Monday, 12 July 2010

Latest Plein Air

This is my latest effort, painted last thursday at Dundas Acqueduct, a few miles outside Bath on the A36 Warminster road.

Saunders Waterford 16" x 12" Not - Dundas Boats and Barges

Dundas acqueduct is a popular location, part of the Kennet and Avon Canal, a favourite of barge owners and canal holidays. The area where we paint is a spur of the canal which runs to a basin close to the main road. It has a shop where you can hire boats and bicycles, an excellent cafe/restaurant, and is usually quite busy or indeed very busy.

On this particular day the waterway  was packed with end to end barges plus a few other types,  used either as houseboats or parked up. On certain weekends you can take canal trips and some are also available for wedding parties and celebrations of all sorts. A very lively place although it was quiet when I started and only the odd person stopped and tried to engage me in conversation, something that Judi Whitton (and others) say you have to `nip in the bud'. It is difficult as one doesn't want to seem rude, but concentration can be affected if onlookers are too persistent.

I started painting at around 10am and finished at noon. This was my usual attempt at painting with a first time finish, using paint straight from the paintbox (a mix of full and half pans) without overmuch mixing or messing about. Obviously some overpainting takes place but I try to keep it to a minimum. My (attempted) methods are based on those used by Charles Reid and Judi Whitton. I used several different blues and yellows for the greens. The large tree in the background had leaves that are very grey/green and I used Primary Blue - Cyan (PB15-3 green shade- Maimeri) mixed with Cadmium Orange (PO20 Maimeri) to create this greyish effect. If you play around with these two colours you can create some wonderful greys but take care which Cad Orange you use. The Windsor and Newton version is a mixture of Cadmium red and yellow, while Rowney do use PO20, the correct pigment, but add a yellow to it. Unless you use pure Cadmium Orange you will get a different colour.

I looked at the painting the following day in my `studio' and made some small colour additions. Otherwise I am quite pleased with it. I have done several others at this location, not all from the same viewpoint.  

2 comments:

Mick Carney said...

What an interesting venue, but presenting drawing challenges that you have met well. I enjoyed your comments about pigments, a subject that I haven't given the same degree of attention that you have and I should. Colour mixing in both watercolour and oil is a real problem for me. Never mind back to your picture, I don't get a sense of the water at the other side of the main boat. Otherwise I enjoy your use of colour, including that lovely reddish hue in the trees.

Peter Ward said...

The area of water visible Mick was very small and the reflections from the boats virtually blanked it out. Not much in the way of ripples so rather than get in a mess I decided to make it very low key. My main attention was the boat and everything else is a supporting act. I follow the CR dictum that mistakes are part of it, particularly when painting outside. The actual painting looks better (I think anyway!) than the reproduction but then I always say that.