Painting process: Delphinium Border, 16 x 28 inches

I just had to do another garden scene!  This time I am painting a delphinium border against a brick wall.In the photo the blues and purples looked lovely against the orange of the brick.  Above is my sketch.  It may look like a mess but the different lines and strokes are creating a map for me.
I just had to do another garden scene! This time I am painting a delphinium border against a brick wall.  In the photo, the blues and purples looked lovely against the orange of the brick. Above is my sketch. It may look like a mess but the different lines and strokes are creating a map for me.
I have scrubbed in some colour for the background and the greenery.
I have scrubbed in some colour for the background and the greenery.
My underpainting is complete.  Look at the lovely indigo, purple and magenta colours!
My underpainting is complete. Look at the lovely indigo, purple and magenta colours!
underpainting close-up
underpainting close-up
With a small brush I put in the darker tones.  this adds depth and separates the plants.
With a small brush I put in the darker tones. This adds depth and separates the plants.
The background has been painted in.  Since I could still see my brick pattern through the underpainting I used it as a guide and painted it in with a brush.  You can also see that I have added other little flowers and grasses near the wall.
The background has been painted in. I could still see my brick pattern through the underpainting so I used it as a guide and painted it in with a brush. You can also see that I have added other little flowers and grasses near the wall.
painting detail
painting detail
With the plants in the foreground more defined I can start bringing the delphiniums to life.
With the plants in the foreground more defined, I can start bringing the delphiniums to life.
My painting is finished!  I could have kept on fiddling with it but I feared I would overwork it and wouldn't be able to correct it.  Sometimes you just have to leave it alone and back away. I wish I could accurately capture how rich the colour is, especially in the darks where there is deep turquoise. I would have liked to use some palette knife somewhere in this.  Maybe on a larger one I will find a way to incorporate.  I just have to keep experimenting with these garden scenes.
My painting is finished! I could have kept on fiddling with it but I feared I would overwork it and wouldn’t be able to correct it. Sometimes you just have to leave it alone and back away. I wish this photo could accurately capture how rich the colours are, especially in the darks where there is deep turquoise. I would have liked to use some palette knife somewhere in this. Maybe with a larger one I can find a way to incorporate it.  I just have to keep experimenting with these garden scenes.
delphinium detail
delphinium detail
another painting detail
finished painting detail

Painting process: Inside the walled garden, 16 x 28 inches

We've been enjoying wonderful sunny weather in our neck of the woods!  All this sunshine inspired me to paint a beautiful garden.  I have a whole bunch of reference photos from a trip to Helmingham Hall Gardens.  I chose an image that included the building because it has a wonderful pattern on it. Above is my sketch.
We’ve been enjoying wonderful sunny weather in our neck of the woods! All this sunshine inspired me to paint a beautiful garden. I have a whole bunch of reference photos from a trip to Helmingham Hall Gardens. I picked an image that included the Hall because it has a wonderful pattern on it. Above is my sketch.
Using a brush I added a wash of colour to the sky and hall.  Then I carefully mapped out the garden.
Using a brush I added a wash of colour to the sky and the Hall. Then I carefully mapped out the garden using various lovely colours.
Underpainting close-up
Underpainting close-up
The sky and Helminghan Hall have been painted in.  I haven't painted any buildings in a long while, I used to paint mostly cityscapes.
The sky and Helminghan Hall have been painted in.  
Helmingham Hall close-up
Helmingham Hall close-up
With a brush I add the darks to create some depth and help separate the various plants.
With a brush I add the darks to create some depth and help separate the various plants.
Starting at the back near the hall I begin adding texture with a small palette knife.  I also have painted in the grassy path.
Starting at the back near the Hall I begin adding texture with a small palette knife. I also have painted in the grassy path.
garden detail
garden detail
Here is more progress on the garden.  I am working my way to the foreground, getting more vibrant and detailed as I go.
More progress on the garden. I am working my way to the foreground, getting more vibrant and detailed as I go.
You can get a bit overwhelmed by so much detail when painting this subject.  I had to keep telling myself to relax, simplify and keep things loose.  The painting is now complete and I am quite pleased with it.  It is so different than anything I have done before.
You can get a bit overwhelmed by so much detail when painting this kind of subject. I had to keep telling myself to relax, simplify and keep things loose. The painting is now complete and I am quite pleased with it. It is so different than anything I have done before.
garden flowers detail
garden flowers detail
close-up of more garden flowers
close-up of more garden flowers

