30 September 2013

Iris Dancing Queens palette knife painting, Day 30, 30 day hath September challenge

Iris Dancing Queens
Palette knife painting
18x24cm (approx 7x10inch)
oil on canvas MDF panel
See the write up HERE

The last painting of the challenge.

A big thank you to Leslie Saeta for organising the challenge and hosting it.
It's been good fun. I've tried different things and put in a lot of painting miles, which is always a good thing.

29 September 2013

Provence colours abstract - Day 29, 30 days hath September challenge

Provence colours abstract
22x27 cm ( approx 9x11inch)
Oil, palette knife painting on canvas card panel
Day 29, 30 days hath September challenge
click on the image for a larger view

I hope you have your sunglasses on for day 29. This is the abstract I was working on two days ago and finished today by putting on more layers. I am still trying to decide if it works. I think I like it.

Abstracts are easier to paint in acrylics because of the drying time. Oils take so long to dry or 'tack up' before the next layer so the idea of scumbling effects would only work after waiting several days, even if using liquin as a drying medium. With acrylics you can scumble and change things more easily, which also means that changing direction is easier and quicker which is what's needed with abstract. There are exceptions of course, as usual, it depends on the desired outcome.
Here are some close-ups

28 September 2013

Sunset over the vineyard, Provence landscape oil painting WIP - Day 28, 30 days hath September

Sunset over the vineyard WIP
24x30cm, oil on canvas panel
palette knife painting
Day 28, 30 days hath September challenge.

We're back to the vineyards for day 27 but this time at sunset. This is a work in progress. I still need to tone down the colours of the path and include some of the sky colours. I haven't painted many sunsets and trying to balance the colours with the lights and darks is quite a challenge, so I would be grateful for any tips.

This is the same vineyard shown in my autumn vineyard paintings, click here to see - but a different view point by turning 90 deg to the right.

Only 3 days left of the challenge. I'm quite proud with myself as I've kept pace with the challenge and posted every day.

27 September 2013

King of the Roost, Day 27 30 days hath September, 4x6 inch

 King of the Roost
Oil, palette knife painting
10x15cm (4x6 inch) on MDF panel

My first ever rooster/chicken.

I should have paid more attention to the background and I might redo the background for this. I was naughty and didn't pre-plan the background so I floundered a bit for which colours to use.

This has given me an idea of a rooster series for my kitchen in a larger size. I'm not particularly fond of chickens but I did enjoy painting this for some reason.

The challenges certainly has me trying a few different things. I have a couple of abstracts in the making which I am allowing to dry up a bit before putting on the final layers as I want a broken paint effect. So maybe tomorrow I will have an abstract for you.

26 September 2013

Abandon, Autumn Abstract - Day 26, 30 days hath September, oil, 9x12 inch

Abandon, Autumn Abstract
23x30x1.5cm (approx 9"x12"x0.6")
Oil on box canvas, palette knife painting
 110€ International shipping included

I've just notice the three As in the title - a little unintended alliteration LOL

I felt like doing something a little different today and something where I could just use my paints with abandon. Working with the oranges, red and yellow really makes me feel happy. The inspiration for this one my previous painting
Autumn Explosion
I started with a puple ground then some red dabs of paint, next I alternated with different orange hues and reds and lastly luscious cadmium yellow. After all the paint was more or less in place I used a palette knife to place the trees in position by laying the palette knife flat on the canvas and pulling it up through the paint.
Placing the trunks
The very last thing was to lay in the trunks with titanium white which I did with a sideways motion. The white paint picked up some of the colour already on the painting giving the illusion of bark. I tried hard to give the trunks different widths but maybe I should have made them much more different?
Knife work close-ups
Here are some close ups showing the different layers

25 September 2013

The colours of Provence, 4x6 inch - oil painting, Day 25, 30 days hath September challenge

The colours of Provence, Provence landscape
Palette knife oil painting
15x10cm (6"x4") on gessoed MDF panel 
Day 25, 30 days hath September challenge

Another small one for day 25. You may have noticed that I like these colours and of course, it includes lavender and poppies. This is a rework of the Zorn palette study posted earlier. I just couldn't get the colours to work for me so HEY PRESTO a small Provence Scene. This is a similar composition to Meandering Path

Some close-up shots

24 September 2013

Where Lavender and Poppies Meet, 6x6, Day 24, 30 days hath September

Where Lavender and Poppies Meet
Oil on box canvas Palette knife painting
45€ International shipping included
15x15x1.5 cm (6"x6"x0.6")

Day 24, 30 days hath September
  The sides of the canvas have been painted dark purple
so the painting can be hung without a frame.
We are back in the Haut-Alpes area of Provence for day 24, I will never get tired of painting this area.
Here are some close-ups of the paint work

23 September 2013

Vineyard Courtyard, Day 23, 30 days hath September challenge

Vineyard Courtyard
18x24cm oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
Day 23, 30 days hath September challenge

This is the courtyard of one of the vineyards (see Day 19's painting) we visited earlier in the month.

