Friday, February 1, 2013

Woogie - Plein air landscape in oil

Woogie = "wood-jee"

The sunshine has returned after a bit of a break, and I tried something a little different on Wednesday afternoon.

I've driven past this abandoned cottage near Woogenellup (Wood-je-nell-up) for years. Several times I've stopped and taken photos but it's never looked paintable until this time.

It was late so I knew I didn't have much time for fluffing about. I did, however, take a couple of minutes to do some thumbnails. A bit of time spent on these can save a lot of time trying to adjust a painting that's going wrong.

Plein air thumbnail by Andy Dolphin

I considered two options and chose the first, with the cottage sitting high and to the left of the scene. You'll notice a dead tree in front of the cottage. It does exist but I opted, in the end, to leave it out of the painting.

I chose to go with a  limited palette and decided to experiment a little. With dry grass, old timber fence posts and a rusty-roofed cottage built from stone, the scene was quite "earthy" so I went with very subdued colour selection.

I used French ultramarine, Australian red gold and burnt sienna. This effectively gave be a reddish-blue and two oranges. I knew the blue and burnt sienna would make wonderful dark tones and I knew the red gold with white would give an almost toffee-like golden yellow, suitable for the sunlit dry grass. I've also had some pleasant results in the past mixing greens from ultramarine and red gold. But I'd never used these three as the only colours for a whole painting.

Here's the location shot

Plein air landscape oil painting by Andy Dolphin

And here's the finished product.

Plein air landscape oil painting by Andy Dolphin
 (Woogie Cottage. Plein air sketch. 30x20cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)
The colour choice has made itself known in the final result. Overall, things are just a bit too yellow, giving the scene a slightly jaundiced look that may not show up on screne. But there's some nice stuff happening here and I think I'll work on this one after it's dried and see what I can pull out of it. I may even pop the dead tree in.

2 comments:

  1. the tree gave its life to be part of the scene
    it deserves to be there :)

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  2. I don't think it cares much, although it wasn't really dead, just mostly. You know how Australian trees are. Three or four trunks tipped with dead branches then one lump of leaves just hanging off a random branch.

    I expect I will add it, if only to nestle the cottage more firmly into its own private graveyard.

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