Anyway, the first effort of the day was just down the road at Passenham Mill.
Red Door at Passenham Mill, 12x16in oil on canvas board
I had a go at this in the snow last year but this time went in for a closer view. I really wanted to avoid making it too 'twee' and thought the strong note of colour offered by the door would lift an otherwise generally grey scene. The mill is actually the sandstone building on the left but I really wanted to focus on that door! The surface was a rather absorbent stained canvas board so my initial strokes seemed to barely register. Somewhat discouraged I thought about stopping but decided to push on with juicier strokes of positively applied paint. I enjoyed working in this way and liked the handling of the surface once the oil started to build up a little.
I find the problem with using oils too thinly on an absorbent surface is that the surface becomes lifeless once it has dried and the colours sink in, losing their initial vibrancy. I still reserve a thin application for the extreme darks though as a degree of transparency gives them more depth and interest. I could smell the wood burner smoke coming from the chimney (actually it was coming out of the other one!) and there was a blissful air of silence. The painting is still wet and I'm inclined to leave it as it is....of the moment and nothing more.
For the afternoon's effort I wandered back into Stony in search of more colour to punctuate the prevailing greyness. I quite fancied doing something with the Victorian red brick stonework and liked the way it constrasted with the snow.
Mill Lane in the snow, Stony Straford 10x13in, oil on board
The snow was already starting to melt as you can tell by the foreground slush in the road. I liked the sharp contrasts thrown up by the white roof, the cars and the figures and tried to hold onto this tonal clarity in the painting. I wanted to keep the colours as clean and decisive as possible too. It was interesting to see an evergreen plant in full bloom and whilst the leaves were quite yellow but I decided to play this down for the sake of retaining an overall harmony. I may need to tidy up a couple of the figures (I was starting to flag a little towards the end) and sort out one or two wayward verticals but again, would rather keep this to a minimum. More snow is a possibility for the weekend so fingers crossed for a fresh covering :o)