Tuesday, 14 February 2012

VERY, VERY cold!

It was -11C when I stepped out of the door on Saturday morning and there was freezing fog everywhere. Eventually it cleared to leave a brief window where I could catch the remaining snow and a bit of sun. By this time I was getting a little cold but thought I'd give it a go and lasted just over an hour before common sense got the better of me :)


Snow remains, Stony Stratford (13x10 - oil on board)

The painting has certain things that work and others that I'm not happy with (some of the colours/tones bother me and the composition could be better) but hey ho, that's the way it sometimes goes with plein air in those sort of temperatures I can perhaps cut myself a little slack :) Perhaps a bigger studio version with some amendments will be an option. A few useful lessons learnt during the process though and useful to have the reference from direct observation. 

16 comments:

  1. Well done David, nice aerial recession and I think it has good chromatic variation. When it is really cold I think one can be in a hurry to get going and comp might suffer but I think this is fine, not even much evidence of shivering!

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  2. This may be the first time I have actually managed to comment without making a complete horlicks of it. I thought you told me that you hadn't had much success last time. I wish I could have that much 'lack of success' myself! Wonderf but it has all melted here. Tim

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  3. So lovely! And it looks cold!

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  4. Thanks Michael. I think you're spot on about hurrying into a subject when it's that cold. It's also a problem when you've been hunting for a scene, got yourself too cold and end up just settling for something before your feet turn to blocks of ice. I always try my best to avoid the 'that'll do' scenario but under these conditions perhaps we can exucse ourselves a little :) At least getting out there we can get a flavour of what's there....and it's a nice contrast to being stuck in the office all week :) Painting in the fresh air...can't beat it!

    Thanks Tim, very kind! I'm not convinced by the play of shadows and their hue/tone but I seem to remember thinking that's pretty much how they were in that moment. The foreground bushes bother me too. Always a fine line between recording what's there and doing what's best for the painting I guess.

    Thanks Stephanie. Glad you're getting the cold vibe :o)

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  5. David, I really don't see why you're not satisfied. This is a great painting and I wouldn't want to change a thing. There is a real softness about it and it really invites the viewer to walk in it which is always a good sign for a painting. Please don't touch it! :-)

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  6. Thanks Karl, and Valerie. I won't touch it Valerie...scouts honour ;)

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  7. So many people would not think of cold and bright going together ... artists get all the best bits!
    The countryside can be at its best when others think it is dead.
    I am intrigued each time I see your work for it reminds me so much of Trevor Chamberlain ... did you know him?

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  8. Thannks Gary :0) I'm a BIG fan of Trevor's work so really appreciate you seeing some of the influences in my own paintings! The way Trevor handles light is quite jaw dropping at times and I've been lucky to meet him and see his work close up at the ROI annual exhibitions.

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  9. I think it is a great result for such a short time. The hint of sunshine is very successful. I think the fuzzy foreground bushes allow you to progress deeper into the painting. I wish I had your tenacity at staying out in the cold (not to mention a little of your talent!)

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  10. I haven't visited your blog for a while and now saw 2 new posts. First of all I think you're very brave to stay outside in -11C for more than half an hour - altough most people wouldn't use the word "brave" :) Second - I fell in love with that red door (your post bellow). To my mind it's brilliant - the scene and the colours, it's a perfect wintery country image.

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  11. Thanks 'nettypoole' :O) I don't normally find the cold too bad, so long as I'm wrapped up like the Michelin man! That said though, I don't think I'd fancy it any colder than it was on Saturday. A hot flask always helps too :)

    Thanks also 'decorartuk'! I know just what you mean, a couple of passers by clearly thought I was nuts but nothing new there :)

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  12. David the colors of this one are just great. I really like the bright fresh greens adainst the more subdued colors of the painting. We actually had snow Sunday evening,right at dark, but it melted during the night.

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  13. Thanks Douglas. Glad you had some snow but shame it'd melted by morning :( Hopefully you'll get a better covering next time :)

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  14. Fine effort David - some great tones in there. Some people see a lot more good than I do in a painting I've done, but you're always your fiercest critic, or should be, to improve. I love your loose technique with the feathery branches at the top left of centre - so economical and just left as is.

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  15. Thanks Peter. Yes indeed, I try to simplify the tree masses away from the focal points but it's sometimes tricky selecting the right tone. I use the bigger brush to stop me fiddling around too much :)

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