Blue Skies!

Rock and Trees.  Oil on linen, 40cm x 50cm.

Rock and Three Acacia Trees. Oil on Linen, 40cm x 50cm.

What I find interesting in painting outside is for example what happens when the sky blue, why on sunny days are the distant hills purple, and the closer ones blue/green etc?  Trying to understand the answers helps me paint more quickly instead of guessing which colours to put where.

Most of the time I begin or end up painting the sky too dark, forgetting that it is the lightest value in the landscape even when it is bright blue like this or overcast. The sky is really important, once you paint in the right colour then it will help anchor the rest of the painting. There is no such thing as flat tone in nature even though the sky may seem to be just blue, infact it is a huge space with more than just one value which changes towards or away from the sun and from the horizon to the zenith even on a grey cloudy day. As you go closer to the sun you are faced with a colourless glare, and then across the horizon in the opposite direction the blue gradually gets darker. The horizon being the farthest away point from us is lighter because there is more atmosphere to see through and the zenith above our heads is the darkest area as it reaches into space.

Here is a grid with the mixed blue values I used in the sky above:

Sky Values

Sky Values

Horizon = cerulean blue, white
Zenith = Ultramarine, cobalt blue light, white
Left = cerulean blue, white, cobalt blue light, white
Right = cobalt blue light, ultramarine blue, white

Whatever we paint is lighted according to the time of day and the weather because the particles that make up the atmosphere surround and affect everything we see. I did this painting at midday, there were no green leaves on the trees so the scene cast an overall blue hue because of the sky colour that was reflecting off the ground, rock and trees etc.

Sometimes when I get stuck I find it helps to take a photograph of the painting and then change the photo into black and white. If it is too grey and lacks contrast then the values do not have weight, most of the time it’s the sky that is too dark so I try and remember why it is and how it is and then next time it might help me paint more quickly and without guessing where to put the colours!

Down by the River

Down by the River.  Oil on board, 25cm x 35cm.

Down by the River. Oil on board, 25cm x 35cm.

The days are getting longer and so more time to be outside playing and painting!

The Last Days of March!

The Last Days of March. oil on canvas, 70cm x 80cm

The Last Days of March. oil on canvas, 70cm x 80cm

Two years ago this view ovelooking a small village called Sasseta in Northern Italy was completely different…bramble, brambles and more brambles!

Now after some clearing we have managed to plant more exciting things and with some artistic license I improved some of the cabbages!

Mimosa

Mimosa.  Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm

Mimosa. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm

A few wonderful facts about the Mimosa:

1. It lights up the winter with its bright yellow flowers

2. It inspires a delicious recipe for an italian cream cake called Torta Mimosa.

3.  A champagne cocktail is named after it (one part champagne and one part fruit juice).

However when I came to painting the tree it was almost as frustrating as trying to spread cold butter on an even colder pancake!

Mimosa and Sunflowers. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm.

Mimosa and Sunflowers. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm.

Portrait Sketch

Painting children from life is difficult, I guess you need a good memory to finish any details incase they move which they do all the time so I decided on a longer pose using Winnie as she slept as an excuse but then again a true portrait of her would be bouncing and running around…..but that is easier said than done!

How did Sorolla paint the finest details in blinding sunlight as the children he painted ran along beaches and splashed in waves? He definently had magic in his paintbrush!

Winnie Sleeping.  Oil on Board.  20cm x 25cm

Winnie Sleeping. Oil on Board. 20cm x 25cm

Waiting for Spring

Last Autumn.  Oil on Linen, 80cm x 100cm

Last Autumn. Oil on Linen, 80cm x 100cm

With the arrival of Spring I am looking forward again to planting the seeds of these pumpkins, sunflowers and the sweetcorn which were growing in our vegetable patch last Autumn.

Even though some of us are waiting for Spring, in Southern Australia Autumn has only just begun!

Have your feet ever FROZEN to the ground while painting?!!

A Frosty Morning on the Lambourn Downs at Sheepdrove Farm. Oil on wood, 20cm x 30cm.

A Frosty Morning on the Lambourn Downs at Sheepdrove Farm. Oil on wood, 20cm x 30cm.

Tip of the day: When painting in the English cold or any cold weather keep moving your feet or they will freeze to the ground. Tried and tested while painting here!

Luckily I had wollen fingerless (cashmere wool which I couldnt get dirty because they were my sisters’!!) mittens for my hands which kept them warm enough compared to my feet.  I also read that to keep your hands even warmer you can wear a wool sock with a small hole in the end which allows you to hold a paintbrush with your bare hand and still have all the control you need, while the paintbrush tip pokes out from the end with no mess. I am looking forward to trying this as I am not sure how tricky it would be changing over brushes.

Also standing on a piece of cardboard can keep your feet from touching the freezing cold/snowy ground whereas helping to keep your whole body more comfortable which leads to longer comfortable sessions…but I guess hand knitted 100% woollen socks could help too!

Lambourn and the surrounding downland is a really pretty area best known today as a major horse racing centre and the Downs have many nice views to paint.

Marridge Hill, England.

Afternoon Light on Marriage Hill.  Oil on panel, 20cmx 30cm.

Afternoon Light on Marriage Hill. Oil on panel, 20cmx 30cm.

Marridge Hill in afternoon light on a cold but sunny winter’s day is a view I have always wanted to paint and its been around a long time. Almost unchanged since the 16th Century it is British farmland at its best!

The hill is made up of chalk which lends well to its reflecting colours from the sun enhanced by the dark trees in the foreground. Painting either in early morning or late afternoon light provides good shadows and a palette that is richer in reds. I hope to post more paintings soon from a recent trip to England!

River in Winter

Happy New Year 2015!

Painting outisde in the winter is almost my favourite time of year as the woods are richer in colour especially after a rainfall, last years twigs and leaves decomposing with earthy umber tones, yellow, reds and grays . Enough of green which i find hard painting!
This river is actually a torrent and so it fills up pretty quickly and the water level is always changing, I painted this view from a window inside because outside was wet and cold, the sensible descision was to paint near a warm radiator at this time of year!

River in Winter.  oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm
River in Winter. oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm

Meadow in September.

image

I know it is December but here is a painting from September! The meadow is near where i live and this year hay was continuously cut from it due to a long and rainy summer. The grass just kept on growing!

Community

Recent Work

Follow me on Twitter

paintings

Follow Anna Dennis on WordPress.com
Art on a Farm

living on a working farm

Dreams and Letters

life's a creative journey

Ian Goldsmith - Artist

Paint, paper, pencils and alliteration.

the painting gardener

Gardening in summer, painting in winter. Life is good.

Sandy Suarez

Today is a good day to paint.

Art by Susan Ferguson

portraiture landscapes & figurative

Carolee S. Clark, Painter

Award Winning Acrylic and Watercolor Painter in Oregon

Victoria Logan Knits

Victoria's adventures in the world of knitting and felting.

lenkalaskoradova

Mailart ideas

Oil and Pen

Paintings, Writings, and Life After College

ARTSENAL

Associazione culturale

Art's Arts

I Like Art.

Crazy Artist

Художник Андрей Крайнов и Кº +7 903-642-70-70

collinaclarke

Painter of freedom and peace

Oil Pastels by Mary

Painting with oil pastels

J.Harms

Portfolio

Russian Artist

Olga Ermakova Fine Art

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 680 other followers

%d bloggers like this: