Month: May 2017

More painting with oils outdoors

I ventured out with Molly last week to Steer’s Field, Ranmore, one of my favorite places to walk and paint. I set up and started well but soon lost my way. I was quite clear about the how to approach the sky and distance but fell away when it came to middle and near distance. The vegetation is too complicated to work out when you are tired and Molly is saying hello to every dog and their owner.

Here is the scene:


view from Ranmore Common

And this is my attempt Plein Air:


As you can see its not got a very good tonal range and I’m having difficulty with the trees and fields.

So I set about working on the same picture from home with the idea that I can use any techniques learnt when I go out again.

Here are three stages in the picture’s construction:

The finished picture:


My colours have a wider cold-warm range, there is more tonal contrast and I’ve included detail but without going down the ‘every leaf and grass blade route’. There are problems with the foreground trees but hey I can’t fix it all on one go…

There is a blurred feel about the painting but when seen in the ‘flesh’ then I think it works.


Oil paintings from Peak District

I’ve been using some new water soluble oils from Jackson’s and I’m liking them a lot. The tubes are large and don’t cost too much, the paint is smooth and blend-able plus the colours are strong. I don’t have to use solvents so there is no smell and they are easy to use Plein Air.

Jacksons aqua oils

I did have a go outside with them but completely messed up the composition and produced a real dud. No picture of it on the this post. So I’ve returned to my desk and am painting scenes from photos I’ve taken on holiday and my walks with Molly.

I’m really enjoying the versatility of oils and the fact they don’t dry instantly. The colours are so much stronger than watercolours and I’m enjoying achieving strong contrasts with them. Also I feel freer to try out different colour combinations and am using purple far more than before.

Two recent paintings. We were walking in the Peak District during the lambing season, the sun was out and it shone on this group, lighting up the ears of the lambs.

Derbyshire lambs

Derbyshire Lambs

One evening we were walking to the local pub along a very quiet lane (Milldale Lane) with the sun setting. Looking behind we saw the hills lit up and this scene spread out.

Milldale Lane

Milldale Lane, Peak District

I’ve some more oil paintings of animals on the go and will share soon…