Friday, 13 September 2013

Bridge House, Ambleside

Last month we were kindly invited to spend a weekend with my brother in law. One fine day we had an amazing mini tour of the Lake District, stopping at Ambleside to see this charming little 17th Century National Trust building, Bridge House.
As is my want these days, the house is depicted from both sides. I had intended a third front view to qualify the work as Cubedist, but it felt like overkill. Maybe later.
Both paintings are 21 x 29.7cm, oils on canvas board. But for the finest finishing details, I seem to have temporarily abandoned brushes in favour of palette knives and colour shapers. Brushes waste more paint. Paint is mass manufactured from chemical processes and therefore carries a carbon footprint. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy use lots of paint where the creative urge dictates - as long as it ends up on the surface and not swilled down a plug hole. The palette knives can be frustrating to use, but they also give my paintings more random organic marks which I like very much.
I'm currently having fun experimenting with chromatic blacks. Every other colour is mixed with varying degrees of the chromatic black and titanium white, so it is interesting to see what effect that first step has on the final outcome. In this case, I mixed powder pigments burnt umber, ultramarine violet and pthalo blue (green shade) to a ratio of 5:4:1. I then mashed that powder mix together with the oil medium. The resulting black had a bluish tinge, but was easy to neutralise/warm up with the addition of more burnt umber.