Friday is working on my own day, apart from the occasional visitor to my studio. My desire today is to work in oils, my favourite medium. I love the sensory aspects of working with oils; the smell, the feel (yes, I sometimes do use my fingers to apply or smudge in the paint) and the overall quality of this medium. Oils are sensual. A most delightful love affair.
This morning I have been working away on three oil paintings of landscapes. All of them different, with scenes of individual beauty. The first one worked on this morning was the 30x60cm canvas of Forfar Loch I had started 11 days ago. This one I am painting from my own reference photograph using Seawhite Oils: Titanium White, Cobalt Blue, Coeruleum, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna. I want to try to see if I can stick to this limited palette; so far so good. I had started this one with a brush sketch using thinned out Burnt Sienna then applied the first layer last Friday evening then leaving it for a week to let the oil paint dry out enough before applying the next layer. Today I have worked the sky and water a bit more and darkened up the background shading of the water edges, grasses and trees using a mix of Cobalt and Sienna which gives a lovely luxuriously deep, almost Phthalo, shade of blue. I am pleased, so far, how this one is developing. I may do a little more to this one later today or over the weekend then let it sit again for a week or so.
The next one I decided to work on was a 30x30cm deep edge canvas of Queen’s View in Perthshire which was started as an En Plein Air painting last summer. The wind got up whilst I was standing at the viewpoint overlooking Loch Tummel, blowing me, the easel and the canvas about a fair bit. I called it a day, brought the canvas home and settled it on a shelf for the last few months. Today I started to edge out some of the darker shapes along the loch in the same Cobalt and Burnt Sienna mixture then blended it in a bit with the lighter blue of the loch. I will work on this one more later today. I have painted this scene a few times, the largest and best example held in a private collection in Suffolk. I enjoy painting this scene but prefer to do this in the studio as trying to work EPA at the viewpoint is nigh on impossible due to the tourists. I’ve also taken a couple of overseas students to this location for a two-day workgroup last year; long, exhausting days but very enjoyable ones.
Last dabble before lunch was adding a bit more substance to the sky from this week’s EPA venture up Tulloch Hill. I had thought about ditching this one but then thought better of it. Practice makes perfect so to speak, and not only that if something is not going right first time then there is a lot more to be learnt from sticking with it than giving up. I think I was more disappointed with not being able to do a complete painting EPA on the day. I paint slowly and do so envy those who can work outdoors for a couple of hours and come up with spectacular work. I don’t think I have ever completed a piece of art fully EPA, and if I have then it still gets tampered with in the studio. Another habit of mine, I find it difficult to stop painting and oft-times overwork a piece. The View from Tulloch Hill has been salvaged to be worked on and completed another day.
So today is oil painting and there are now three oils on the go, all landscapes.