Paint out Australia

Further to my last post, we have now made it down to Ocean Grove, on the coast south-west of Melbourne. Here we have a good friend, Merridy, and are staying at her house on Dare Street. The house has a great view out over the Bass Strait and it also has a lovely deck area which I managed to commandeer for a few hours painting.

Studio on the deck at Dare Street
Painting in progress, on the studio deck at Dare Street. Berwon Head can just be seen in the far distance.

So, here you can see the “studio” with a painting on my super lightweight travelling easel. The easel is assembled from a camera tripod on to which I have fitted a piece of thin plywood. To do this I used a tripod adaptor which I bought before leaving the UK, from Ken Bromley Art Supplies. The adaptor fits in the head of the tripod just as a camera would do, and screws to a small piece of fairly thick wood which is then glued to the plywood. Very light in weight and quite sturdy.

The painting on the easel is a view from our “home” out towards a local landmark, Berwon Head. There was a terrific sunset over the Head the other evening and I knew I would have to paint it. The next morning I set up the easel where I had a good view and managed to recreate the sunset from my visual memory. Well it may not be exactly like it, but it’s close enough! The tricky part of the painting was the foreground, as I wanted to give an impression of the trees that lie between us and the sea, without doing anything detailed. Hopefully I managed to achieve that, by a combination of painting round negative shapes, and scraping out damp paint with a small, blunt, knife that I carry for that purpose.

The colours used were French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Scarlet Lake and just a touch of Raw Sienna in the sky. I hope you enjoy it and I will bring you more from the down under studio soon!

Painting of Sunset over Berwon Head
Sunset at Berwon Head, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia. 20ins x 14ins on Arches 140lb rough paper.

More new paintings

G’day everybody, from the Yarra Valley east of Melbourne. As regular readers of this Blog will know, we are touring out here to escape the worst of the British winter! It hasn’t all been plain sailing, Margaret broke her ankle in a hiking accident so the rest of the tour will feature a wheelchair as well as an easel among my paraphernalia.

The result of all this is that the art gear has not seen any action yet. But I’m sure it will. Meanwhile, here are a couple more recent paintings that I completed just before we left the UK. One is of a boat at Burnham Overy Staithe, always a favourite subject of mine, where I have created what I hope is a misty feel by leaving a great deal of white paper and using a very limited palette of colours.

The second painting shows a view across the fields to Snettisham church, a very prominent local landmark. Again, just a few colours used, with stronger tonal values and colours in the foreground to give a feeling of depth.

Nest time I post here, I hope to be able to show a painting or two of Australia. there are many fascinating subjects here, although we haven’t seen any kangaroos yet!

Misty days, Burnham Overy Staithe
Misty Days 2 – Burnham Overy Staithe. Watercolour 14ins x 10ins.
Across the fields to Snettisham Church
Across the Fields to Snettisham Church. Watercolour 15ins x 11ins.