oil paintings… plein air!

Has it really been this long? I guess it has! Well it has been a very busy spring (now summer) but happily I managed to squeeze in a plein air painting workshop – something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Charles Vinh, who I have taken other classes with, led the two day workshop. It was lovely to spend that much time outside painting and the weather was great even if we did have to postpone day two for one week due to rain.

The first spot we chose to set up was on a small path by a pond surrounded by rushes and willows. I enjoyed the challenge of making the texture of the oil paint as watery as possible. Step one was to get the dark layer that could be painted over later.

Day one - first time oil painting outside

Day one – first time oil painting outside

The water was much too blue compared to reality after the first day so on day two, the water became a more realistic greeny-brown and details were added creating the feeling of a warm summer day by a pond.

...after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

…after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

The second painting was started on the first day in the afternoon. The second site also had some water – yeah! There were also some particularly beautiful trees.

second painting on day one

second painting on day one

On the second afternoon, details and highlights were added including the reddish blossoms on the larger tree. Here the atmosphere is hazy and warm.

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

Not sure when I will get out to do this again but the workshop has definitely given me the confidence and the appetite for more – I highly recommend it. Happy painting! (or any outdoor summer activity really 🙂

paintings (cc) Hilary Farmer 2015

UPDATE: Lovely summery sonnet and Wind in the Willows homage from Tom via the comments to go with the paintings. Thanks Tom!

Layered days laid down upon a base
of gessoed canvas plain and bare and pale
capturing a glimpse of nature’s face
between the gentle hill and watered dale
where perhaps a duck or two might lurk…
a mole or water rat might hold the bank,
like the lilies, daily sweat they shirk
yet still they stand in front of all the ranks
of creatures who inhabit paradise
today, tomorrow, down the fall of time,
when this pond is covered by the ice
of winter still they’ll dwell in beauty’s prime.
A summer’s day encoded in this oil
will live beyond the season’s mortal coil.

(c) 2015 Tom Radcliffe

Advertisements

8 Responses to “oil paintings… plein air!”

  1. Interesting to compare day 1 and day 2 images. The light is beautiful in both, but you are right, the water comes alive in the ones from the second day.

    • Well day one the paintings were definitely not finished with mostly just the dark colours being set up. The mid tones and highlights were added the next day. It’s the sense of light that bring things to life – and that’s the fun part to paint. The most important thing for me is not to rush through the first step to get to that phase. If the groundwork isn’t right the painting won’t be very good.

  2. Love the light in your paintings and the characteristic trees. I also made my first painting en plein air recently and wrote a post about my experience on my blog on heidihjort.com

    • Thanks! So glad you dropped by! It is so much fun to paint outside isn’t it – completely outweighs any inconvenience. 🙂

      • I was almost a bit overwhelmed by how fun it was! Plein Air high, you know like in Runners high. Really looking forward to next time. Glad I found your blog 🙂

  3. Layered days laid down upon a base
    of gessoed canvas plain and bare and pale
    capturing a glimpse of nature’s face
    between the gentle hill and watered dale
    where perhaps a duck or two might lurk…
    a mole or water rat might hold the bank,
    like the lilies, daily sweat they shirk
    yet still they stand in front of all the ranks
    of creatures who inhabit paradise
    today, tomorrow, down the fall of time,
    when this pond is covered by the ice
    of winter still they’ll dwell in beauty’s prime.
    A summer’s day encoded in this oil
    will live beyond the season’s mortal coil.

    Not brilliant, and wanders off track a bit (Mole and Water Rat are Wind in the Willows references, and I simply love the willows in the first painting, and the play of the light on the leaves) but regardless: what they inspired! The atmospheric perspective in the second one is really gorgeous too!

    • Thanks Tom! There was indeed lots of small scale wildlife around – female mallard ducks, red wing blackbirds, the odd pigeon (we were still in the city after all lol) I was tempted to add a bird in the first painting but didn’t. I suspect the moles and water rats were just shier!
      I am glad you like the paintings. It was good to get back to painting after not doing much for the last while. Of course, when taking a course, there is a lot of the teacher’s influence but I think I can take the advice and tips and make the style more my own.

      • I think you did the right thing leaving the critters out… you’ve captured their environment so beautifully that the viewer can’t help but see them there, just on the edge of vision. Beautifully evocative!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: