Thursday, 19 November 2009

Madeira Coast - Adjusted

Today I had another session with this canvas. In the wake of comments left here and on Wet Canvas I have made some adjustments. Some of them are subtle, probably as a result of my tentative efforts. For the record the first thing that I tried to do was to reduce the impact of the rock in the middle ground on the left. I mixed a bit of the base burnt umber with a touch of gray and white then judiciously applied it, then added a few highlights to help with the modelling. The next job was to soften the horizon line, done by adding a lighter mixture of sea colour and then blending it in. Other jobs done include the addition of some extra light wave colour, soften some rock edges and deepen some shadows. There is no doubt that these changes have been improvements, whether they go far enough or not I will decide after sitting on it for a few days.

Madeira Coast - Oil on canvas board 20" x 16"

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Madeira Coast - Work in Progress Part 2

I had another session with this and began to introduce some more detail as well as adjusting some values, in particular in the rear cliff. Hopefully the next session will see it finished but it will have to wait a day or two as domestic duties are about to intervene. It'll give some of the paint the chance to tack up. Anyone with suggestions as to ways to improve the image are welcome to make their comments.

Madeira Coast - Oil on canvas board 20" x 16"

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Madeira Coast - Work in Progress

This image will be familiar to regular readers in that it is a result of 'sound practice'. No, I'm not being boastful but making reference to the sort of process that most of us should go through prior to committing to a studio piece. The sound practice that I refer to is providing oneself with the best bank of information on which to base the ensuing effort. The first and most important stage for me is creating in the field sketch information that reflects observation on the day and the watercolour sketch that I made on site was published in previous post. The other thing I did was to photograph the scene and the shot is published below.

Getting into what I laughingly call a studio, the back kitchen at home, my first job is to create a 'block in'. Here I attempt to establish relationships between the various elements in the picture that reflect the relative values and colour hints for later detailed work. Therefore what you see here is a Work in Progress. I posted it as such on Wet Canvas, hoping that colleagues there would make suggestions as to how to approach the detailing. One comment that emerged was from a very helpful artist, who has made many positive contributions to my development, Michael McGuire. He spotted that the value shift between light and shadow sides of the rear rock are not great enough. So when I start work tomorrow the first thing I will do is try to darken slightly the shadow side. This will be a delicate task as it will be easy to overdo it and ruin the effect. After that the detailing can begin. I will post the results when they are nearer completion.

Madeira Coast WIP - Oil on canvas board 20" x 16"

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Backhouse Park

After a few weeks without much opportunity to dip into the turps I managed a couple of hours in the local park hoping to produce my autumn masterpiece. Foolish me. What a struggle? Whilst not my usual subject matter I thought lessons learned elsewhere might aid the process but to no avail. Choosing such a complicated scene without simplifying and editing sufficiently well did not help the progress of the piece. However there are signs that some of the lessons along the way have not been totally forgotten. I am starting to achieve better feelings of depth in some of my work. Painting is like many other activities, the more often you are able to do it the more comfortable you are with the tools. Moral - get out more often and if not possible to get out then paint indoors.

Backhouse Park - Oil on canvas board 12" x 10"