Tag Archives: shadows

Trail through the Pines

Trail through the Pines (30cm x 30cm acrylic on mount board)

I’ve not given up on summer yet.  Trees remain a bit of an obsession still and this is based on a small sketch I made in August.  I was attracted by the shadows and the wonderful shapes of the pines.  Pure acrylic rather than mixed media this time.

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Allotment Blues

Allotment Blues (30cm x 30cm acrylic on board)

This is the second of my allotment pieces.  The combination of the blue shed and pots and the vivid spring green grass was something I knew immediately that I wanted to paint. Lots of fun!  Available to buy here  http://sarahjenningsartist.com/gallery_698663.html

I’ve lots more recent paintings to share that I have not yet found time to put here so expect a flurry of posts over the course of the next few days.

More Yorkshire Dales!

Here are a couple more pieces inspired by my trip to the Yorkshire Dales.  Variations on a theme but both in mixed media this time (a mix of oil pastel, watercolour, acrylics and acrylic inks).  I loved the dry stone walls and had fun trying to create an impression of these.

How to grow a tree…

..well a tree ‘portrait’ anyway!

I quite often get asked how I approach making a painting and as I remembered to take some photos of work in progress on this one (which is rare!) I thought I would share.

The approach varies depending on the medium I am painting in but this is fairly typical for paintings done in oil.

My painting surface here is 3mm MDF which I have primed with several coats of household primer and then a coat or two of artist’s ‘gesso’.  I then stain the white surface to a cool or warmish grey, either with diluted oil paint rubbed in with a rag or sometimes with acrylic paint.

I start by roughly drawing out the main shapes with diluted oil, taking note in particular of where the darks will go (stage 1). The next stage is to mix up the colours I will be using and to ‘block in’ the main areas of colour, trying to get the lights and darks and the colour mixes approximately right (stage 2).

Stage 3 then involves refining the block in until the painting is finished.  There are lots of mini stages here and what amounts to ‘finished’ is often hard to gauge.  Some people like a very detailed, refined image.  Personally I strive not to fiddle and to try to achieve a ‘painterly’ work, which hopefully has interest to the viewer.

Here is the finished piece.  I hope you like it.

Tree avenue, Burghley (February) 10″ x 12″ oil on board

Cold February morning

Cold February morning (6" x 8" oil on board)

Cold February morning (6″ x 8″ oil on board)

Waking up to a frosty but bright Monday morning I took my paints and pochade box out to the parkland surrounding Burghley House.  The light was lovely, the dog walkers were out and the parkland deer were quietly grazing.  A pretty magical time.  This is the first of two small oil sketches I was able to make before the cold got the better of me!

Experimenting with collage

December. Frosty morning at The Groves (12" x 12" mixed media on mountboard)

December. Frosty morning at The Groves (12″ x 12″ mixed media on mountboard)

I’ve been experimenting a little with collage as part of a mixed media approach and combining this with a very limited palette of colours.  I very much admire the work of Mike Bernard RI  http://mikebernardri.com/ who paints landscapes in a semi-abstract style and uses collage extensively in combination with acrylic inks.

This image was inspired by the view I had a few weeks ago from the suspension bridge in Chester over the riverside known as ‘The Groves’. There had been a hard frost and what struck me was the contrast between the cool areas of frost and shadow and the warm areas hit by the early morning sun.  The challenge I set myself was to make the image sufficiently representational to ‘make sense’ but to deliberately avoid too much detail and exploit the contrast in colours and textures.  This painting had the kitchen sink thrown at it – collage, then acrylic inks and acrylic paint, applied by print roller, card, finger, palette knife and (occasionally) brush! And I only used four colours. I confess to finding the collage and ink combination very tricky and I am not sure if it is something I will repeat.  However the collage does add ‘something’ which I find quite interesting.