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PAINTING NO 7 BENBULBEN WITH COTTAGE RUINS
Painting number 7 and 8 will be paintings with a difference. I am going to construct each of these paintings by using two photographs.
I am going to place the cottage ruins (below) to the scene above on the bottom right hand side.
I will also demonstrate to you how to re-shape it so that it will suit a more rectangular canvas such as 20 x 16″ (50 x 40cm) or 16 x 12″ (40 x 30cm)
PAINTING 8 THE MERMAID ON MERMAID’S COVE.
I will be placing this mermaid on the right hand side of the photograph below using both photographs.
PAINTING NO 7
BENBULBEN WITH A COTTAGE RUIN
The canvas I’d suggest you use would be a 50x40cm (20×16″) and divide it into 8 x6 but make sure you divide your photograph 8 x 5.
The reason for this is to leave a little extra space for the ruin (in the second part of this painting) so begin by dividing your canvas by 8 across and 6 down.
The sky will be in the first and second area (see below)
The mountain starts from the third area down so it and the remaining green area will occupy the third,fourth and fifth area down on your canvas.
Concentrate on drawing the sky and mountain in the first 5 areas but ignore the sixth area on the bottom of your canvas for now. (see below)
Hopefully I’ve explained that clearly.
STAGE ONE THE DRAWING.
Benbulben is notorious for its numerous shadows especially at it’s top.
As they are shadows, they appear to look different at various times in the morning, afternoon and evening. Wherever the sun is in the sky at certain times of the day dictate how these shadows appear
Don’t be too fussy with them though. Draw the important ones along with their lower gullies or as some refer to them as ‘tails’
Just make sure you draw them at their correct angles.
STAGE 2 INKING
Mix a little Burnt Sienna with a little white spirit in a jam jar lid until you have an ‘inky’ consistency. (see below)
When you are quite satisfied with your drawing then it’s time to paint over your pencil lines, filling in the shadows etc
STAGE 3 PREPARING THE SKY
As this will be a cloudy but bright day, we will have to apply the toned blue sky first, allow it to dry before working on the remaining white /slightly grey layers of cloud.
I have used a Phitalo Blue with whites for this but French Ultramarine/Cobalt/ Coeurilum Blues with white can be also used to achieve this colour.
I have used acrylic paint for this stage as it will speed up the drying process.
If you don’t have acrylic paint for the blue sky, use the oils of course but they will take that bit longer to dry
As you will notice (see below) the sky tones from dark to light as you paint from top to bottom.
It’s Saturday May 2nd
STAGE 4 PLACING AND DRAWING THE RUIN
At the risk of getting too technical I’ll try to keep these steps as clear as I can
Draw a rough rectangle around the cottage (see above) and divide it as above (6:3)
Using your grid lines on the canvas draw the cottage (see above)
pick out the 6:3 area that the cottage will occupy (see below).
From now on …I promise…no more grids. We are almost ready to continue with our painting but it’s now time for inking.
Please check to make sure you are happy with your drawing before inking your pencil lines.
You may have noticed that I moved the rocks a little bit further away from the cottage than the original. We will be doing things like that from now on as we continue with this painting
I am going to ask you to use your imagination quite a bit for this one. Createing a scene that doesn’t really exist, only in your mind. ‘Imaginary Composition’ if you like.
We will be putting in some field patterns and some trees from other rural scenes or from your imagination, using them mostly in the left hand side of the painting.
The mountain will have it’s own original features down to it’s base and a little below
This is the end for today.
On Monday we will start Stage 5 the clouds.
Happy bank holiday weekend everyone.
Monday May 4th at 2.30pm
STAGE 5 THE CLOUDS
When painting clouds, always take into account that their formations, colours and patterns are constantly moving and changing, so don’t try to replicate an exact image that you may have in your picture.
Take one quick look at it and let loose with your brush or palette knife.
Here I have used a round haired sable brush and lightly picked out my white areas with a small quantity of white oil paint without looking at my picture too closely.
Please allow to dry before returning to put a second layer of colour on these clouds
STAGE 6 STARTING THE MOUNTAIN
Wednesday May 6th 5.30pm
Welcome back everyone
We will start our mountain now.
If you can mix Cadmium Yellow, some Sap Green, some White and Yellow Ochre and use this as your basecoat wherever you see the bright bits.
Mix some Cobalt or French Ultramarine Blue with a touch of Paynes Grey or an even smaller touch of black with some white. This will get you the shadow colours for the top of the mountain.
Please take about half the mountain and concentrate on this for now. Get this bit right and you will find the remainder a lot easier.
Put the bright and dark bases in roughly, side by side.
Look closely at your picture and try to see how many colours you can see in the bright greens.
I can see at least 6. Burnt Sienna, Little bits of Sap Green, Sap Green with a touch of French Ultramarine Blue, extra Cadmium Yellow, little bits of Yellow Ochre, Whites and paler tints of the colours mentioned. The Sandy bits are mainly Burnt Umber and White.
