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Snow on Ben Lawers : oil 7x5 inches.

, 12:04

Back to painting; this small oil on Ampersand "Gessobord" is a little scene that I have had in mind to do for a long time, but never managed to decide the best format until now. I was fortunate to photograph Ben Lawers in Perthshire, Scotland, at a time when it had a covering of snow, accompanied by a long, low and rather striking cloudbank. The top of it is seen here across two steep-sloping ranges of dried grasses that were in deep shadow. The moon was also in view but I decided not to include it on such a small painting, focusing instead on the snowy slopes.

Colours used; alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, cadmium orange, french ultramarine, titanium white.

Cloudscape, North Wales: oil 7x5 inches

, 11:54

I'm working on one or two more demanding pastels at the moment, so have backed off further small ones and returned to oils for a while. This one is a small 7x5 inch picture on gessoed MDF panel, with rainstorm clouds and green shadowed landscape.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/647225

Summertime Haze: pastel, 13x9 inches

, 13:45

New pastel picture, just finished today:

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/590526

Evening Light: oil 8x8 inches

, 13:25

With much focus on the British referendum, I have little mental space right now for painting new work. Family holidays are also approaching, so I suspect the rest of this month and a fair amount of the next will be relatively unproductive. Today's painting has been drying awhile; taken from several cloud studies and photos at evening time near home. At DailyPaintWorks.com now: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/evening-light/483945

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.

Coastal Viewpoint: oils on MDF board, 6.5 x 5 inches

, 12:37

Quick post today, really busy trying to get new stuff under way:

At auction from the 15th; $28.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/540190

"Cloudscape 1" : pastel, 13x9 inches

, 12:15

This piece will be, for a few weeks, my last one because of the Easter holiday period; and I will not have any time for painting during those days. I'm experiencing an overall mental balance between pastel and oil work; I am attempting to do at least one pastel during a week and also an oil painting. They don't always work out, so some weeks I'm stretched to get a picture ready and up for DailyPaintWorks. I will, though, be looking at subjects for after the holiday and hope to get outdoors as well on occasions when there is a good variety of clouds. There are precious few flowers right now in this garden that will make good subjects. I was hoping for some new tulip colours this year.....but a badger has dug up the bulbs :(

When I get the chance I will also be re-jigging parts of the website to make my smaller paintings directly available again. A couple of years ago there were technical difficulties, but last year I changed to a new hosting provider and have more control over what goes on. I'll also be dipping toes in the water for a tiny little new venture....not fully organised yet. More later.

Will start at DailyPaintWorks on Easter Monday. Link to follow; I will update this post. UPDATE: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/532906

"Heavy Weather": pastel 12x8 inches

, 20:54

Continuing with some more black and white work in pastel; this piece was derived from recent observations across a local hill;

The paper is Art Spectrum Colorfix. A limited range of pastels was used; some Inscribe greys for the start-off, followed by some Rembrandt neutral-ish colours and Daler-Rowney blue-greys, finishing with some greys and creams from Unison. I'm drying off a small group of oils right now and they'll be ready next week to start scanning/photographing. I've also returned to doing some larger paintings....only a few, for a while....they're rather more experimental and away from realistic views (to some extent). But I'd like to continue with the monochrome theme, so will be looking for new subjects.

"Heavy Weather" will be uploaded to DailypaintWorks toward the end of this week.... UPDATE 24th Feb: I've uploaded it today, here: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/heavy-weather/450830

Balcary Bay, Galloway: oil on gessobord

, 22:05

Today I was out on a chilly coastal path, attempting to pastel-sketch the rapidly changing clouds in front of me, across mudflats. Those sketches will I hope turn into paintings a little later on. This one today has been drying a little while and can now be scanned. It is a holiday scene that took my particular interest and I have already painted it twice before; once in pastel and again in oils....albeit from different viewpoints.

Balcary Bay, Galloway : oil on gessoboard, 7x5 inches

At DailyPaintWorks auction as from 15th January, for 7 days:

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/494275

I still have images of the previous versions:

Calm Light, Balcary : pastel on paper approx 13x8" This was quite a different time of day; more to late afternoon/evening.

also:

Balcary Bay : oil on canvasboard 7x5"

The pastel was done in 2009, the oil under it not till 2012. It is interesting to do the same subject several times, although oddly enough it is something I have rarely done till recent times. I still like the pastel and have retained it; but I suspect I'll be tackling the theme again at some stage.

Summer Clouds

, 17:48

Slowly sliding back into normal life from the holiday period. I haven't yet got under way with much new, so here's a little oil painting that's dried sufficiently to go into the scanner.

Summer Clouds : oil on gessoed panel, 7x5 inches

On DailyPaintWorks now, for 7 days: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/492161

I like to make a hand-gessoed MDF panel. I first cut up a number of different-sized panels using a band-saw; then seal both sides with Golden GAC100, and the board's edges, before painting over with acrylic gesso (currently using Liquitex gesso). I do one gesso coat on the reverse (sometimes a second if the first is a bit thin) and two or three coats on what will be the front-side. Leave em to dry and use when required. Although I don't do a large number of oils now, I have begun to prefer the smoother panels to canvas-surfaces. I rarely use stretched canvas these days.

This small painting is a very simple study of summer cumulus clouds over wide grasslands, near the coast. It was done with five colours plus white; thalo blue, ultramarine blue, cadmium scarlet, cadmium yellow, raw sienna and titanium white.

Edge of the Storm: oil on board.

, 11:49

Edge of the Storm; oil on mdf board 6x5 inches: $40 at DailyPaintWorks.com

Now uploaded at DailyPaintWorks.com, a small oil painting on gessoed MDF board, 6x5 inches (that's 15 x 12 cm approx). The approaching edges of stormclouds at Derwentwater in the Lake District. I took lots of photos of this storm, abandoning my position at the lakeside when the rain finally began after a further five minutes or so. The painting is a buy-it-now, not an auction. Link here:

www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/edge-of-the-storm/428143

This item also at Original-Art-Under100.com See Links panel on the right.