Friday, 21 October 2016

Roadford Lake - Summer

Oil painting of Roadford Lake, Devon in High Summer

This oil painting of Roadford Lake, Devon in high summer was made from a series of photographs I took on one of many dog walks (if you are local or thinking of visiting - the view is from the Forest car park).
I have not had much practise at landscapes and, realising they made me nervous, I decided to try to improve my confidence and hopefully skills. I watched some marvellous YouTube videos by Michael James Smith: thoroughly recommended. His technique is mesmerising.
High summer is a very difficult time of year to paint a landscape. Stapleton Kearns in his advice to wannabe landscape painters, suggests avoiding this Very Green time of year altogether. Good advice, in my opinion.

I worked the piece on an MDF board I cut to size and prepared myself with 2 coats of household matt emulsion and 2 coats of gesso. It is 16 inches x 8 inches. I drew the rough position of landscape features in charcoal then blocked everything in using thin acrylic paint before working oils on top. Here is the progress of the acrylic block-in:

oil painting of landscape, work0in-progress

If I was to start this one again - and, believe me, I am not going to - I would re-position the gap in the trees at bottom centre so it was less - well - central. I think that would make for a livelier composition. Otherwise, my main learning point is that whilst it is satisfying to practise a technique that allows for a degree of realism, this is probably not the effect I want for my paintings. I need to develop my own techniques that allow for greater expression and atmosphere.
Presently I am working on a forest scene which is more Autumnal in colour. A welcome escape from green.
Have a lovely weekend and thank you for looking at my paintings.