Place these colours on top of the base colours whilst still wet. Look out for the brighter highlights especially on the sharp edges. Again, as I advised on earlier paintings, just paint what you see without trying to work out what it is your painting. Trust your eyes!
I will revisit my sky and brighten some whites and leaving the duller whites. I will be adding a few Violet/ Grey bits along with the remainder of the mountain. As this is the most difficult part of the painting please take your time. .
MONDAY MAY 11th 5.30pm
STAGE 7 DEVELOPING THE MOUNTAIN
This painting is all about using your imagination and that’s exactly what I would like you do once you have finished at the base of your mountain.
I have soon to decide where I’m going to locate the lane or road, where I’m going to put the ditches and maybe one more ruin in the distance, and of course the pattern of trees and fields further on in the distance and behind the house.
As you may have noticed, I have started the finishing touches to the mountain and in this case I am working from right to left as I am anxious to develop the shadow.
The bright colours I have used on the mountain are a mixture of Sap Green and Lemon and Cadmium Yellows with Whites. When you want to darken the greens please add French Ultramarine the Sap Green. There will also be touches of Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna throughout this mix.
The darker colours of the trenches and rocky areas are made from French Ultramarine /Raw Umber or Sap Green/ French Ultramarine/ Raw Umber or a touch of Payne’s Grey.
Look carefully at each area on the mountain and try to locate as many variations of the colours above. You will notice that the brightest colours are Sap Green with Cadmium or Lemon Yellow and White.
As they darken use less of the white and more of the Sap Green. As they darken further (as in the shadow on the right hand side) slowly increase the French Ultramarine Blue.
STAGE 8 MIDDLE AND FOREGROUND BASE COATS
The main colours are a mixture of Cadmium and Lemon Yellows with Sap Greens/Whites. This is what you lay down as your base coat and all other additional colours you choose to use are placed on this whilst still wet.
I have mixed Yellow Ochres and Burnt Sienas with Burnt and Raw Umbers. As you come closer to the bottom of the painting you can consider changing from brush to palette knife for that little extra foreground texture(see below).
Our next step will be to finish the mountain and decide the field pattern you wish to use on your back and middle ground.
WEDNESDAY MAY 13th SLOW PROGRESS
Apart from Benbulben and the old house I am now using my imagination only so progress is slow at the moment .
By using a pencil to track the ditches, I have started the field lines on the left and have figured out the little lane with a rough track. I will be developing the track further nearer the end with actual sand mixed with the paint nearer the base of the painting.
I’m hoping it will have the effect of bringing the foreground closer to us whilst pushing the background further away. It’s one of my favorite textures and hopefully will work very well here.
A FEW TIPS FOR PAINTING THE RIDGES
Start with a grey base coat (White, Raw Umber and a little French Ultramarine Blue) mainly at the top roughly at the exposed rock area
Mix some French Ultramarine Blue with some Raw Umber with a little white and place on to the wet base coat.
Use a flat top sable brush for this.
Now just start to add some greens .
The greens are Sap Green with some Yellow Ochre / white and Sap Green, Cadmium Yellow and white. Experiment with different variations at this stage.
Now is the time to start the ruin even though not all of the backgrounds are complete yet. By starting it now it will give us a better idea about where to go next as remember that this part of the painting is from our imaginations.
For example I’ve only now realised that the inner old wall needs to show up a bit more as the Yellow Ochre I’ve used on it is not contrasting enough with the surrounding landscape as I had intended… so nearer the end I’m going to change this to a pinkish colour.
When starting the ruin, lightly coat all walls with a coat of white paint.
Look carefully at the walls and smudge in the various colours that you see on them.
I have used quite a bit of Raw Umber, touches of French Ultra Marine Blue and Payne’s Grey to get this ‘stressed’ look.
Your task here is to age the walls as much as you can.
Note the brighter areas on parts of the building . Look at the back chimney. The light is on the left of the chimney so it is very important that you maintain this theme and have the light on the left hand side of everything.
NOTE the front of the building is brighter than the gables etc .
Continue on with the remainder of the Ruin.
THE OLD ROAD
I used a variety of Greens and Yellows,Yellow Ochres and Burnt Siennas here with spatterings of Raw Umber here and there. What’s important at this stage is that the brush strokes further back the road are less noticable than the ones that are closer to us.
The close up ones should appear longer , more colourful and rougher with perhaps bald bare patchy bits of Raw Umber peeping through.
These bits will be added here soon.
Your brush stroke for the grasses should be generally an down-to-up one (indicating growth) with a few swaying slightly right and left.
This is the bit where you have a bit of fun with it. This is an imaginary composition which means that your imagination should be taking over now.
I have changed the colour of the inner wall from Yellow Ochre to a brighter pink as I wanted a colour that would stand out rather than the one I had originally put on.
If you are applying the mist please use a round head hog haired brush and lightly dust with a little white on the dry mountain area allowing some of the mountain to come through it.
I think that’s it.
Hope you enjoyed doing it.