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.
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
And here's the finished product.
(Woogie Cottage. Plein air sketch. 30x20cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)