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.