Oil on wooden panel
30 cm x 24 cm or 9.5 inches x 11.75 inches.

The same little lane, red campion shining out amongst the cow parsley and wild angelica.  The sweet smell of late spring hedgerows, especially after a little rain, is so powerful at the moment.  It has been such a long winter that all of a sudden everything is clammering to grow tallest and fastest, it is a spring explosion, fireworks in the hedges.

I thought you might be interested to see how the paintings are developed.
First of all is a little sketch done on location, in a small moleskine watercolour sketchbook, using a tiny watercolour set and a water pen and sometimes a little pen as well.
These sketches are really quick, not finished at all just a visual reminder of a place, colours and shapes.

I will take a few photos as reminders of things like leaf shapes, or how something fits together.  Photos are great to look at calmly, after the excitement of seeing the place of painting, you can go home and really check out the little details, blur your eyes, or make the photo go out of focus and look for shapes and patterns.

I have changed the way I am working for oil paintings,  I was working onto a black ground, blocking in the light and working out from the black.  These leafy lanes, woods and trees have so much texture and direction that I decided to go the other way.  So onto white gesso I paint the whole thing, or rather do a painted drawing, looking to build up tones and depth of field.  Once that is dry I begin to build up the layers of colour in semi transparent glazes.
Finally plopping in some thicker paint, right at the end to make the statements.

I think these leafy lane paintings are going to the gallery for their summer show, well they will if they like them!


cathyswatercolors said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your painting process.

Sue said...

Faaaaab! It has a juicy depth.....

Yellow said...

You'll have to paint in a little figure of me, because I feel like I've been there. It's just georgous.

vivien said...

I absolutely love this and the last one - you've totally caught the light and flower filled narrowness of the Cornish lanes :>)

and yes - juicy as Sue says

freebird said...

That's very interesting. I wouldn't have thought to work on black canvas. It's a beautiful picture. So much depth and springlike.

Cathy said...

Wow, this is stunning!!!! I love this lane! It's so lush, and quiet and mysterious as well as familiar somehow... I love it!

Thanks for sharing the process! It's always very interesting to know how other people proceed!

Merisi said...

Your sharing the painting process with us has fascinated me from the very first session I followed you, back when you still lived in Brittany. It is still as fascinating as ever, thank you!

A few days ago, on a rainy morning, I tried to capture the leafy spring green with my camera. There are times when I wished I could go back and get a second chance, to capture what I saw differently, alas, with a camera there hardly ever is a second chance.