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Posts tagged “watermarks

Koi studies and painting in oil.

I finally completed one koi painting in oil. But before that, I did some more studies in different mediums. I didn’t really enjoy these koi studies as I should have. I felt a bit like ” eating strawberries in the mid winter” and so I feel out of season with the koi paintings and it influenced the “taste”. But I’m happy that I stuck to it and completed at least one painting. I definitely plan to go to the koi farm in summer, where I can seat myself for a day and really get to work on some series.

..koi, oil on linen, 61x37cm

In  step 1, using terpentineI put down thin washes of burnt sienna for the fish shapes and a thin wash of paynes gray and french ultramarine for the background/water.

.…step 1…


In step 2 I added some colour to the fish, cadmium red and yellow to the fish in the foreground and prussian blue to the back fish, to form the shadows. I started using liquin as a medium to have the oi dry quicker, but still have  an oil shine.

…step 2…

In step 3 I darkened the water with a mixture of paynes gray and french ultramarine and softened the shadow marks I made on the yellow fish. this was my first mistake, because I made mud. I left it to dry completely, so I could rework it…the oil was still thin enough to redo without removing the paint.

…step 3…

the last stages was all about adding colour and depth to the fish bodies and depth to the water , while using the same colours I’ve used in the previous steps, with the addition of ochre, raw umber and white.

…koi completed…

When doing the studies for this koi project, I worked mostly from photographs, using about 20 different photos, building my own scenes. I really found it difficult to render the koi in an interesting way. I feel I can do better, which is why I will patiently wait for the koi season to open and I can go and study them in real life.

I also felt that they ask for something a little more abstract or expressive than mere realistic rendering. In the following studies I tried to present them on the page in a little more interesting way. I found it quite exciting and I think I can even push the envelope even further in the expressive domain, which makes me more excited about the series of koi than I was when I started out.

In the meantime, I have a lobster and crab and mussels and oysters and several other shellfish in my freezer, waiting to be sketched and painted and studied. Maybe a new series of sea creatures? So hang around if you’re interested in seeing what will surface – it will be a surprise for me too.

…koi study in charcoal on paper, 22x15cm…


…koi study in graphite on paper, 22x15cm…

…koi study in oil pastel on paper, 22x15cm…

Also posted on Watermarks.

..à bientôt…

Ronelle


January plein air by the Loire

I wish you all a wonderful year with all the low points of last year turned into highlights this year!

Happy 2011


I wanted to start this new year off with a plein air painting, no matter what the weather circumstances were. And I did. I took off this morning with my painting stuff and a new pochade I haven’t used before, to the Loire. The temperature read 2 degrees C. I only had running shoes to wear, because my daughter has my hiking boots in the mountains.

It was very difficult…it took me ages to set up my things, I kept on slipping in the mud, my fingers were numb before I even started painting and I struggled to open the caps and squeeze out the oils. I found the little pochade extremely uncomfortable and clumsy and missed my French easel all the time. I couldn’t open the Liquin bottle and had to run back home to fetch another. I found it comlicated to paint with the muffins and the scarf was choking me and I felt thick and uncomfortable  with my sleeves in the way of the paint, constantly knocking over the mediums. I chose a difficult scene and had an uncomfortable spot in the mud and slighty up a hill. My eyes and nose were constant watery  from the cold and I had to fiddle with tissues all the time, resulting in me arriving home with a face looking like my painting. After 2 hours I couldn’t stand on my numb feet any more and I started doing nonsense on the canvas,  getting so frustrated that I slung my brush way into the distance, in the mud! And then I  decided that I should pack it in.

BUT!! I completed the study. Although I don’t like the painting/study, and although it was an enormous struggle, I am very satisfied that I did it. It is one of my plans for the new year - to get out and paint even if the circumstances are challenging - and I WANTED to start today, on January 1st. Now I only need to get out there often to get used to these difficult winter plein air painting. In the end it is really gratifying and I now know I can do it. I can probably save this study in my atelier if I want to but it serves no purpose. I didn’t get out there today to produce a masterpiece, although I would’ve liked it to be a bit better than it turned out…

..winter loire corner study  1..

