Tuesday 19 December 2017

Landscape painting - moving on slowly

I should start by saying I don't do much landscape painting. I much prefer the solid objects of a still life or the fascinating features of a human face or a bird - subjects you can describe because of their definite shape and form.  I think that landscape is much more amorphous and vague and that makes it hard for me to get my teeth into it but sometimes it's good to step outside your comfort zone and try something you don't find easy.

We've had such glorious sunsets and sunrises this last couple of weeks I really wanted to try and capture the light between the bare trees, especially since we also have a covering of snow which adds to the drama by creating beautiful blue shadows.

At the moment this looks like nothing on earth but you have to start somewhere! All I'm doing is staining the canvas with dilute washes of acrylic paint. I've used Alizarin, Cerulean, Lemon Yellow and Titanium White with a touch of Mars Black to darken the crimson. My normal painting style is quite tight and controlled but I want this to be more about the atmosphere of early morning in the garden than it is about fiddly detail. I'm using bigger brushes than usual and silly as it sounds, I'm favouring longer brushes so I am farther away from the canvas as I paint!

Because the bare branches are so fine and delicate without their leaves in December, I'm experimenting with a technique that may or may not work. I've put down large blocks of colour in the areas that are the darkest and when they are completely dry I plan to overpaint with the pale sky colours again. I'm hoping that will mean I can scratch through the pale layer to reveal something of the dark beneath. Fingers crossed it'll be OK!

It's a leap of faith and if it does work you'll see the results here soon. If it's a tragedy I'll paint over it and you'll never see it again!

Hope you are making time for yourself to be creative in the run up to Christmas!
Bye for now, Linda x

Tuesday 12 December 2017

End in sight?

I promised not to post any more wintry pictures on instagram because endless images of snow do pall after a while don't they? Couldn't resist sharing this one with you though....

That's the roof of my garden studio with some hints that a thaw might be coming!! Trouble is, it dipped to -13C last night so those icicles might hang around a bit longer yet.

Our country lanes are very icy and snow ploughs don't bother about us but being cooped up does mean I have time to finish some abandoned projects. Remember these blocks from DMTV? I've put them into the simplest arrangement and have decided to add a border, machine quilt it and then finish with a pieced binding. It's only small but with lots of stitch it should look pretty on a bedside table. That big empty space in the centre is just crying our for a lovely bit of quilting!

You might remember these blocks too. I made them for the DMTV video about establishing and working with a limited colour palette. I'm quite liking how those blue squares pop! I'm fancying to hand quilt this over the holiday. Always like to have something useful to keep me occupied when the only other available distractions involve overdosing on chocolate and trash TV!

I can hear snow sliding off the roof as I write this - perhaps the end of the siege is in sight! Roll on spring!

Bye for now - Linda x

Sunday 3 December 2017

Painting glass today

Well, not painting on glass of course - just trying to paint glass in my sketchbook. Yesterday at the market I found this lovely ink bottle.

I usually look for green glass but this one is more blue than green - just as gorgeous though, especially as it only cost me £1!

I've got a growing collection of bottles and I rarely spend more than 50p or £1.

Some are housed in cabinets.

And I have ten green bottles lined up on a shelf in the loo. Several of these were dug up in our garden - there were no rubbish collections many years ago so refuse was just buried in a hole! Amazingly the bottles were completely intact when we found them and most have local connections that make them more interesting.

They all make great subjects for a very quick watercolour. No initial pencil sketch with this, just dilute watercolour to draw the basic shapes of the outline and the reflections. As you can see, this is still wet - I'll add a few more washes once it's dry and next time I'll try to make it fit the page!

Hope you have a Happy Sunday! Linda x