A girl in a big dress

In the series of “painting people from angles that are easier to manage to kind of get away with it and not screw it all up”, I did another one today where I painted a girl with her back to the viewer.

As I still don’t feel confident enough to try and paint peoples faces, this seemed like another step towards daring it and at the same time learn some new skills in painting humans.

I decided to go for a woman in a white dress on a sunny day, making her way through a cornfield. For the sky I used a mix of Sky blue and titanium white, and a small amount of ultramarine blue. For the far away mountains I used different mixes of ivory black, umbra nature, titanium white and ultramarine blue.

For the cornfield I lay a base layer consisting of sap green, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow and titanium white, painting in different mixes with a flat brush. I then used a small round brush to paint in separate straws in different colours of green, yellow and white.

For the girl I used a palette knife, putting in a mix of pure titanium white and a mixture of titanium white and sky blue for the dress. For the skin I used some raw umber, lightened up with titanium white. For the hair I used a dark mix of umbra nature, making some highlight colours to put on top after figuring out the shapes of it all.

That being done, I did some last touches with a small round brush. I then painted in some straws in front of the girl, to kind of place her out in the field. This is how it turned out:


I think it turned out quite good, but it kind of bugs me that the dress seems to be a little to big for her body. I don’t know if that’s a problem or not.

Anyway, to get rid of some leftover paint, I also did a speed painting showing a plain field. Just keeping everything simple and clean, really.

It consisted of a skyline made out of sky blue and a lot of titanium white, and some trees, bushes and a plain field mostly consisting of sap green with different mixes of titanium white. This is how it looked:


All in all an okay day.

A Day In The Park

Suddenly, as always, another afternoon had went by sitting at my painting table. This time I wanted to try and paint some people again.

I have tried painting humans before, but, as this is kind of scary area to go into (being the increased possibility of failing badly), I’ve either been painting them from afar or from behind, like this:

I still didn’t feel confident enought to try and paint details like eyes and noses though, or even hands and feet for that matter. But I had a feeling I might be able to pull of a more rough manufacturing of some friends in a park, using just a palette knife.

But first I had to paint in a blue skyline with some clouds, using ultramarine blue and titanium white. After fluffing it all together with a flat brush, I used different mixes of sap green, titanium white and cadmium yellow to make out the trees, bushes and grass in the park. Just dabbing it all in using a filbert brush and a round brush.

This being done, I took some unmixed titanium white and just made out the outlines of one persons back and another persons profile sitting in the grass together. Putting in some more paint in a motion which made them look as natural as possible. I then touched in some hands and faces on them using a mix of yellow ochre and titanium white. For the hair I made out a light and dark mix to separate them a bit.

This is how it looked:


I feel it is kind of a cowardly move to not try and paint in some more details on them, but I have to say that I am very pleased with the result. The white colour make them stand out, and I think, my skills taken in hand, that this result turnes out better than it would have if I set to work trying to paint in more information. It sure got my hopes up in regard of trying it all out on a later point, though.

Well, the canvas weren’t all that big, and I still had a good bunch of time at my hands, so I figured it was time to try and make some more paintings while I was in the flow. I could see that there were a lot of half empty colour tubes I would be able to finish of, so I decided to try and paint another colourful skyline.

This time I dabbed in a mixture of pretty clear colours on different spots on the canvas, using ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, sap green, sky blue, transparant red medium, permanent red violet and titanium white.

I then blended it all together a bit, fluffing over the canvas with a flat brush. Afterwards I laid a new layer of titanium white over it all, representing some clouds to kind of separate all the colours from each other. After going over that layer with a flat brush as well, this is how it ended up:


I think it turned out quite well, but it was all done pretty fast. So I thought maybe there were time for a third and last painting of the day.

Canvases having their cost, so I decided I would try and paint something that required a bit more time than the last one. I went with the idea of a mountain field with some trees and a river coming through.

Well, for the sky and clouds I used a mix of ultramarine blue, sky blue and titanium white. Beneath I used a light mix of titanium white and ivory black to paint in some distant mountains. Underneath i dabbed in some far away trees using a small round brush with a mixture of sap green and titanium white.

I then used a fan brush to paint in a light, grassy field. Dabbing in a mix of sap green, titanium white and cadmium yellow to make some shadows and highlights. For the trees and bushes I used the same colour mix, and a mix of ultramarine blue, titanium white and turquoise blue for the river. For the rocks I used a dark mix of titanium white and ivory black, highlighting it with a lighter mix using a palette knife.

This is how it looked:


All in all a good day. And the time sure flows by 🙂

A Day of Greens

As another Sunday arrived, it was time to pick up the brushes again. This time I planned to travel away from the shores, and into the grassy fields.

Since I often try to paint shorelines or different shapes of the sea, I naturally run low on colours like blue, white, black and yellow ochre from time to time.

Since I’ve also bought a good share of paint through different colour-packages, my collection of colours like green and yellow are naturally, in contrast, pretty substantial.

So I decided to do something about that. Firstly by trying to paint a pretty simple cornfield in daylight.

This basically consisted of a cloudy sky, some distant forest and a big yellow cornfield. For the sky i used a mix of sky blue and titanum white, just using plane white paint for the clouds, and closing it all up by fluffing it together a bit with a flat brush.

For the forest in the background I dabbed in the paint with a filbert brush, using different mixes of sap green and titanium white.

Then came the big yellow cornfield, which consisted of cadmium yellow, sap green and titanium white in different blendings. Really just stroking it in with a bright brush to get a clean surface.

