Saturday, 11 August 2012

More Plein Air

With the weather somewhat better I was able to do some outdoor painting this week. This was at the Thursday morning session of my Avon Valley Artists group. Although the weather was good, of the nine members present I was the only one to opt for painting outside. I was situated just outside the hall - literally feet away - and attempted a subject I've tried before, never very successfully. One of the reasons was that due to later in the day grand parenting duties I didn't want to travel too far. Yvonne Harry, who is second from left has her annual weeks solo exhibition at Wells, starting on Saturday in the Chapter room at the Cathedral. I shall be there next Monday with the wife and grandaughter, another budding artist.

I had no intention of attempting the whole scenario and opted to concentrate on part of the cottage and the tree on the right. The wall at front was to be left well alone!  

I initially made a fairly loose and uncomplicated drawing then began to paint, first splashing water onto the paper. My object was to paint with freedom and avoid any `tightness' by trying to be too close to the actual scene. This is risky. Initially I painted the tree using plenty of water and pigment letting the wet areas blend and using a couple of riggers to draw in the branches. Green used were mainly Sap Green (Daniel Smith (PO49/PG7)) and Hookers Green (Graham PG7/PY110)) with a little Green Gold (Rowney PY129). There is also some Cobalt Teal Blue (DS PG50) at the top of the tree. The trunks and branches are various combination of Raw Umber, Cerulean, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. A little Gold Ochre was added later. I splashed both Hookers and Sap Green onto the tree at various stages. 

 20" x 14" Fabriano Artistico Extra White Not

I experimented on the building using granulating colours, Daniel Smith Lunar Violet, Earth, Red and  Blue. I wet some of the area with W & N granulating medium prior to putting the paint on. Other colours on the cottage included Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Rust (Graham PO48), Raw Sienna and Gold Ochre. (W & N PY43). There is some Mineral Violet (Graham PV16) at the lower part of the cottage. Diluted Cerulean and Cobalt Blue in the sky with a little Burnt Sienna to grey them.

Brushes used were the Rosemary Kolinsky Mop Size 1, Escoda Tajmir Kolinsky retractable size 10 and a couple of riggers. I think that's it.

On reflection I overworked the tree and when I've subsequently  looked at this painting  my dissatisfaction grew, so it now resides on the reject pile waiting for an opportunity to paint on the reverse side. I'm also beginning to think that my love affair with Grahams Hookers Green is a mistake. It is rather a dull colour and can have a deadening effect. It needs to have another colour added to counteract this. You also have to be careful with the DS Lunar colours. They are on the dull side and can also deaden a painting if not used properly - which I fear is what has happened here. With these colours you need to  think carefully about what other colours to mix with them. I intend to do some serious trial and error work on landscape subjects, especially trees. I've previously noted the way in which the Belgian artist Gerda Mertens draws and paints trees.  I was in two minds whether to post this or not but as I adopt - well almost - a warts and all approach to showing my work it might help others to avoid such frustrating failures. However I've already moved on and have completed a flower painting for the August challenge which - so far - I haven't downgraded!  Today I'm planning two drawings for future works, one of Evie and the other another Indian. As far as Evie is concerned there has been an amazing development. My painting of her has come in for some criticism - rightly - and it has sparked something off. Believe me you couldn't make it up and all will be revealed soon.


Irena said...

I have been using lunar blue a lot recently. I think it has black in it so you are right to be careful. But I love it for both landscape and still life.

Peter Ward said...

Welcome Irena and thanks for commenting. All the Lunar colours, except Lunar Red Rock have PBk11 black as one ingredient. I think they have great potential once they are mastered, which I have yet to do.

Anns Art said...

Love your painting Peter. You successfully avoided the elec. equipment and gate, and concentrated on the building and tree, plus I really like how you left the paint to run in a very loose style. Excellent, I don't think you overworked the tree at all, there needs to be a strong element in a painting, but even then I wouldn't say the tree was over bearing at all.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Ann. I still feel unhappy with this painting for reasons already stated. I would have been happy with it at one time but am aiming higher. It is better than the previous efforts I've done of the same subject so something has improved.

Oscar Solis said...

Despite your unhappiness with the tree I like it (why I don't know). However I can see that it feels like two different painting styles going on in the same painting. The tree and the cottage.

Recently I've been using on the reverse sides of my rejects too while painting with the Yasutomo Authentic Chinese Watercolors I recently bought. The paper costs enough that it seems a crime not to. As an aside: these paints are not very expensive at all, conduct themselves well on the paper and are very lightfast, which I tested under a blazing 100 degree sky over several days. Not being a purist and a bit of a rebel, they suit me just fine :) .

Peter Ward said...

Hi there Oscar. Yes, you are right about the lack of unity between the building and the tree. Possibly I ought to have introduced some of the building colours on the right hand side.
As for the reverse side of good quality paper I can see little difference in the results.
Interesting to read your comments about the Chinese watercolours. The usual make one hears about is Maries.

L.W.Roth, said...

This is a lovely vignette Peter. I wouldn't discard it. A tree and a house are two different things; I think your solid painting of the house and looser painting of the tree boughs makes perfect sense. Trees dance. Houses are static.

Mick Carney said...

I think this works and also believe that you are establishing a style that is your own. Interesting.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Linda and Mick. I'm surprised the comments on this one are so positive. I did try and paint with more freedom. something I'm working on with all the subjects I paint.