Marion's Landscape Painting Newsletter - MAY 2011

WELCOME to my May newsletter, Dear Newsletter Readers It seems rather amazing to be writing to you again –where has April gone? And what is happening to the weather in the UK? This great sunny weather has meant that there is less excuse not to paint outdoors. Easter Sunday found my family and I enjoying a picnic and chill out time besides the Thames. It was a gorgeous day and I had some time to paint ‘on location’. I laid a watercolour wash then worked on top with Neo colour II. The results were not great, not what I was hoping to achieve, why? Well I think my view was to general – no point of focus. I was working with mediums I love, but do not work with that often. All this made me start thinking…

Whilst many enjoying the pomp and ceremony of a lovely couple saying ‘I do’, I had the opportunity to paint in and around Poole in Dorset. As usual I had a range of mediums with me but I wanted to experiment with painting directly with acrylics onto a support. Was this possible on location? I do not stand and work at an easel; preferring to sit – often on the ground – I find this works for me with everything being in easy reach. So the question - was it possible and with such a range of scenery and many inspiring views what to paint? these were the issues that needed dealing with. Remember in my previous experiences by the Thames I knew I needed to find an interesting subject with a definite points of interest. So I decided to try and work with acrylic paints. This can be problematic but I wanted to explore how possible and practical it was when ‘plein air’ painting. With a great view of a craggy, rocky beach I found a fairly quiet spot and got myself organised. Working in this way I discovered was spontaneous and immediate. I used a natural soft grey, medium size canvas to work on.

Looking and really seeing coupled with capturing the essence of the place was an exciting and rewarding challenge. I was extremely pleased with the result and several holidaymakers were most complimentary. I was pleased but wondered if this was a one off? (see image above) A couple of days later and on a much colder and windier day my friend and I decided to sketch out in some moors. With a strong point of interest – some lovely unusual trees; I set about working once again using acrylic paints. This is a medium I work with almost on a daily basis so it almost comes as second nature. Again I was pleased with the results. So then back to my original questions … yes it is possible to paint on location working with acrylic paints and a good point of interest which helps helps you to focus. This was a great painting opportunity and I feel like I learnt a lot. If like me you have struggled in the past to paint on location I would encourage you to try again using a medium you’re really at home with.

May's Product

Very briefly coloured or tinted canvases! The painting I talked about earlier was on a tinted, 'natural' canvas. Working on this soft grey was interesting and exciting ... it gave the painting a cohesion and was very effective.

A Few Other Things

If you would like to ask any questions or share your thoughts please get in touch with me via the contact page on my website. Tell your friends to sign up please and thanks.