Thursday, 31 March 2011


I've been playing around with watercolour landscapes recently but thought it high time I returned to the oils for a little while!

The last couple of days I've been working on these two little 7x5 inch oils, one is a commission and the other for my amusement only. I've based them on a couple of photos I took on a days watercolour painting workshop at Wastwater last February.
I hope you can get a feel of the weather that day from the paintings, It's hard to believe that they were both taken on the same day! The day started with a blizzard then cleared to reveal glorious views of Wastwater before starting to snow again late afternoon, I've never painted watercolours in the snow before, it certainly gave a whole new meaning to the term wet on wet!

For those of you who don't know Wastwater it is on the Western side of the English Lake District and has the most jaw-dropping views of Haystacks, Great Gable and as shown here, the Wasdale screes.

Wastwater is also the deepest lake in the Lake District so if you see it on a wintery day such as the day I was there it looks almost navy blue it is so deep.
The second little oil below depicts the same scree but a little later when the sun came out. It is still not quite finished in the foreground, I worked on this last night and just didn't get my values right, the light maybe and not concentrating?, however I've wiped out the wrong values and will re-paint the foreground.... why I love oils!

Little Sophie on the day doing a spot of sunbathing before the snow returned!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

'Wolf oil sketches'

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to continue with my little, 7x5, wolf oil sketches, well, here they are! They are by no means finished but they have moved on a stage from last time so hopefully it will give you some idea of the stages involved to produce them.

I am still trying to keep the 'looseness' of my brushstrokes and am not above wiping away sections if I think they are looking a little stiff, actually sometimes I achieve more in a couple of seconds of wiping away than in the previous hour of work!
I will have to wait a while for them to dry before adding to them however I have plenty of other paintings to get on with. I suppose that is one of the joys of oil painting in that you are forced to wait for them drying, this not only affords the joy of working on a few paintings at once to keep any boredom at bay but allows a fresh eye to appraise the work on returning for completion, boy, the things you didn't spot first time round!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Watercolour challenge!

Well, it's getting around to the time of the year for me to get out and about and produce some landscape 'en plein air' paintings so I thought I should get a little bit of practice in!

I am trying to stop myself from 'fiddling' around too much with detail on my landscape paintings, especially those painted outdoors, as it can make the work look overworked but more importantly it also takes time, a commodity not afforded in rapidly changing light. With this in mind, I set myself a little watercolour challenge of producing small (credit card size) watercolour studies but did keep my reasonably sized brushes for working with. 
I think I had varying degrees of success trying to suggest some areas with a sweep of the brush and others affording a little more attention. I can't wait to carry the technique forward to slightly larger sized paintings produced outdoors, better get the woolies ready to hit the Lake District!

I also thought I would give a plug for the brush company I use as I think they produce excellent quality brushes at a very good price. The brushes I used on the little watercolour samples are shown below and are by Rosemary & Co whom I order from on the internet, they are extremely prompt with delivery, usually next day, so I can't recommend them highly enough!

The watercolour brushes shown above are a sable blend round and rigger, a red sable small and a squirrel hair mop. I also use this company for my oil brushes and like the Shiraz range of filberts and rounds which I will be using this afternoon to work on my wolves.

Anyway, off to do more painting, will post next time on my oil wolves and my outdoor adventures in the Lake District painting a few permitting!!