Friday, 2 January 2009

Painting Journey

I am taking a little trip, you can come too, it is the journey of a painting.  Off we go, across the fields, through the woods, past the village to the ferry, across the water, along the coast to Grebe rock.  
It sounds like a long journey but it isn't, just a couple of miles.
I have with me my dog and my sketching gear.  I am revisiting a painting that I did earlier in the year as I am working on a few paintings for the gallery in Falmouth, Beside The Wave. 

 It is a great spot, you can sit on the cliff and look down through the trees at the water.
First of all I have a cup of coffee, then I sit a while and really listen and look before making a watercolour and pen sketch.  
First I paint the water, looking at how the light is showing the way of the wind.  Next I am using a big permanent marker pen for the trunks, I want to get the feeling of them, big and solid masses.  I use a smaller pen for the scribbles of tiny branches

Then I write a few words down in another note book, it is just to fix things that I have noticed and want to remember for the painting.After that I head home to begin work on the painting.
Once home, the first thing to do is to make a working drawing. 
 I use scraps of coloured pastel paper and black and white conte crayons to make rapid sketches.  This helps me to decide on the composition, the direction of lines and generally to think through the painting.
This is then drawn onto a gessoed board and painted.  It takes several layers of paint to get the depth of colour that I want.  I use brushes of several sizes, a small pallet knife and some bits of card to paint it... and here it is:
Oil on board.
6in x 6in.


vivien said...

I love those wooded creeks - especially in Spring with the primroses and bluebells.

You've caught the feel of the place beautifully, the closeness of the trees to the water, the glistening mud, the direction of the ripples and the light.

Love the words you put down too - poetry :>)

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Thanks for this journey. I like the way you use pens to colour those masses of trees and a thin pen for the branches and finer work. I've never thought of that and am definitily going to follow your lead! This is such an atmospherice painting. ...And thanks for the coffee!

annie said...

I agree with Vivien and Ronell about the atmosphere, poetry and varied pen
marks. So much motion in the glistening water. I also like the preliminary sketches-- just full of motion.
And Ronell is right--GO-OD coffee.

Trevor Lingard said...

This is a fasinating journey and all the element brought together makes a wonderful painting.
I want to dive into that lovely rippling water, but it looks along way down.
Kind Regards

Ana Tirolese said...

Wow. Loved the journey. Thanks for sharing.

The piece is beautiful.

Lindsay said...

Oh and ah... I love hearing about your process. How well prepared you are for that final painting and I too love the use of fat and thin pens over the wc.

Jeanette said...

Its always interesting to see how others approach paintings. You've really got that tranquil spot and light down pat. It's lovely.

Robyn said...

What a fabulous trip. Inspiring, educational and culminating in a wonderful, sparkling painting.

Gesa said...

Thank you! As others have said before: fascinating journey, I like the idea of notes and the different sized pens... that will help with one of my tree dilemmas. The painting is so atmospheric and sparkling. Very nice!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Wow - a "double entendre" and a great idea for a 'type' of blog post and I particularly love the map!

I'd love to be able to show maps to show where we're painting.

Maybe we should have a blog post about different options for illustrating where our paintings are?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Sarah - did you see "Three Men in More than One Boat" on BBC2 on New Year's day (now on iplayer) - where Griff Rhys-Jones, Dara O Briain and Rory McGrath went to Cornwall.

They rowed up the River Fowey to Sawmills (the recording studio). It looked very like the Helford.

Which was the river that the troops trained in for the D Day Landings?

muddy red shoes said...

Thanks all for lovely comments.
Missed the programme about the boat, will watch it now.
the D-Day training river was the helford, and all the troops waited for two weeks in the fields just where i was painting, according to the old chaps in the village.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I thought that's what they said!

Have you see these sites?
- this one has lots of info about the Helford River
- and this one (for the SouthWest Coastal Path) has lots more info plus says the Americans set out from

"Trebah Beach at Polgwidden Cove: In June 1944 the Americans left this very beach making for Omaha Beach in Normandy for the D-Day Landings"

Nancy said...

You've presented this in such a good way -- like a story. And your studies, as well as your finished product, are beautiful.

muddy red shoes said...

just watched the three men in more than one boat film, brilliant, made me very proud of where I live. The bit up the fal, near the smugglers cottage is very like the helford where I live...arrh. lovely, thanks Katherine for the link.