Here is my most recent watercolour study of skies, painted in Dorchester on the day I photographed the lone tree in the large oil painting below. I took some photos of the lone tree and dropped the family off (husband Dave and grandchildren) to walk over the Wittenham Clumps to Dorchester. I drove around the long way and did most of this little cloud-study while waiting for them, and finished it at home. Of course, we all had the famous Dorchester Abbey tea. You sit around a large table amongst the other guests and help yourself to as much cake as you wish, recording the number of pieces on a slate. The magnificent cakes are all made by the villagers and the tea room is run by volunteers to raise money for charities. Tea is 70p for the first cup, 60p for the second cup and 50p for the third cup! A wonderful experience.
This is my first large oil painting of a Cloudscape, (60cm x 60cm) and I’m still feeling my way around. I had decided on a simplified foreground to off-set a dramatic sky. As you can see, I work in my conservatory.
The foreground was a solid wheatfield – but the Burnt Umber underpainting looked much better on the right hand side, so I kept it. I added wheat-ish texture and sparkle to the left hand side. Isn’t it weird how the Umber foreground makes the sky just above the wheatfields look more luminous and pinkish compared to the images below?
In the left image, the sky seemed complete and colours were accurate. But it all felt tame, so I added some bolder Cobalt Blue palette knife work. The hills in the second image are dull – I changed the far hills to mauve and the closer hills to a brighter green.
A few days passed and the painting looked as though it needed more contrasts, so back to the palette knife to pull in some bright whites, dark under-shadows on the clouds and more cobalt with energetic palette-knife marks. And suddenly, it was complete.
And just to put the watercolour and oil painting into perspective, size-wise…
I can’t wait to start the next large one. I will be doing a two-day landscape painting workshop at Waterperry Gardens with Judith Gardner (a renowned landscape painter) on Monday and Tuesday, so hopefully I’ll have some interesting work to show and will be expanding my repertoire.