Monday 3 February 2020

The Greenhouse Lanterns

I love to see low winter sunlight glowing through greenhouses. On chilly mornings, it is as if they are all made of frosted glass as they glow like little lanterns twinkling in the morning sun. Frost laden wires guide the pathways in between the various plots drawing me this way and that.

The occasional excited bird songs are silenced as I approach the hedges adjoining the fields, but if I stand quietly their chirping begins once again and I no longer feel like a threat to them.

This is my latest painting and for those of you who would like to see how it built up, do read on. 

There are many ways to use acrylics, this is the process that works for me, if you have a totally different approach, that's great, please don't feel you need to change the way you paint, there is no right or wrong way.

I always stand to paint at my easel when I work on a canvas, and I walk backwards and forwards in order to judge the proportions.

Stepping back and looking again can really help to see any areas that may not look right. 

This first stage plots out where the main objects sit. The paint is very dilute, so much so you can see where it has run down the canvas.

Once the basic shapes are blocked in, I add the dark background areas and the dark area of soil in the foreground. 

I use directional brush strokes so that if any gaps are left at a later stage, these strokes will all help to suggest the surface texture or direction of the ground surface.

Then I begin to add colour. I saw a lot of mauve's and cool colours in the mid tone sections. 
Once I get to this stage, everything is where I want it and my tonal areas are all there, I now need to build up the painting, adding some details and of course the light. 

This was a lovely composition for me, I walked down that path right to the end (where there is a clutter of various chairs and make shift tables abandoned since last Summer) there are so many sections I want to paint, this is one I will no doubt tackle again, when the colours all change and the picture is totally different.

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