Pomegranate Half: painting process, 20 x 20 inches

Here is my simple set-up.  Because I am tall I get an interesting perspective when looking at my still life set-ups.  That is why most of my painting have a kind of aerial view.  I  pulled the table close to me and I was looking down on my subject.  I propped it up a bit with blu tack.
Here is my simple set-up. Being tall gives me an interesting perspective when looking at my still life set-ups. That is why most of my paintings have a kind of aerial view. I pulled the table close to me and I was looking down on my subject. I propped it up a bit with blu tack.
After I sketched the shape and the pips, I did the underpainting with thin washes of colour.
After I sketched in the shape and the pips, I did the underpainting with thin washes of colour.
Now it is time for the palette knife.  I started with the pomegranate top using a small palette knife.
Now it is time for the palette knife. I started with the pomegranate top using a small palette knife.
Then it is time for the pips.  iI outline the pips in a very dark red.  I used a mix of Alizarin Crimson with a teeny amount of Phthalo Turquoise.
I outline the pips in a very dark red. I used a mix of Alizarin Crimson with a teeny amount of Phthalo Turquoise.
I fill in the pips with Alizarin Crimson (which is very transparent) with a hint of white  so it is every so slightly opaque.
I fill in the pips with Alizarin Crimson (which is very transparent) with a hint of white so it is slightly opaque. 
Pip detail
Pip detail
Using various mixtures of reds, orangey pinks and red orange, I render the pips to look juicy and jewel like.
Using various mixtures of reds, orangey pinks and red oranges, I render the pips to look juicy and jewel like.
finished pip detail
finished pip detail
Now it is time for the juice stained flesh.  I start from the bottom and work my way up to the yellow flesh.
Now it is time for the juice stained flesh. I start from the bottom and work my way up to the yellowish flesh.
painting detail
painting detail
Here is the finished product.  The colours are wonderful!  I am thinking about doing another one, but I am still thinking about what background colour to use.  I hope you enjoyed this demo.
Here is the finished product. The colours are wonderful! I am thinking about doing another one, but I am still thinking about what background colour to use. I hope you enjoyed this demo.

Small landscape: Poppy afternoon-painting process, 14 x 14 inches

So, I painted another small landscape.  This one is full of lush greens and vibrant poppies.  Here is the underpainting.  I left blank spaces for the larger poppies to make them pop.
So, I painted another small landscape. This one is full of lush greens and vibrant poppies. Here is the underpainting. I left blank spaces for the larger poppies, the red paint directly on the white background will make them pop.
I always start with the sky when it comes time to add thick paint with a palette knife.
I always start with the sky when it comes time to add thick paint with a palette knife.
Here is the painting filled in with the first layer of thick paint.  I play around with other colours and move it in different direction in order to add depth and movement.
Here is the painting filled in with the first layer of thick paint. I play around with other colours and apply it in different directions in order to add depth and movement.
With more colour added.
With more colour added.
painting close up
painting close up
Because the foreground is in some shadow the majority of it has cooler greens.  I add a bit of a warmer lime green to hint at some sunlight and also to highlight the path of the poppies.  I don't want too much red on green, the direct contrast can be jarring to the eye.
Because the foreground is in some shadow, the majority of it has cooler greens. I add a warmer lime green to hint at some sunlight and also to highlight the path of the poppies. I don’t want too much red on green, the direct contrast can be jarring to the eye.
cooler green and blues
cooler greens and blues
warmer greens with turquoise and scratches in the paint to hint at blades of grass.
warmer greens with turquoise and scratches in the paint to hint at blades of grass.
Here is the finished painting.  I has quite a different feel from the previous landscape post.  It is mistier, cooler in colour and bold.
Here is the finished painting. It has quite a different feel from the previous landscape post. It is cooler in colour and bold.
poppy field close-up
poppy field close-up
another poppy field close-up
another poppy field close-up