20 September 2013

Ready for Harvest? Provence landscape - Day 20, 30 days hath September challenge

Ready for Harvest? Provence  landscape oil painting
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
Day 20, 30 days hath September challenge

This vine was in the vineyard is near Le Muy (yesterday's painting) in the Var, an area famous for the Provence rosé. The grapes looked luscious and ready for harvesting  (and shush... take it from me they were very sweet). It's a lovely area, all the flat land is taken up by vineyards with the typical Provence hills looming in the background.

I'm not happy with this painting and don't think it is a keeper. I couldn't get the grapes to look like grapes and over-worked them. I will have to try this one again as I love the gnarled vine.

19 September 2013

End of Summer, Provence Vineyard - Day 19, 30 days hath September

End of Summer, Provence Vineyard
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Oil on canvas panel
Palette Knife painting
Day 19, 30 days hath September
This painting is SOLD

Today's painting is of one of the vineyards we visited on our drive around the Var the other day, the same drive that produced Sweet Chestnut Walk and Cork Sentinels. You can see the Maures in the background. The vines were full of nice juicy grapes. Some of the leaves were turning, so maybe it is close to harvest time. These vineyards produce the delicious Provence Rosé the area is famous for. I painted these vineyards in the autumn last year after the harvest
Autumn Vineyard Provence Montage
by Marion Hedger

See the individual paintings HERE
Available paintings are for sale in my Etsy Store

18 September 2013

A quiet place, landscape painting - Day 18, 30 days hath September challenge

A Quiet Place oil painting
24x35cm (approx 10"x14")
Oil on wrapped canvas
Day 18, 30 days hath September challenge
The painting for day 18 of the challenge is an English scene of a quiet backwater in the Lake District, UK.

This was started with a brush and finished with a palette knife. I will leave this a few days to see if it needs more work. I am thinking about increasing the size of the reddish tree and adding more reflections and I still have to decide if it needs more light or if that will spoil the feeling of solitude. What do you think?

17 September 2013

Lively Lavender and Olives oil painting, Day 17, 30 days hath September challenge

Lively Lavender and Olives oil painting
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
Day 17, 30 days hath September challenge
85€ Int. shipping included
Another of my little Provence scenes from photos I took in June. Similar to my painting Lavender and Olives which is now sold. I do love that combination of blues/turquoise and lilacs.

16 September 2013

Winter Light oil painting, Day 16, 30 days hath September challenge

Winter Light oil painting
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
oil on unstretched canvas
palette knife painting
 Day 16, 30 days hath September challenge

The painting for day 16 is a winter scene full of light. I'm not partial to snow, but the colours in this have worked well, I think. It reminds me of those crisp winter afternoons we had occasionally in England when I lived there.

Unstretched canvas
This is painted onto unstretched, primed canvas which I stapled onto a support while painting. I liked painting on this surface, the paint adhered well and I was able to build up the layers.

15 September 2013

Autumn Blaze oil painting, Day 15, 30 days hath September challenge

Autumn Blaze oil painting
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
oil on canvas panel
palette knife painting
Day 15, 30 days hath September challenge

I have painted this scene before, see here and, as I like the vibrant colours, I thought it would it would be good to paint it again. I changed it a little to fit onto the smaller rectangular format as the original was a 30x30cm square format.
Tree colours as the focus
I made the focus of this one the trees and not the water/reflections.
I love all those oranges and yellows. I built the leaves up in layers using pinks, mauves and dulled orange as the first few layers to suggest depth and distance. I then used thicker and brighter oranges and yellows to suggest the closer leaves and sunshine on them.
Close up pics
Here are some close-ups of the knife work

14 September 2013

Perfect Cove oil painting, Day 14, 30 days hath September challenge

Perfect Cove oil painting
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Oil on canvas panel
Day 14, 30 days hath September challenge

International shipping included.
This view is a little further down the road from where the coastal pines were.
It is a lovely stretch of road winding along the headland between Cannes and St Raphael and with the Esterel in the background.
Red rocks and azure seas
The rocks are really red, and the change in the landscape from the white limestone of the Alpes Maritime is remarkable. The red stone is used for walls and building and gives a deep terracotta look to the area. The contrast between the red and the azure seas is a painter's dream.

