1105, 2020

The Path Through the Trees – Colour Sketch

May 11th, 2020|Tags: , , |

I mentioned the fear of running out of scenes to paint. That fear was once again proven to be completely irrational this morning when walking on ‘The Line’ in Ystradgynlais’ Ystradfawr Nature Reserve. Even with the light not being as strong as I’d hoped, with a hazy cast softening the morning sun, I still managed to come back from the walk with a handful of shots that will make great inspiration for new woodland paintings. I really like the feel of this one and it would definitely benefit from being painted on a larger canvas. The foliage detail needs more room to breathe and I think a large piece would draw the eye into the scene better. I really do enjoy painting forest scenes [...]

605, 2020

A Morning Walk Around Caerlan

May 6th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

I went out for a short walk around Caerlan this morning to make the most of the early light. I came away with another load of shots that will form the basis for new works. I've barely walked around Ystradgynlais and the surrounding areas since I've lived here, but just doing this short walk, I feel so lucky to live in an area where I can take a morning stroll and come away with so much inspiration for my paintings. Also lucky to have Jess, who encouraged me to go out this morning! Looking to the future and lining up ideas new paintings, my work is clearly going in two different directions - sweeping vistas with epic skies - and more subtle scenes such [...]

305, 2020


May 3rd, 2020|Tags: , , |

I've been experimenting this morning. A dramatic sunset over Ystradgynlais in oils on a reasonably large canvas. Some artists specialise. They do coastal scene after coastal scene, or mountains, or forests. They get into a groove. Each piece shows subtle differences in form and light. There's nothing wrong with this. But I love variety. So many scenes I go to paint are completely new to me. They each require a whole new palette. Most colour combinations I've never worked with before. Painting foliage, wispy clouds, dappled sunlight, calm bodies of water... it's all so new. Each scene I paint is not just a learning process it's a massive learning process. I've been painting for a short enough time that I still haven't developed a [...]

1904, 2020

I’m Sticking With Oils

April 19th, 2020|Tags: , |

Okay, so after having so much doubt about working in oil paints with my previous post, I started work on the large (40x20 inch) version of the shores of Llyn Brianne. Blocking in was fine and I made good progress. However, when I came to working on the clouds and the treeline... well, it just didn't go well. Before I could even get going on refining the clouds I encountered problems with the open time of the acrylics. No matter how much slow-drying medium I used, the paint strokes I made became unworkable within a few minutes leaving hard edges where I didn't want them. Whilst this might not be so much of a problem on a small surface, working on such a large [...]

1704, 2020

Spring on the Line – Colour Study

April 17th, 2020|Tags: , , |

The other morning, Jessie took me for a walk on 'The Line' - a former railway line along the Ystradgynlais hillside which is now a popular path for dogwalkers and cyclists. I hadn't been out for a walk since well before lockdown began so it really was a feast for the senses walking the woodland trails and seeing all the fresh spring greenery in the golden morning light. Obviously, I took my camera along and took plenty of photos to serve as inspiration for future pieces. However when I got home I found there was one particular shot that I was particularly drawn to, so I started a colour study. A colour study is essentially a test. I paint on a small surface with [...]

1304, 2020

A Crisis of Medium Choice

April 13th, 2020|Tags: , , |

I'm having somewhat of a crisis of medium choice at the moment. Having worked exclusively with oil paints since the beginning of the year, I've found myself increasingly frustrated with them. I never thought I'd say that because while I was painting in acrylics, I said to myself "when I get the studio space, I'll move to oils and it will all be good". But over the last week I've started painting two new scenes on large canvases and with both of them I felt like working with oils was holding me back. Maybe I'm trying to do too much too soon? Maybe I'm not giving them the patience needed? Maybe my technique just sucks and I've got a whole lot more to learn [...]