We are to choose a view onto the world. In my case, I decided to paint one of the Norfolk sunsets as I see these often from my bedroom window, which looks out across the fields to a thicket of trees beyond. I am trying to stick with the oils now, however I first laid down an opaque wash of burnt orange, which I’d mixed from orange and red acrylic paint. I wanted to tint the paper this deep burnt orange colour, as that was the main colour I could see on the evening in question, it had illuminated the soil as well as the trees.
Unfortunately, I became so engrossed in mixing the correct colours for the sky that i completely forgot to take photos. I first laid down the lightest area, which was white on the horizon, with some lemon yellow. I mixed pyrrole red with orange and magenta, plus white to create soft pink tones. I also mixed a pale mauve and darker lilac for the clouds, as well as a grey white for some of the lighter areas in the cloud mass. Once I’d completed the main sky, I concentrated on the earth tones, using a mix of red and green predominantly to create the dark, almost black areas of the distant tree line. I let the burnt orange of the underlying wash peep through to help me delineate the tracks that had been made when ploughing took place. I just hinted at the texture of the red roof tiles of the adjoining building and wooden fence at the back of our garden. I deliberaately didn’t smooth out the paint in the sky or anywhere else, leaving the brushstrokes as they were, i didn’t want to create mud. In some areas the underlying burnt orange wash peeps through, which gives the painting a kind of internal glow.
I’m quite pleased with this – my first landscape in oils – I am looking forward to working on a larger scale for future exercises.