13 September 2013

Olive Trio, Day 13, 30 days hath September challenge

Olive Tree Trio
30x24cm (approx 12"x10")
Oil on gessoed panel
palette knife painting
Day 13, 30 days hath September challenge

International Shipping included
After completing the last four tree paintings, I realised I hadn't included any olive trees. So for day 13 I selected a prepared panel I had gessoed earlier.
Olive Trees
This is an amalgam of trees from different photos but I quite like the way it came together. I wanted to show how olive trees are blue, turquoise and green all at the same time, particularly if there is a slight breeze blowing.
It is slightly larger that the other four paintings (which can be seen HERE) and this allowed me to concentrate on the form of the trunks. I love the rough, tactile, gnarled bark of the olive trees, a product of the hard pruning they receive.
Niçoise speciality
Here around Nice the olives produced by the trees are very small, but they are delicious and are a Niçoise speciality. We have three olive trees in the garden but I have never preserved the olives as it takes ages to get them to the edible stage. Raw they are extremely bitter and have to be soaked in brine.

12 September 2013

Coastal Pines, Day 12, 30 days hath September challenge

Coastal Pines treescape landscape painting
18x24cm (approx7"x10")
oil on canvas panel
85€ International shipping included
Day 12, 30 days hath September challenge

Tree series ?
I seem to have started a series of tree paintings and I do enjoy painting them, especially when there is light and shadow playing on the trunks and underneath. Sweet Chestnut Walk and Cork Sentinels were from a recent trip into the Var. Sherwood Forest walk and today's painting are from older photographs taken earlier in the year.

The coastal road
These coastal pines were found along the coast road to St Raphael. 
It is a beautiful stretch of coast road that winds from Cannes to St Raphael and we take a trip down it at least once a year. I always take loads of photos so have plenty of references on my 'to do' list. 
Shadows and Light
These gnarled pines attracted my attention because of their shape and the shadows playing underneath them. It's amazing that they grow at all, they were coming out from underneath the tarmac of the road! Just to the left is the sea and I ignored the road for the painting using my artistic license.

11 September 2013

Sunset Storm Brewing - Day 11, 30 days hath September challenge

Sunset Storm Brewing
24x30cm (approx 10"x12")
oil on canvas sheet
Day 11, 30 days hath September challenge
Started with a brush and completed with a palette knife
Contact me here about this or any other painting

A sunset is the topic for painting number 11 in the challenge.
Thank you wetcanvas.com
The photo for this has been sitting in my 'to do' folder for quite a long time, and is a reference from wetcanvas.com. I am always weary of tackling sunsets but - as part of the challenge is to try different things - here it is.
A new painting surface
The surface is also new for me, it is painted on canvas from a canvas pad that arrived in my supplies order the other day. I thought I had ordered a paper canvas pad for practice, but this is actual canvas with a universal primer. It is medium grain and a delight to work on. I painted directly onto the surface without additional preparation and initially I used a brush and then reverted to the palette knife. It seems to have accepted the oil very well.

I will leave it for a couple of days to see if the paint 'sinks in' or remains vibrant.

See yesterday's painting HERE

10 September 2013

Cork sentinels, Day 10, 30 days hath September challenge

Cork Sentinels, Provence treescape landscape painting
18x24cm oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
Day 10, 30 days hath September challenge
 Cork Trees,
Painted from a photo I took in the same forest as the chestnut trees painted on day 8 (see post here). The forest is in the Var just to the north of St. Tropez. As you cross from the Alpes Maritime into the var, the flora changes and the oak trees change from the Provence green oaks to these cork oaks. They are very distinctive and have a very dark bark. Where they have been harvested the red wounds really stand out and they eventually achieve a gnarled look where the new bark grows over the wound. I have lots of photos so expect more paintings of the cork trees

Difficult Greens
The greens are difficult because although it is coming into autumn there is a lot of fresh green growth that sprout after the first rain at the end of summer, as well as the older green leaves. I've also used a few blue greens to add to the sense of distance.

Sky colours
Although the sky is not a huge part of the painting I took trouble with this using more colours than I normally do (pinks, blues and greens) trying to represent the transitional feel of the sky which was overcast one minute and sunny the next.

09 September 2013

Scarlet Poppies, Provence landscape - Day 9, 30 days hath September challenge

Scarlet Poppies Provence Landscape
54x46x1.8cm oil on box canvas
440€ Click HERE to purchase
Plus shipping (approx 22"x18")
Palette knife painting
Day 9, 30 days hath September challenge
Day 9 painting
For day 9 of the challenge I am cheating a little. This is a larger landscape painting which I started a couple of weeks ago and finished on Friday - so strictly speaking I did paint some of it in September LOL.
Larger Format
This is much larger than my small landscapes and I really enjoyed painting this one. I'm fond of the small ones but this allowed me to get stuck into a painting as it has been a while since I did a larger one (apart from my Zorn palette study of course).
Small Poppy Painting
Here is one of my smaller poppy landscapes for comparison
Click here to see the original post

08 September 2013

Sweet Chestnut Walk - Day 8, 30 days hath September Challenge

Sweet Chestnut Walk treescape WIP
Day 8, 30 days hath September Challenge
Oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
Contact me about this or any other painting HERE

Last Friday we took a drive around the vineyards in the Var region so I could gather some photos of the vineyards before the grapes were harvested. As part of the drive we went through the Les Maures hills national forest. Sweet chestnut trees grow wild amongst the cork oaks. Generally the day was overcast but every now and then the sun shone through and I managed to capture the sunlight in this view. This is not quite finished, I still have to work on the edges of the shadows.

