A Stormy Shore

I’ve really been into abstract painting lately. Maybe it’s because it feels a bit more free than the detail work of a landscape painting. Or the fact that a lot of times it ends up looking quite a bit better as well. To my great frustration it often seems to be the paintings I spend less time on that ends up looking the best.

Anyway, today was another abstract day, and I wanted to paint a shore line with a lot of waves crashing in on some large rocks. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve bought quite a few tubes of colours like turquoise blue and emerald green over the years, but I often end up not using them as they don’t really mix naturally with the colours I usually use. But, as this was another abstract, it was clearly the time to pick them up again.

Basically everything on the canvas is painted on with a palette knife, starting with the stormy sky. Here I simply dragged mixes of turquoise blue, emerald green, ultramarine blue and titanium white onto the canvas using sideway strokes.

For the big wave in the back I used a small flat brush to fill in the outline of the rising water, before I added the clean titanium white with a palette knife for the foaming water in top.

In the foreground I filled the canvas with different mixes of the sky colours, before i added the rocks using ivory black mixed with a dash of titanium white.

I then highlighted the rocks with some white and yellow ochre, before I dabbed in some foam on the water crust using clean titanium white.

Another session done. This is how it looked:


Getting back the colours

It’s been a while since I picked up the whole range of paint tubes, making out something which is able to stand out all on it’s own.

I’ve done some colourful paintings before, like these two:

I was quite pleased with both of them, so it was a scary thought to try and make something new in the same manner. Basically because it often ends up looking good, or very, very not good at all…

I’ve seen a lot of painters using palette knifes to make out backgrounds consisting of different “scrapes” of paint colours. All of them kind of piled on top of each other.

I wanted to do that as well, so I basically set to work “scraping” the first blend of paint onto the canvas. I then added the next colour mix as an extension to the first on, and so on and so forth.

Using different mixes of ultramarine blue, sky blue, cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, titanium white, ivory black, permanent red violet, emerald green, turquoise blue and cadmium red, I kept on like this until the center of the canvas was all that was left untouched.

I’ve seen some really inspiring paintings of dancers on colourful backgrounds. So I found a painting of a woman in a dress, and used it as a guideline to paint the outlines of a dancers body by free hand onto the canvas. After painting in the hair, the head, the upper body and the arms, I finished it up by adding a large dress gown to her lower body.

I then finished the hair by mixing together some titanium white, yellow ochre and umbra nature, using the strokes of the brush to create the structure of the braids and highlighting them in the end.

Afterwards I did some shadow work on the skin before picking up some ultramarine blue to finish the gown. Here I also used the strokes of the brush to make out the “bump” of her butt, trying to make the illusion of fabric fitting close to the skin.

With the ballerina being done, I used the palette knife to make the background go all the way up to her skin.

Another colourful painting was then done, and this is how it looked:

In the spotlight

Speed painting tuesday

As I bought new canvases last week, I decided to pick up some additional small ones (about 12cm x 12cm) to try out some speed painting.

I’ve noticed, to my slight frustration, that I usually need at least four hours per session to be able to finish a painting for each sit down.

And, as I really like to finish at least one painting per session, what could be better than to be able to make out a quick speed painting in the start or the end of the more time consuming ones.

So I decided to paint a series of ocean inspired paintings. I used my fingers and a small palette knife to make them all, finishing them off by adding some bright colours to make them a bit more abstract and interesting.

I think the common denominator for them all are rocks and water. It was quite fun to be able to produce paintings in such a fast rate, so it will definitely be a regular feature in future sessions. This is how they looked: