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Sundown: oil on canvas 16x12 inches

, 14:15 - Permalink

Have had a few tech problems trying to log into my blog account, but hopefully now fixed. With the onset of late autumn and the clocks going back to the proper natural time (GMT), things get a little more difficult for me in terms of taking decent photos of paintings. I always take mine outdoors, but finding a spot where there are no cast shadows (like tree branches and twigs) can be tricky. The day has to be bright and dry as well. Overcast light is ok as long as it's bright.

Anyway, today's image will do for the blog, but I would like to take a better, sharper image when I can.

"Sundown" is a view from on top of a cliff, out to sea. The rocky prominence is actually a rather slatey clifftop in Cornwall, which was a bit dodgy to walk along, especially with a huge drop on both sides. On this evening, the light level was good and the sun obliged by producing a nice column of red-orange light across the sea. Impractical to paint it on the spot, since this pretty column of light lasted for all of five minutes before sinking back into a blue-grey haze.

Oils used; once again I brought out the Sennelier oil-bars to make the rocks, using raw umber with cerulean blue and ultramarine bars, plus some tube raw-umber. The oilbars were used to draw the rock shapes fairly roughly and work some of the waxy paint into a little bit of texture (not too thick, however). Once surface-dry several days later, the texture was lightly scumbled with white oilbar mixed with a touch of pale blue. The green areas were initially painted in oilbar and also left to dry for several days before adding light layers of tube-paint on top.

The sky was started in yellow oilbar, moving on to a mix of cadmium yellow and cadmium orange, plus a little cad scarlet. Similarly with the water, beginning with permanent mauve oilbar plus ultramarine.....both well-spread and left to dry a little, before adding titanium white paint and adjusting the tonal values up and down. Once dry, the details of waves and the column of light were added in tube-paint, using the same colours as the oilbars. The sun was worked with pale yellow and a blob of titanium white.

Foreground grasses brushed in over a dry oilbar layer, adding flowers using a mix of ultramarine, alizarin crimson and a combo of zinc and titanium white.

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