07 September 2013

Sherwood Forest Walk - Day 7, 30 days hath September challenge

Sherwood Forest Walk treescape oil painting
Day 7, 30 days hath September challenge
18x24cm (approx 7"x10") oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting

Sherwood Pines
At the end of May this year, we went to Sherwood Pines park in Nottingham my home town. While my brother and the kids did the bicycle circuit, I went for a walk and took photos.

Sherwood Pines is a managed pine plantation right in the heart of Sherwood Forest (quel domage) where they used to grow the pines for pit props in the coal mines. That industry has now died and they are gradually replacing the trees with native species.
My Walk
Naturally it was the regenerated part of the forest where I went for my walk. The sun was shining through the fresh green growth of trees and all was OK in my world.
Does it need people?
I am uncertain whether or not to put a couple in at the end of the path to:
  • add a focal point and scale
  • To add a touch of red (a shirt maybe) as a foil for all the green
Please let me know what you think.

Winter Scene - Zorn palette oil painting

Winter scene, Zorn palette study
30x40cm (12"x16") oil on box canvas

This is the third study using the Zorn palette and I used a palette knife for the final stages. I am finding it difficult to get the nuances in the tones to achieve a sense of distance.  Now that I look at the photo, I see that there is also not much difference between the tone of the ice in the river and the dark shadow, although I thought there was while I was painting it. I shall look at this for a while and maybe work on it some more to differentiate those tones more and to make the background recede more.

Tonight is the last web tutorial by Ken, and we should be using additional accent colours which should be interesting.

06 September 2013

Abandoned Lavender Field - Day 6, 30 days hath September

Abandoned Lavender Field 
Day 6, 30 days hath September
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
oil on canvas panel
Palette Knife Painting
Available in my Etsy shop

Day 6 of the challenge. As you know, every June we go to visit the lavender fields here in Provence. Occassionally there is what appears to be an abandoned field amongst the pristine rows of lavender. They really stand out as they are such a contrast to the normally sedate rows.

05 September 2013

A Lovely Lavender Day, Day 5, 30 days hath September

A Lovely Lavender day
 Day 5, 30 days hath September challenge
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting
For day 5 of the challenge I couldn't resist painting another one of my favourite lavender scenes. I was struggling for a title so I did an internet search and found a poem with this title which fitted the painting perfectly.

04 September 2013

Distant view - Day 4, 30 days hath September challenge

Distant view, Zorn palette study
Day 4, 30 days hath September challenge
18x24cm on canvas panel
Practice only NFS

This is my 4th painting for the challenge. I need to study the Zorn palette more so wanted to see if I could make it work for me with one of my Provence landscape photos. I am definitely struggling trying to make this palette work. Normally I would paint this in purples, blues and reds giving a vibrant painting so you can see how hard it is for me. The light grey is supposed to take on a blue tinge against the ochre and reds, but I am having difficulty seeing it. This Saturday's tutorial will introduce some additional accent colours which might make it all make more sense to me.

See day 3 painting HERE
Another Zorn palette painting

Looking Through, Provence landscape - Challenge Day 3, 30 days hath September

Looking Through - Provence landscape
Day 3, 30 days hath September
18x24cm oil on canvas panel
Palette knife painting

The third painting in the September daily painting challenge. This is a palette knife painting in oils.
Day 1 and 2 were florals and are shown in my Floral art blog

02 September 2013

30 Days Has September - 30 daily painting challenge

I am taking part in a challenge being hosted by Leslie Seata, to paint a daily painting each day in September.

I am not organised at all for this as I have had family staying all summer. Now that we have our house back (lol) I hope to get my self organised today. I am not sure yet if I will do themed paintings or just what takes my fancy on the day. I may also do some that I can add to my 101 garden paintings which I still have to catalogue. I am not even sure of how many I painted, but I do not that as time went on I improved greatly and lost my fear of 'just going for it'.
It was fun to do, although frustrating at times.
Here are a couple of my garden 101 paintings
Pink Lavetera
18cmx24cm, oil on canvas panel

Sunny geraniums
18cmx24cm, oil on canvas panel
Hibiscus Syringia
18cmx24cm, oil on canvas panel