Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Oil painting #4 - the view from Julian's studio window

This is the small oil painting I did of the view from Julian's studio window after I gave up wasting paint on the canvas boards and gave them three coats of gesso instead!

It was done the day after the lightning strike when the weather was a bit odd and I was waiting around to see "what needed to happen next" re the telephone and modem - so staying near to the house seemed like a sensible idea.  Ruth did a sterling job in England sorting out the telephone people while I dabbed at the board with some paint!

Oil Painting #4 - the view from Julian's studio window
5" x 7" oil on board
I feel I have to keep saying that those vineyards really are dayglo green at a certain time of day - their colour absolutely staggered me the whole time we were there.

The painting is on a small 5" x 7" board and the smoother surface of the sanded down gesso certainly helped me paint.  I also learned how to scratch out and what happens if you use a bit more paint and a bit less solvent.

I made a mistake with this painting in trying to include the roof of a small outbuilding which made absolutely no sense to the painting unless you knew what it was - which was when I learned about how you can paint things out of the picture!

The main benefits/lessons for me were
  • finding out how much I liked working at an easel in a studio!  That's not something I routinely do and I now have to think about how this might be remedied in "real life" - as opposed to "Provencal life" which is now becoming something of a dreamlike state!
  • learning just how difficult it is to find a subject which works in terms of composition, colour and brushwork when painting a small painting.  My admiration for those who can do this grew in leaps and bounds - especiallyin relation to the local landscapes produced by Julian.  
The need to simplify much more is I hope a lesson well learned.  I'm not saying this painting is in any way good - it's just the product of a learning process and hopefully that's one which I will use to re-engage with oil painting in the near future. 


vivien said...

I really dislike canvas boards - I don't like the slick surface or the machine-even texture. Also as I hand hold they aren't practical. Adding more primer does help but surely they should be sold with the surface already correct :>(

I prefer to work on a pad of oil paper, larger than my painting, it gives me clean paper to hold it by and room to extend in any direction if the composition would be improved by doing so.

It's a great start and you must do more,

I use very very little medium, mostly pure paint with medium only where I really need it. I also use a knife a lot plein air, so easy to clean for the next colour and you don't need to use it to trowel paint on, it can be used quite delicately, my paint isn't thickly used.

I'll be interested to see the studio paintings :>)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

This was the studio painting - however I had the window wide open so it was as if I was painting plein air in a rather nice shelter!

Lots of fresh air was imbibed while painting!

annie said...

I have no experience with oils so the painting experiences by you and Vivien are great for us beginners to know about. I do like the painting, Katherine.


Grace snyder said...

Have painted in oils en plein air for several years after lessons at Cape Cod School of Art, Provincetown.Mass,in USA. Teacher was Lois Griffel, she had us use palette knives completely for quick paintings. So easy to change colors. Also used a limited color palette. And easel which helped shade our canvas from the light we were trying to capture. Love yr newest. Keep going and try to get it done in an hour or so!!! Thanks for yr blog

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