Sunday, 31 May 2009

Week away worrying about values

Another escape to the Lake District where we have a static van that provides a great bolt hole. Another bonus this week, a sight of the sun, in fact at times too hot to be out in it too long. Regular readers will know that the last couple of weeks have been a struggle (the blog is appropriately named) with colour and values. At the first opportunity I headed out and set up near a stream below Aira Force with occasional flashes of light getting through the canopy. Worry about values had me over working my paint supply to the detriment of the final value range. This board set me down another route of concern, how to get a wide range of variation of greens with the current limited palette. Another area to work on.

Aira stream - Oil on canvas board 12" x 10"

Reflecting on this first painting I decided that I should set myself a few exercises in value variation. I acquired a set of pens in five different grey tones and set about some sketches in one of my constant companions, a Moleskine sketchbook. The picture below is one of the pages from my sketch book.

Value sketch - Marker pens on paper
Another regular companion with me when out walking is a watercolour book and a small set of paints and it came in useful as an excuse to rest one day on a ramble on the fells. The next picture is a page from my watercolour sketch book.

Ennerdale - Watercolour on Not paper

The last picture of the week came from a stroll down to the lake from the caravan site. It was warm and it was good to get out of the direct sun and look out. When I look at the result I don't get the feeling of light that the conditions warranted and the major cause seems to be a lack of really strong darks. However, there is a sense of aerial recession and that has been a recent problem. So the week ends with limited progress but maybe clearer ideas of how to rectify matters.

Boathouse - Oil on canvas board 12" x 10"

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