Today’s winner for posting on my blog is… this Scottish landscape, painted in acrylics with a palette knife on a 10×12 inch canvas board 🙂
This morning had me playing about with my acrylic paints and my palette knife on a small 5×7 board again, experimenting with creating an imaginary flower using broad strokes and lots of texture, so I thought a fully open rose might be a good design to try out.
Typically I didn’t bother to put in a proper background as it’s just a practice flower, but I’m happy enough with keeping it anyway. I might even see if I can add something a bit more interesting in behind it tomorrow, once the flower is properly dry 🙂
Japanese Anemone in Acrylics
I thought I’d try something a bit different this morning, and decided to paint a flower pic from my garden last year – but OMG flowers are so difficult to paint! Think I’ll go back to my loose landscapes, where flowers are just multiple wee dots on the canvas… 🙂
Hills and Loch: Take II
I had another go at painting a variation on a theme of the same hills and loch from the other day, but this time I not only used a bigger canvas board (12×10 inch) but I tried using just a mid-section of the scene in portrait orientation instead of landscape. As before, I started out with the reference pic but then did my own thing… I keep forgetting that acrylic paints dry quite a bit darker, though, so have ended up with some pretty dark greens on the background hills, but I’m sure I’ll get there with it all in the end! 🙂
Hills and Loch
Today’s little 5×7 inch landscape done with my palette knife.
I’m still learning from my mistakes, what to do and what not to do when painting in a loose impressionistic style with my acrylic paints, and I’m beginning to understand that a nice reference photograph does not necessarily translate well into a nice painting. Not without adding a big dollop of artistic license, anyway! Thankfully this one worked out fine.
I’ve discovered that – for me, anyway – if I’m painting a landscape I seem to need some proper up-close-and-personal interest in the immediate foreground to make it all come together, like some grasses or flowers or… well, to be honest I don’t know what else? So I need to choose carefully, or learn to add made-up stuff so that it looks like it’s supposed to be that way.
Another of my issues is worrying the paint over and over, trying to get it right. So today I made a point of laying the paint down once, lightly blending or adding a second colour or whatever needs doing to that immediate area, then leaving it alone. I realised once I’d finished that I’ve messed up the perspective along the top of the loch a bit, but I’m not going back over it now – I’ll maybe re-do the whole painting again on a new board instead?
I’ve also used up all my small 5×7 inch canvas boards for now, so will move up to using up my 10×12 inch boards next… a bit more daunting but I’ll definitely give it a try soon! 🙂
Under Greying Skies
This is the disappointingly ‘flat’ 5×7 inch painting I wasn’t happy with the other day… I still find it all a bit flat, but what the hell – when the weather is a muted, moody grey in a reference pic with no dramatic highlights and shadows it’s hard to know what to do for the best?
I mean, I live in the windy North of Scotland where the skies (and the seas) are more often lilac grey than deep blue, so I suppose I’m going to have to learn to paint landscapes in soft, dull, muted shades as well as strong, bright saturated colours?
Looking at it again this morning it’s probably not as completely disastrous as I’d first thought, so I figured I’d just share it anyway… 🙂
Sand Dunes and Sea Grass
I think I’ll keep on painting this type of mini landscape on these 5×7 inch canvas boards – the small size (no room for detail) and using only a palette knife to paint with (no potential for detail) means I have no option but to paint loose rather than tight… I do seem to be finding it easier now to use a reference photo and know what to put in and what to leave out, so it seems the regular practice is definitely helping me improve my painting skills…
Again, this is a coastal scene I’ve painted before in watercolours, so I’m finding it’s good to try a different approach to the same subject… 🙂
Green Scottish Landscape
Another little 5×7 inch canvas board landscape painted in acrylics using only a palette knife.
I used a reference photo for this one, and I’m quite happy with how it’s turned out. Again, I’m not aiming for an exact representation of the entire reality but more a general ‘feel’ of this particular view of the Scottish countryside, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it!
Looking, seeing, feeling, choosing, planning, painting… 🙂
PS I’ve actually painted this scene before, very loosely in water-colours…
Mini Homage to Monet
A little 5×7 inch canvas board homage to Claude Monet’s Poppy Field near Argenteuil – I’ve left out the figures in the foreground and the house in the treeline, but I liked the basic landscape shape so wanted to give it a try using my palette knife only.
The small canvas size wasn’t too daunting to think about, and using the palette knife made me keep it all loose and painterly, so overall I think it worked out quite well… 🙂
A Sense of Place
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ve been thinking a lot about painting again recently. I’m keen to keep going with acrylics because there’s a lot I like about them and would love to improve, but when it comes to painting landscapes I’m still coming up against some of the same frustrating issues I was finding with water-colours. So clearly the stumbling block here is not the medium, but the painter.
As I’m a keen photographer I’ve taken loads of beautiful landscapes I’d love to turn into paintings, but I sometimes struggle with understanding what approach to take to achieve that aim. I know I’m not interested in painting in a hyper-realistic style – I mean, even if I wanted to it’s just not possible for me – but neither am I interested in painting something so abstract you really can’t tell what it’s supposed to be.
I want to be able to paint an impression of the landscape so that it gives a familiar sense of place, a general feel for the overall shapes and the colours, but not necessarily a ‘correct’ representation of exactly what is there. Getting the balance right between painting what I see and painting what I feel is taking some time to work out, but I don’t think there’s a short-cut – trying out different things to see what feels right for me is the only way through this…