Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kendenup Rail Bridge

Here's the plein air painting I did last weekend near Kendenup...

 (Kendenup Rail Bridge. 30x20cm oil on board. © Andy  Dolphin)

It's far from perfect but it was an unusual subject or me and presented quite a number of challenges from perspective to tonal contrasts to colour to reflections. Plus, the sun was setting fast so all these things had to be dealt with without much thought.

At one point I thought I'd lost it completely but I pushed on and once I'd mapped in the major highlight areas in the foreground and on the bridge pillars, it didn't look so bad so I continued with it. From here on I added most colour and tone from memory as the scene had changed dramatically in a short time.

I hope to go back soon and try again, from a lower angle so we can see the width of the bridge.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Perfect weather

While summer was colder and wetter than we usually get down here, autumn has been spectacular so far. The last few days in particular were hot with mostly cloudless skies, day and night.

I took the opportunity this afternoon to go an paint a subject I noticed a long time ago.

This bridge carries the Great Southern railway line over a small creek near Kendenup. That trickle of water is probably more than it usually has at this time of year.

Plein air painters have a phrase "chasing the light" and I experienced it full on in this painting.

I started about 4pm, as the sun was casting a shadow of the steel bridge on the creek bed. It was 5pm by the time I finished and, as shown above, the whole scene was in the shadow of the distant trees.

I had to establish major shadow positions and angles at the start and try not to "chase the light" as the major shadow moved away from the bridge and toward me, which it did quite rapidly. I used a limited palette of four colours plus white to save time.

It was a subject I've never tackled before and quite a challenge. I might go back another day and try a slightly lower angle so I see a little of the underside of the bridge as this would give me a nice strong shadow tone and probably some warm reflected light. I hope there's still a bit of water flowing when I get there.

I'll post the finished picture when I can get a good photo of it. In the meantime, here's the plein air painting I did near Woodanilling a few weeks ago...

(Near Woodanilling. 20x22cm oil on board. © Andy  Dolphin)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Albany Workshop

Today I did a workshop for Gallery 500 in Albany, hopefully the first of many.

With ten keen and competent "students" and a wonderful workspace at Terra Verde Gallery, it was a great way to spend a few hours on a beautiful autumn morning.

I explained my approach to painting light in the landscape and everyone followed along as I demonstrated each step. With lots of good questions, exchanges of ideas and some good conversation, it was all great fun.

This is my painting, based on a digital image I came up with in my head a few months ago...

And here's a few pics of everyone hard at work as I cracked the whip...

Thanks to Brad and Jo of Gallery 500 for inviting me and to everyone who attended.

My next workshop is planned for late May. Contact Gallery 500 for details.