Tuesday, 6 March 2018

#307 'Hammer Vale in Winter' 8x10"

I started this when it was a blizzard, the ice crystals landing on my board and palette congealing into little snow balls! I struggled on but the conditions weren't conducive to say the least! 
I went back the next morning and decided to start afresh, new painting same view. So much easier when the weather is a little less extreme. See pic below.
Ice Crystals!!
I have ended up with two paintings of the same view, the first which I have made my main top one. I scraped off what I did when it was snowing and did a fresh layer of paint over the top in the studio and it ended up better I think than the one below. Which surprised me.

Second attempt painting
So I actually painted this view 3 times - first day in the snow second day not snowing but maybe too careful and the third day in my studio back on the first painting! if you can follow all that :-)

The learning is paint a subject more than once, it really helps to know it, familiarise, relax with it and also not worry about the end result. I thought it wouldn't turn out so I went for it nothing to loose and it worked!

Things I did differently: pushed the tones to lighter, made the colours yellower and bluer - prettier, freer with the brush strokes, emphasised the foreground tree branches...changed the widths of bands of colour.

A couple of people people kindly took photos of me over those couple of days. 
Couldn't have painted without the brolly while it was snowing.


  1. Do you use mostly boards you've prepared with a warm rather than cool ground, Clare? And if so, can you talk about your thinking - I noticed it a lot with your snow paintings? I really like how your work is becoming looser and more free.

    1. Hi Caroline good question re boards... I use a acrylic gesso mixed with acrylic burnt sienna & ultramarine but lean it to the warmer side - works with blues and greens of seascape and landscape, makes the colours pop! Or I make the ground colour more neutral grey for towns and cities which work well for this, the colours harmonise with the board colour. The sunset I have just posted was on a board I stained over dry acrylic gesso stained with oils burnt sienna and ultramarine making it an orangie background like the impressionist used. Hope this helps! Clare

  2. Interesting progression, you definitely painted looser and freer by the third painting. Mentally removing the fear of failure and allowing the creative juices to flow coupled with familiarity with the subject makes a big difference. I wish I could achieve this.

    1. Thanks Pat, so true, there's a lot of mental stuff you have to get through to make a painting! If you as a painter do enough paintings I'm sure you could improve on this :-)

  3. I love all the elements of your last painting, the colours, application and composition.