Monday, 29 August 2011

First few brush strokes new painting on the way

Following on from the preliminary sketches posted recently, here are the first few brush strokes, laying out the position of the cows in blue acrylic.

Second stage, blocking in the cows, also moved all but the left hand one over to the right a little

And now blocking in the grass and sky

You may notice some iridescence from the canvas in the photos which is due to the canvas being painted with interference acrylic.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Preliminary sketches new painting on the way

Just starting work towards a new animal painting and here is a series of thumbnail sketches in biro to work out the composition. First pic above, quite like the arrangement of the group of 4 cows but the one on the right isn't adding too much.
Sketch 2, below, is looking more balanced but perhaps a bit crowded and the middle trio are all on a straight line.

No 3 below, slightly better arrangement
No 4, simplify things by reducing the herd to 3 cows and add some landscape in the background

sketch 5, prefer the staggered positions /distances here
Number 6: Think this is it, just 3 cows some landscape visible thro the gaps and I like the arrangement of the bovines.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Changing Weather Iridescent painting of cows lying down on Dartmoor

Here's the finished painting (as posted last time) viewed under normal lighting conditions. Notice that the sun seems to be shining on the distant hills on the left.

In the next picture (below) the the painting is viewed from a different angle and the distant hills are now duller as if the weather has changed to cloudy conditions. This effect is a direct result of the interference acrylics that were used on the hills.
 The photo below shows the painting under dimmer lighting conditions. Even though the sky and background hills were over-painted with interference blue these particular lighting conditions result in the complementary interference color showing up, in this case (interference blue painted over these particular colors) the result is a coppery / reddish brown. This gives the effect of "sunshine and showers" over the distant hills i.e. it is as if the sun is shining as the rain streams down over the hills (weather conditions commonly seen on Dartmoor the setting of the painting).

In the fourth photo shown below, the painting is shown again, but this time in even lower lighting conditions. The sky and distant hills have now taken on a misty, luminous appearance while some of the interference blue is starting to glow thereby illuminating the foreground cow.

The picture below shows the effects obtained by viewing the painting in very low lighting conditions. Now the hills are nearly consumed by the luminous blue while parts of the foreground heather are also illuminated giving an eery night-time feel to the image.

Finally here's the painting once again shown under normal lighting conditions. The combination of 3 types of acrylic i.e. conventional under-painting that is then over-painted with alternating layers of interactive and interference acrylics allows subtle, changeable iridescent effects to be produced. These can either be well controlled and quite deliberate (e.g. the sky and distant hills) or more random and left to chance (e.g. the changing color of the cow and heather in the foreground). I plan on experimenting further with this technique in future work.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Finished Painting of cows lying down on Dartmoor

Here's a quick photo of the finished painting, I'll post more soon on the iridescent effects due to the use of interference acrylic. In the meantime I need to think of a title, any suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Step 4 of a new painting of cows lying down on Dartmoor

Here's step 4, just a couple of modifications for today, the distant cow on the right is starting to take shape and more detail has been added to the foreground foliage, plenty of magenta for the heather and cadmium yellow for the gorse flowers.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Step 3 of New Painting on the way Cows lying down on Dartmoor

Here are the next couple of stages of the paintings. Above you can see that the cows are still in their metallic blue phase but some modifications have been made to the background hills. The right and left hand thirds of the hill-scape have been coated in a thin layer of interference blue while the middle section is now coated in interference yellow (the latter being created by mixing some cadmium yellow with some pearlescent tinting medium).
Once dry the trees and hedgerows were added in a loose style. In the second pic (below) I've started to "knock back" the shimmer from the interference blue on the cows by over-painting the cows with interactive acrylic.
When applying the paint at this stage I'm just painting as I would normally, regardless of the fact there is interference acrylic beneath. When the painting is finished I want any interference blue that shows through to be serendipitous in nature and not look "planned".
At this stage I also notice that the cow on the right is somewhat out of shape and resembling one of those creatures Anakin rode in Attack of the Clones. Some bovine surgery will be required very soon!


Monday, 8 August 2011

Step 2: Cows lying down on Dartmoor

The plan with this work is to alternate layers of acrylic with layers of interference color. In this photo you can see that the cows have now been over-painted with interference blue as has the sky and distant hills. The moorland in the mid and foreground has been painted with interference copper & violet, respectively. Although it appears that most of the previous layer has been obliterated there is actually a mixture of areas where only the metallic colour shows and areas where some of the under painting is showing through
As the painting progresses the intention is to make the layers of interference color progressively more transparent...but we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

New Painting on the way / Cows lying down on Dartmoor

Here are the beginnings of a new painting, some Dexter cattle lying down among the heather and gorse of Dartmoor. I've enjoyed painting these cows before, their dark hides lend themselves to the inclusion of plenty of blue where the light catches them. They also contrast well with the magenta, green and yellow of the surrounding flora.
My previous paintings "Time For A Nap" and "A Lunch Interrupted" were both small (24"x8") but this time I wanted to work on a larger scale and this canvas, being about 30"x40", is for me near perfect in size as it allows me to use a reasonably large brush and not get caught up in the annoyances of fiddly intricate bits!
This new painting (if it proves successful)also marks the start of what I hope will be the next stage in the development of my artistic technique. I'm combining my normal combination of conventional and interactive acrylics with the iridescent effects that can be achieved with interference acrylics.
The landscape and cows were all painted with a layer of interference acrylic before over painting with acrylic and I'll expand more on the planned technique when I post the next stage.