Sky update – lean layers

Sketches in Oil

Sketches in oil, lean layer

Ok, here are some examples of going up rivington with a big canvas strapped to my back, with the help of my glamorous assistant Angelika.

Here I encountered problems with having no yellow ochre, getting a surface onto the canvas that would dry in time so it wouldn’t mix with the next layer of paint.

Going back to the paintings around Monserrat, the tree in blossom, I began with an egg – damar emulsion, which dried quickly, but slowed down a little with the addition of oil d’aspic  (essence of spike lavender) – recipe’s in the space ship, I think it was equal parts yolk and damar, then a few drops of oil d’aspic.

For some unkown reason I didn’t use this paint on the next paintings, I used egg and oil emulsion instead – equal parts egg, oil, and distilled water (only there was only water from the stream to hand)  This also dries quite quickly, but I don’t trust the surface or how well it works later on.  I made a thin paste with what I tried to work out as the most dormant colour in the sky in Langdale at about 7pm – which was a sort of dull violet.  From this colour I would be able to add highlights and shadows relatively quickly to work with the fast moving clouds and changing light.

Evening sky across Langdale valley

first and second stages

Here are the results of this:

However, this time I encountered problems because of my own stupidity and leaving in a rush, I had left most of my pigments behind, including yellow ochre and white.  This meant I had to use tube oil paint for the white, which was far too weak to work with the more permanent and stronger colours, was more like a thickener than a colour.  These two paintings took practically two tubes of white paint.  How wasteful, a warning to all those who use too much filler, marble dust, hydrogen whatever in their paint – the paint monster will get you.

Other problem, it was pretty damn windy and Sophie, my old and knackered sketching easel just can’t take the punishment any more.  Time for a new easel – which Brian has donated, its nice, its old and seasoned, seems pretty strong and barely used.  Need to think of a name for her, if anyone does read this, think of a good horses’ name – I name my easels after horses.

The next painting was done about 8am, with the same quick drying ground, which I am doubtful of.  On my way to the site I was just carrying Sophie in her easel bag, a man stopped me because he thought I was a poacher – oh an artist ah – he said, and smiled – an artist who thinks he’s a hunter.

stages 1+2 8am, Elterwater

None of these paintings are near completion, but there are so many things to do at the moment, I can’t wait to get back into painting them.  They’ll need a greasy, fat layer over the top of these layers that won’t take away the energy in the brushwork.  would be better to mix changing shades of oil colour, leave that to dry, then sparing coats of medium.

Well, we have open house next week, so time for painting the missing links will be at hand.


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