Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Day in the Country

I was lucky enough to get out to paint with two friends yesterday (thanks Margaret for the local knowledge and bringing us I to places I'd never have found!). Very humid and cloudy in the morning, cleared to hazy sunshine by afternoon. These were my two efforts:-

Down Towards The Barrow, Dunganstown
(14" x 18" oil on Canvas)

Low Tide, Dunganstown
(12" x 16" Oil on Canvas)

Here are a couple of photos of both scenes:-


Claire Beadon Carnell said...

Beautiful, sunny and natural greens in these Michael.

Michael McGuire said...

Thanks Claire. It was one of those days when it would have been very easy to have had a "green frenzy". I use only Viridian, mainly because of its low tinting strength. to reduce the risk of falling into that trap.

D Adams Kutch said...

Hi Michael, I really like your paintings. I want mine to be in your style. Right now I am studying water now, and yours is particularly nice. Also having a bit of a tussle with some willow trees. I also enjoy your writing style. See you at WC. Debbie K.

D Adams Kutch said...

I forgot to mention that I do have an art blog on Blogger. It has not been updated since May but if you'd like to take a look just click on my name;).

Michael McGuire said...

Hi Debbie,

The key to painting convincing water, as it is with most everything else is to trust your vision (assuming you intend to work plein air). If you work from photos, your paintings will inevitably finish up looking photographic. Nothing wrong with that of course, if that's the look you want, but my guess is that what appeals to you about my work derives from the fact that most of it is done plein air.

When painting turbulent water from life, some "patterns" remain fairly static or repeat frequently, while others are so transient that you barely get a chance to see them. The camera freezes everything, so there are no fuzzy areas. When I say trust your vision, what I mean is not just colour but an appropriate mix of hard and soft edges. Too many hard edges and the water looks frozen, too few and it appears woolly like those long exposure photos you see sometimes.

There are no short-cuts. Just get out there and practice. The more you do the better and faster you will get.

I had a quick look at your blog. I think the Switzerland one in particular is really well painted. But if only you had a chance to have done it plein air, just imagine how different (not necessarily better unless your goal is "visual reality") it would look.