..oil on linen, 34x23cm..

**Next time I’ll give my opinion about this easel, because I think it is unfair to give it now after only one time of use. I am too used to my old french easel. This smaller one is a lovely hand made pochade from Ben Haggett.

**I will also say more about my art plans for this year.

Until next time… paint away!

 


Oil painting

A few days ago I painted this corner of the Loire in oil.  Unfortunately I fiddled with it afterwards while it was standing on the easel in the atelier to dry, resulting in losing some great first strokes and giving the water this almost “swimming pool” colour. Knowing well I have this addiction, I normally hang a painting immediately on the wall when done and then I don’t touch it…on the easel however, I always see something that needs fixing!

…ombre et lumiére..

ombre-et-lumiere1oil on canvas, 30×30 cm (11.8×11.8 in)

I am leaving for Coin Perdu in Correze for about three weeks, which will be sort of a solitary retreat. And since I’m leaning towards oil painting for now, I’ve decided to pack all my oil stuff for some plein air painting for which the opportunities and subjects there are boundless. So I had a stack of boards, in different sizes, cut at my hardware store, and prepared them at home with  first  a coat of acrylic primer, then a coat of mixed gesso and modeling paste and lastly a coat of gesso. (after the method by David Curtis).

Some years ago I played around with modeling paste on canvases and several other surfaces, as can be seen in the next two paintings. Given a coat of gesso or acrylic primer, it provides a nice textured surface for some expressive work in oil  and other mixed media.

…urn 1, mixed media on canvas…

urn1

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)..

detailurn1

…urn 2, mixed media on paper…

smallurn

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)

smallurn-detail-21

…pineapples…

pineapplesoil-12-13-2008-3-20-52-pm

oil on canvas, 30×30 cm.

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)…

pineapplesoildetail


A river to discover

The swans were back this year after 3 years of absence – a quick sketch in the moleskine done in pencil and back home worked over with gouache. I have never worked with gouache and after buying a beautiful sketchbook (Baie de Somme by Laurent Somon – Ronan Olier) done in gouache, I wanted to try it too. See some of Ronan Olier’s work, which I love! I find it a strange medium and feel very stupid with it, which resulted in a completely overworked effort.

…swans…

loireswans

The Watermarks project stirred up a desire I’ve had for a long time, but which always got pushed to the back of my list. Discovering and researching the Loire.

Living right next to it, it forms a big part of our every day life. In summer I stress about the extreme low level of the water and in winter I stress about being flooded away rooftop and all. In winters, it welcomes the gray and embraces the cold and I want to run from it, but it’s hypnotic powers keep drawing me to it, to the mystery that envelops it. In summer, I revel in its blue water and noisy birds and green foliage and crazy busyness.

One of my projects(I still have to run into the others..) will be to trace the Loire back to it its origin, snaking alongside it down to where it finally joins the Atlantic ocean in the west.

If interested, continue reading here…


A trickle…

…Open this tap for the next 10 days…

tapwater

Watercolour and pen in sketchbook.


A corner of the Loire

I have an exciting event happening in Corréze on Saturday, which I’ll talk about later. And on Monday I’m leaving for Helsinki for 3 days. I’ll be in contact when I’m back end of next week.

I captured (tried to!) a corner of the Loire just after we had floods coming past this way a week ago, sweeping the trees and branches and all kinds of debris across the river, leaving us with  gray and turmoil water. This is a corner under the overhanging trees. I never try to catch the realism in a scene, but rather the motion and emotion. The water is much calmer than it is portrayed here and much darker. More sinister. My contrasts could’ve been stronger and my shapes more linear. This was done from a few photos I took. I’ll have another go at it again sometime, probably rather on the spot, which gives a painting so much more spontaneity, and the atmosphere does get carried over onto the paper.  Not that it is so much fun sitting there in the mud, in the cold, in the wet next to the water…but I’ve been complaining so much lately about  missing nature, being wild and free with the animals, that I should zip my mouth now and sit my sit…

…disquiet…

loiregrisDone in watercolour and pen lines added afterwards on Fabriano artistico watercolour block HP extra white, 30x23cm(11,8″ x9″)


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