This is how it looked:


The canvas weren’t that big though, so there were still time to do another painting afterwards. And this one was going to be all about the greens. Set in night time. Deep in the forest. Looking up through some towering trees.

I started by blending in a mix all over the canvas using a flat brush, consisting of cadmium yellow, sap green, titanium white and sky blue.

I then used a round brush to dab in the tree tops , using a darker mix of sap green and ivory black. I then blended it in a bit with the backgorund using a clean flat brush.

For the ending, I wanted to get something up in the sky. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something that would attract attention and wonder. You can decide for yourself.  This is how it looked:


Afterwards i got a bit carried away, and tried to paint a cow using just a palette knife. That turned out just horrific, so i threw it away and decided to call it a day. All in all, a fun day though 🙂

A Distant Field

After an ocean-based evening, as mentioned in my last post, it was time to take it all back to shore. Take in some grass and straws, a foggy skyline and some green bushes.

So, by mixing together some sap green, sky blue, titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, raw umber and ivory black, I tried to make out some distant field. In my mind, some place in the southern Europe an early morning. This is how it turned out:


I think the muddy road turned out quite nice, and the tree in front as well. But I’m not that fond of the big tree in the background. It just looks a bit to light, so I might do some repairment on it later.

But all in all I think this one went quite well.

Speed Painting

Since I had a whole evening free the other day, I decided I would spend it doing some speed painting. There were some different things I wanted to try out, but basically it all involved water.

First, I wanted to do a basic wave-onto-the-beach-painting under a clear blue sky. So, for the skyline i used a mix of sky blue and titanium white. For the sea in the background I used some emerald green, turquoise blue, ultramarine blue and titanium white, and a mix of emerald green, turquoise blue and titanium white for the wave in the foreground.

For the sand on the beach I used a mix of permanent red violet, titanium white and yellow ochre. This is how it turned out:


That beeing done, I still did’nt feel that I was through with the seascapes. So I decided to do another wave, but this one without the sandy beach.

For the skyline i again used sky blue and titanium white. For the sea in the background I used some emerald green, turquoise blue, ultramarine blue and titanium white, with a greater amount of the ultramarine blue than on the last painting.

In the front I dashed in some emerald green, turquoise blue, ultramarine blue, ivory black and titanium white in different areas.

This is how it looked:


It was now starting to get late, by I still did’nt feel like wrapping up for the night. So I decided I wanted to try and paint a close view of water, with reflections in the upper layer and the seabed beneath. Like I was putting a camera lens straight down towards some clear water on a sunny day.  This did’nt go well.

I started by dotting in different mixes of ivory black, cadmium yellow, transparant red medium, emerald green, turquoise blue, ultramarine blue, titanium white and yellow ochre.

As I went on, it got more and more clear that it was not going to work. It just did’nt look like water. More like a clot of different paint pounded together on the canvas.

Time beeing late, I decided that this one unfortunately would have to be considered a lost case. So why not blend it all together with a flat brush and paint in some clouds? Maybe it would at least look like a nice skyline.

Well, this is how it ended up:


After six hours, it was finally time to get to bed!

A Grassy Mountain

For a long time I’ve been using other peoples paintings as inspiration for my own ones. But now, for once, I decided to use an actual photography I’ve taken myself. It shows a grassy mountain during summer, plunging down into the sea. Like this:


The scary thing about painting real life landscapes, is that a bad painting of one just looks a lot more bad than a painting based on another painting. There are just a lot more details to make it all wrong.

I therefore tried to play it just a bit safe by not painting in all the actual details from the photo. For example by painting in some more mountains on the horizon, and removing some of the headlands. This is how it looked:


As I went on, I could see that the actual shapes and rock formation from the photo did’nt turn out the way they were supposed to on the canvas. It just looks kind of distorted.. So I left it. Let it dry, and came back to it a couple of weeks later. To try to make something decent out of it.

I basically went over the whole painting one more time. Adjusting the colours and shapes, and making it a bit smoother. I realized that it would’nt end up looking that much like the photo, but at least it could be a pinting inspired by it. After crossing the finish line, this is how it ended up:


Conclusion: It is still harder to base a painting on a photo. It did’nt end up the way i thought it would, but better than my last try. So that’s good.

Something Living

After trying out some new, abstract techniques on my recent painting, I thought it would be fun to continue on exploring new fields.

So I decided to try, for the first time in a long while, to paint something living. I have been thinking of painting actual people for a long while, but for a start i made my choice to go for a big colourful elephant.

So I made a ruff outline on the canvas, drawing free hand with a pencil, before I set to work. This is how it ended up:


The backround colour ended up a lot darker than I originally planned, after mixing together a lot of bright colours with a big blending brush. It all kind of ended up in a big smudge. The elephant did´nt turn out the way I wanted either, after trying to paint the colurs in with a small brush. So I ended up scraping all the loose paint of with a palette knife.

The basic outline and colour of the original elephant still remained on the canvas though. So, in an attempt to save all the effort, I tried to just scrape some “elephant colour” into the basic outline with the same knife. It actually turned out quite well.

To get some more colour, I ended up using some cadmium yellow, turquoise blue, sap green, kings blue, permanent red violet and yellow ochre in the elephant mix. Adding on some ultramarine blue and emerald green to the mix in the background. To top it all off, I dripped some turquoise blue on top pf the elephant, using a paint brush and some paint thinner. I think that kind of made it all more interesting.

All in all a really fun painting to work on, learning some new techniques.