Thursday, July 21, 2016

Colored backgrounds #2

In my blog entry of June 24th I told you about my experiment with a colored background. You may remember I was quite pleased with the result and that I planned to repeat this approach. Well, I did and sooner than I thought.

The idea for this painting dates from a few months ago when I made an oil sketch of the same subject. Though I was pleased with the result, I wanted it to be even softer, more misty. It seemed to me that a colored background would provide an excellent starting point to get what I wanted. I used a warmer grey this time, a mix of Old Holland violet-grey and Old Holland yellow deep (a little more reddish than Naples yellow).

In the next stages I tried to bring the shapes of the clouds to the front by lighting up the areas around them. That was quite interesting, because it's the reverse of what I usually do, which is painting the shapes themselves.

Misty Sunrise, oils on panel, 70 x 120 cm

The final image is the result of multiple layers of different greys. Rembrandt transparent white proved to be  essential once again. I'm quite pleased with the painting. Hope you like it too!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Working plein-air

A friend of mine invited me for a trip on his boat. He owns a house near a National Park in the north of the Netherlands. Endless canals, interchanged by lakes. Quite impressive.

The weather prediction said 'a few local showers', but since I'm an optimist I thought 'local' would be somewhere else. I packed my drawing pad and a few pencils, hoping to do some drawing from the boat. It turned out that 'local' was right where we were and I only made one quick drawing. 

Reflected Tree, pencil on paper, 14,2 x 21,6 cm

It doesn't look like much, it's clear that I'm out of practice, but I enjoyed the experience. It's so simple: you take your pad and a pencil, you sit down somewhere and you're in for a few hours of fun. The result comes in second. For me, working from nature is about observation. 

Don't forget your eraser. I needed it quite a few times and it was a great help in the reflection bit. I used an HB and a 3B pencil. HB for the outlines and the soft greys, 3B for the darker parts. The pad I worked on was a Tiger sketch book, 216 x 142 mm, 100 grs.

If you feel like sharing your plein-air stories, be my guest!