Small landscape: Spring meadow-painting process, 14 x 14 inches

I was in the mood to do a spring inspired landscape.  Using a personal photo reference,  I start with a very simple sketch.
I was in the mood to do a Spring inspired landscape. Using a personal photo reference, I start with a very simple sketch.
Then a wash of colour.
Then a wash of colour.
Starting with the sky, I add thick paint with a palette knife.
Starting with the sky, I add thick paint with a palette knife.
This is how the painting looks before I play around with a bit more colour.
This is how the painting looks before I play around with a bit more colour.
I have added some wonderful turquoise and various greens.
I have added some wonderful turquoise and various greens.
Now, it is time for the wildflowers.
Now, it is time for the wildflowers.
Here is the finished painting.  I think I captured the movement of the grasses and flowers in a spring meadow.
Here is the finished painting. I think I captured the movement of the grasses and flowers in a spring meadow.
painting close-up
painting close-up

Painting Process: Snape Marshes, 16 x 16 inches

Visiting the Snape Marshes is one of favourite things to do in Suffolk.  I just find it very calming and beautiful.   Here is my quick sketch.
Visiting the Snape Marshes is one of my favourite things to do in Suffolk. I just find it very calming and beautiful.
Here is my quick sketch.
Working my way down, I use a palette knife to paint in the sky.
Working my way from top to bottom, I use a palette knife to paint in the sky.
Next come the distant reeds and the hint of a river.
Next comes the distant reeds and a river.
I pait in more of the river with the dark reflections of the tide mark.  With a brush I give a quick wash of colour to cover the rest of the board.
I paint in more of the river with the dark reflections of the tide mark. With a brush I give a quick wash of colour to cover the rest of the board.
After laying in the darker reed colours I go over it with medium tones.  I also drag and scrape my knife through the paint to hint at tall reeds and add movement.
After laying in the darker reed colours I go over it with medium tones. I also drag and scrape my knife through the paint to hint at tall reeds and add movement.
painting detail
painting detail
Here is the finished painting.  It was actually painted the same day as the previous yellow landscape.  I was having a serious painting session this past weekend.
Here is the finished painting. It was actually painted the same day as the previous yellow landscape. I was having a serious painting session this past weekend.

Painting process: Yellow Landscape, 16 x 16 inches

Close to the border between essex and Suffolk I see wonderful fields of rapeseed (canola) in flower.  I have many reference photos of this because even though I've seen these fields numerous times, I love the shock of the colour  .  I try to capture the intensity of that yellow the best I can.  Above is my quick sketch to start off the painting.
Close to the border, between Essex and Suffolk, I see wonderful fields of rapeseed (canola) in flower.  I have many reference photos.  Even though I’ve seen these fields numerous times, I still love the shock of the colour.  I try to capture the intensity of that yellow the best I can.  Above is my quick sketch to start off the painting.
I go right in with a palette knife and paint in a moody sky and distant fields.  I wanted to convey that it has just rained or is still raining in the distance.  The hello fields tend to take on a particular yellow when the sky in the distance is a bit dark.
I go right in with a palette knife and paint in a moody sky and distant fields. I wanted to convey that it has just rained or is still raining in the distance. The yellow fields tend to take on a particular yellow when the sky in the distance is a bit dark.
close up
close up
The contrast is just beautiful and so vibrant!  I gave a wash of yellow to the rest of the painting just to cover the white of the board and serve as a base for all the yellow I will be using.
The contrast is just beautiful and so vibrant! I used a wash of yellow to cover the white of the board and serve as a base for all the yellow I will be using.
With a palette knife I ad big marks of green and turquoise which will help me create depth with in the flowers.
With a palette knife I add big marks of green and turquoise which will help me create depth in the yellow field.
With a warm and slightly yellow orange colour I layer it over some of the greens and dot in some petals.
With a warm and slightly yellow/orange colour I add layers over the greens and dot in some petals.
flower field detail
flower field detail
I use various mixtures of warm and cool yellows to add movement and light.  I also drag my knife through the paint, picking up the greens underneath to bring out some stems.
I use various mixtures of warm and cool yellows to add movement and light. I also drag my knife through the paint, picking up the greens underneath to bring out some stems.
field detail
field detail
Here is the finished painting.  I will take a better photo of this later in the week.
Here is the finished painting. I will take a better photo of this later in the week.