Flower and Landscape Paintings---News

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Winter Clouds over Loch Tay: oil, 12x9 inches

, 17:53

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/winter-clouds-loch-tay/477876

The painting for this post is a little more unusual. It has been painted on Arches oil paper, a fairly new product that looks very much like watercolour paper but has been specially treated to handle oil paint.

Normally, the oils and turps will eventually rot untreated paper (that is, a sheet of watercolour paper used "as is"). There is nothing wrong in using such paper for oil-sketching but you have to just remember that it may have quite a short life-span.

Arches oil-paper takes a little bit of getting used to; this is only the second time I've tried it. I find the surface to be fairly absorbent; it pulls moisture from the brush as you paint over the surface, causing the brush to "run out" of paint quite quickly. It does, though, permit turpsy washes to be put down, rather like a watercolour wash; very useful for blocking in the main components of a picture. Washes can be scrubbed around, too, the paper is strong and able to put up with some rougher treatment.

Once a certain amount of paint has been laid on, it becomes easier to add it with a painting knife. You can push the paint around and scrape it off with very few problems. In the case of this painting, I started to add the light parts of the clouds on top of the darker areas with a small knife. The bright ochre-orange foreground hillside was worked only with a small knife. It was easy to push the paint around on such a smooth surface; and the marks created did not sink down or disappear.

I think the paper tends to give a more matt finish to the painted image, than you would get on canvas, and certainly more so than on a gessoboard. However, I find this interesting because there is some resemblance to the matt appearance of a pastel painting.

Finally, how to frame something on oil-paper. Contrary to some beliefs, you don't HAVE to frame it under glass, just because it is paper. There are a number of ways of getting the paper mounted onto stiff backing-boards (I'm still researching them); this then creates a panel, which can be framed just like any other oil, i.e without glass. I imagine that, once strengthened in this way, and maybe also with varnish on it, the picture will be as robust as any other canvasboard or ply panel.

I might consider painting the same subject twice; once on oil-paper for a matt finish; and then in pastels on my usual surface, to make a comparison.

"Valley Storm": oil on canvasboard, 8x8 inches

, 11:10


Now at DailyPaintWorks.com: $75 (£50). http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/valley-storm/473360

Have had a painting "surge" recently and completed this one above, a couple of weeks back, along with another four small oils that are now drying. To avoid burn-out, I'm going to be working on a larger acrylic project, to rest the brains a bit.....for a little while.

My pastels have taken a bit of a back seat in recent weeks, especially floral subjects. This happens sometimes and one has to simply go with what the creative force is highlighting. In mid-summer I shall have a local group exhibition to prepare work for, so there's plenty to do.

Since deliberately setting up a new palette of oil-colours, I have found my oil-painting to flow more satisfactorily. I have had a habit of changing tube-colours for each painting, with mixed results....some ok, some rather dull (I haven't posted those!!). Now, I am going along with a double primary palette; ultramarine blue, thalo blue, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, cadmium red....plus white. Occasionally using cadmium orange and permanent rose (when I can't find the alizarin tube). It is making me stay within a limited choice, something I have tried to do in the past (and failed). This is very much a personal progress thing and not much interest to a potential purchaser, but I feel all the better for it.

Spring Blues; pastel 14x11 inches

, 15:30

Having had ten days unable to do any painting, I started back with a rather more experimental piece. This pastel is on Canson "Touch" pastel-card, and a number of things happened to it en route to completion.

On DailyPaintWorks now: $65. http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/spring-blues/470613

These primroses or polyanthus were a deep blue-purple with white edges on the petals. The initial drawing wasn't satisfactory, due to the fact that a number of the flowers were tightly squashed together and not displaying their yellow centres; so I decided to do them from a "bird's-eye" view.

Eventually the whole group began to form on the paper. I wanted the flowers to stand out from their background.

This was a bit tricky, since the petals were a dark shade and I didn't want to do an all-black background. Pastel grains also tend to stand forward, so in the end I washed over the orangey-brown background pastel with an alcohol wash, which flattened it.

The pastel-card took the alcohol wash very well, so I will remember this for another occasion.

"Clematis" : pastel 10x11 inches

, 11:20

While the garden sleeps (well, mine is), the major portion of colourful flowers are found only in the shops. I do have primroses, though, so maybe I'll tackle them again in the coming days. Otherwise it's hands in the purse for a few purchases.

"Clematis" was worked from several photos that I took last year. I was particularly interested in the candle-flame appearance of the closed flowers. I reduced the leaves to little more than green shapes because there would be just too much going on in the picture. A background of magenta and a few reds were laid on the grey Pastelmat paper with hard pastels, to complement the later addition of a dark green background. I didn't put the darks in too heavily, though. The end result is a background of interwoven colours, against the bright lights of the flowers. My harder pastels are mainly Rembrandt and some Winsor and Newton (the latter are no longer produced but can still be found on Ebay and similar sites). Unison's range of soft Dark Jewels are almost indispensable for deep greens and purples.

This painting will go on DailyPaintWorks as from 1st February, for 7 days: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/500975