Painting the Rapeseed, near Marden.

It's odd how subjects select you. I was going to paint an adjacent row of trees, see in the video,  but this field in bloom insisted I painted it; so,  how to use a half a tube of yellow without really trying.(I got a dose of nasty spring hayfever too!:(

Learning some basic editing ....  three takes in a 3min video, at a 'blocking in' stage: quickly working at blank areas, of the painting. It can be interesting watching other painters at work but  actually quite alarming to see oneself painting - normally the brain is in freeflow and one is oblivious of much else and  has little sense of time.   

Captured without looking through the viewfinder, so not seeing the framing hence dipping to the mixing palette, camera in my right hand. This is  in real time though I did discard a few seconds of  mixing on the palette and another short clip in the sequence which was badly framed. Also I should have set camera to a wider image format.

Music: Var. no.2 of The Goldberg Variations, JS Bach courtesy of  a great facility I discovered recently- - I thought that better than adding dialogue here.

Hooray! I just sold three of these late evening sky paintings, they'll be framed together and hung one above the other.
Just looking at this batch of 8 I did almost a year ago. I'm trying to devise  a catalog system, an inventory to  keep track of my paintings so each is numbered and  named. i.e. these are "Lavington skies with Jet Trails" (no's 1- 8) but 81-88 in the  main list. Does anyone recommend a good system of cataloging?

And it was whilst doing this series , some differ slightly in size, that I realized I had to make a better effort at standardizing sizes so bought  a big batch of ready cut board, all primed now and ready to go.

Plein Air Painting at Urchfont Manor

I'm doing a Plein Air teaching day on Saturday 14th April  at Urchfont Manor, in Wiltshire.

 Some experience with oils is helpful but not essential. Starting with a short introduction and discussion on methods, the idea is to work outside in the garden, painting en plein air, where spontaneity often produces surprising and rewarding results.  Hopefully the weather will be kind.

 Emphasis will be on working quickly to produce several pieces.  A short equipment list will be available to applicants, but bring any of your own equipment as well.

  Limited places left (last time I checked) so  book soon so not to be disappointed. If they are fully booked you can contact me via my website as I'll be organizing more painting days in the summer .

Making Sun-Thickened Linseed Oil.

Spring is here, time to make a new  batch of sun thickened oil - a very useful medium for plein air painting - when used in small amounts in painting media acts as a siccative drier.
Using a purified cold pressed, linseed oil, pour the oil into a shallow plate (about 5mm deep),  then this needs to be covered with a sheet of glass to keep dust out . The process works by oxidation  so the glass needs to be raised somehow to allow air in. Put on  a sunny windowsill, the more sun it gets the better. Air on the surface of the oil  and ultraviolet rays from the sun start a slow drying and thickening process. It is important to remember to stir the oil every day to prevent  a skin forming. After two or three weeks  the oil will be thicker and more viscous. Decant into  an appropriate air tight storage bottle This is  a great medium for plein air painting as it is half oxidized so dries quickly allowing  the painting to be worked on in thicker layers without it getting too oily and slippery. The oil yellows slightly in the process and dries with some shine. As with all new medium, it  needs  a little  practice to understand its  properties, and the viscous flow should  be adjusted by adding turpentine,  (or Zest-it!) to suit your painting process. ( a recipe from  "The Materials of the Artist" by Max Doerner.  - quote: Cennini calls it the best of all oils "I could not give you anything better")
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