Monday, August 1, 2016

4pm February

oil on card 30x19cm

Another little cloud painting, from a quick snap taken coming back to Edinburgh along the A9 last year. As far as I can remember it’s just outside Dunblane. Looking west, obviously.

It’s a fairly straightforward transcription of the photo. I’ve edited the odd awkward cloud out, but the photo was so dark that even after photoshopping the Dickens out of it I still couldn’t make out the landforms. I took my lead from the outlines of the trees and just made up the folds in the ground in between. It’s all about the sky anyway – the land just has to be there to support it. 

Most of the pigments used here are transparent or semi-transparent – so the white priming shows through the paint surface, as in watercolour - but I’ve used a little Titanium White in two areas. It’s an extremely opaque white, and I’ve used it in a pale pink band in the sky (where I went a little too uneven and dark), and I’ve added a touch to the fine grey scumble/glaze layer on the lower clouds to give them some weight (to contrast with the more aerie Paynes Grey/Raw Umber clouds towards the top). The red areas – made with two layers of the same Indian Yellow, Transparent Oxide Red, and Alizarin Crimson as last month’s ’Fight’ – were quite intense, but have been modified with the ‘cloudy’ fine grey to cool them down a bit at the lower cloud edges and rain drifts. Altogether, I think the whole sky ensemble is quite subtle and rather satisfying. There’s really not much more to say about this piece – it’s just an attractive little painting. 

And, it all went to plan. Which was nice…