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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.

Winter Wall: oil on paper 12x9 inches

, 10:58

Have been waiting for this one to dry before handling for photograph. The original source reference was actually an autumn view with rather dull greeny-brown hills and mud, so I decided to winter-ise it. The stone wall slopes away to the right down a very steep hill and in fact my later photos in that area provide a few interesting possibilities for a larger painting. There is also a pastel of this same scene in progress; I haven't worked on it for a couple of weeks because I now have flu and am pretty much incapable of major focus for any serious painting.....so it will have to wait.

Winter Wall is on Arches oil paper, specially produced for handling the characteristics and properties of oil paint; it does not allow bleed-through to the back, permits thin washes and the application of impasto paint, and provides a smooth surface rather than the toothiness of board or canvas. It can be framed with a mountboard, or affixed to a suitable acid-free panel and framed directly without glass. The paint can be varnished, just as if it were on canvas.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/652277

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

Moody Poly: oil on board 6x6 inches

, 07:47

Quick post today; here's a small impressionistic floral, just dried enough to scan.... this polyanthus was brought indoors to paint, during a recent bout of hay-fever when I just couldn't sit out. A quickish painting, to try and capture the deep reds that these flowers have, along with the sharply contrasting dots of yellow. On DailyPaintWorks as an auction, from Saturday 21st, at: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/552736 Start bid $28.

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.

Summer Masses: oil on canvasboard 6x8 inches

, 14:32

On DailyPaintWorks.com: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/summer-masses/476550

Back to painting again and this one is now dry enough to scan and put online.

Continuing with the clouds theme which seems to have taken over much of my painting in recent months; these were viewed from a high vantage-point in the Lake District near Threlkeld. Painted fairly quickly, within a couple of hours, to try and catch the briskness of the storm clouds which, although rather cumbersome, were buzzing through the sky at a fair rate.

In case anyone's wondering what has happened to my pastels, the answer is nothing....generally. For some reason, at this particular time, oils are working for me better than anything else, so I just go with it.

"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

Evening Yachts: oil, 4x3 inches

, 12:30

Here's a little one to pass the time with:

At auction as from February 9th, starting at $7: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/503365

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.

Mixed Asters; DailyPaintWorks auction

, 13:07

"Mixed Asters" is a 6x6 inch oil painting on canvasboard, due to start at auction at DailyPaintWorks tomorrow for 7 days. The auction link is below: www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/473761

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